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Where's the best mobile broadband deal?

Posted: 30 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile broadband? 3G? Internet?

Comparing mobile data pricing in a number of countries, ABI Research found that the United Kingdom, 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 $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 5Gbyte or even as low as 3Gbyte per month, even for their most expensive plans.

ABI VP of forecasting Jake Saunders, added, "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'."

ABI Research's Mobile Data Pricing Database tracks mobile data pricing for both handset use and USB modem across 27 countries worldwide. The database includes information about data pricing plans by carrier, as well as a cross country comparison of the lowest cost plan for downloading 3Gbyte of data.





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