In a cross-country comparison of mobile data pricing, ABI Research has found that T-Mobile UK and Indosat in Indonesia offer the lowest prices for mobile broadband plans. Indosat offers an unlimited data usage plan called StarOne BIS for a monthly flat rate of $13.52, while T-Mobile UK’s unlimited data usage plan, Mobile Broadband Plus, costs $15.47 per month.
Asian telecommunications companies have some of the lowest-priced plans in this comparison. Prices in this region are kept low because companies such as Singtel, Indosat, BSNL and China Unicom are linked with their respective governments. However, some of these governments are slowly loosening their control over the telecommunications sector.
“The partial deregulation of the telecommunications sector in Asia has allowed for a market-based model of competition,” says ABI Research associate Lim Shiyang. “Industry dynamics have changed as prices now depend on competition within countries, rather than pricing caps.”
Italian operators offer some unique payment methods for their services by charging customers on a per-hour usage basis. In Japan, NTT DoCoMo goes against the global mobile data pricing trend with a per-packet charge. A packet constitutes 128 Bytes and the Japanese are charged according to the number of packets used instead of the usual MB or GB.
“Demand for mobile data has been soaring over the past few years,” says Neil Strother, mobile services practice director for ABI Research. “As such, unlimited data plans were seldom removed from the product offerings of many mobile operators, while at the same time tiered-pricing plans entered the market. This has created some uncertainty among subscribers.”
For more information, please visit ABI Research’s “Mobile Data Price Tracker.” This study is part of the firm’s Mobile Services Research Service, which also includes other Market Data products, Research Reports, Surveys, ABI Insights, and analyst inquiry support.
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