Affordability of ICT services 2020
March 4, 2021
A4AI has partnered with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to produce the most comprehensive openly available dataset of prices for internet services across the world.
Measuring five price baskets for ICT services across 207 countries, this data and analysis provides a global and regional view of the cost to use the internet and the progress needed to make internet services more affordable so that everyone can afford to connect.
- Prices are declining steadily but slowly. The worldwide median price for both mobile- and fixed-broadband services dropped by just 0.2 percentage points between 2019 and 2020.
- Mobile data prices remain above the UN’s affordability target in 45% of the countries covered. Fixed-broadband packages were unaffordable in 56% of countries surveyed.
- People living in developing countries pay 4x as much on average for mobile data as those in developed countries — 2.5% vs 0.6% of median monthly income for 1.5GB.
- ICT services remain prohibitively expensive in most Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Mobile broadband basket was affordable in just 4 of 43 LDCs, while the fixed broadband basket was affordable in just one of 33 LDCs for which data are available.
This dataset builds on our existing mobile pricing data which measures the cost of mobile data packages in low and middle-income countries going back to 2015.