Where are the best deals for mobile broadband? Comparing mobile data pricing in a number of countries, ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com) found that the UK, France and India have among the world’s lowest prices for mobile broadband plans. In India for example, where 3G mobile broadband services launched in the middle of 2009, an unlimited download plan costs just over US$17 per month.
“ABI Research expects emerging markets with low Internet penetration to price mobile broadband aggressively to drive usage,” says ABI Research analyst Bhavya Khanna. “However, in developed markets the widespread use of data dongles has created strains on mobile networks; and one could see data plans change to throttle data consumption.”
Operators in some countries are already using this approach, limiting data to 5 GB or even as low as 3 GB per month, even for their most expensive plans.
Vice President of Forecasting Jake Saunders, adds, “Another consumer concern is confusing overage charges for data plans: consumers often do not know how many megabytes of data they are downloading. Once again, there is room for innovation here from operators by simplifying overage costs and educating consumers to encourage uptake of such services. For example, operators in Singapore have a fixed “cap” on overage costs per month; ensuring that users do not get ‘bill-shock’.”