Image: REUTERS/Feisal Omar
With the number of mobile subscriptions now outnumbering the world’s population, mobile phones have become an indispensable communication tool, both in developed and developing nations.
But the cost of owning a mobile phone varies considerably depending on where you live. Those are the findings of a report from the International Telecommunication Union, which shows the monthly cost of operating a mobile phone as a percentage of gross national income per capita.
In more developed countries, the cost of owning a mobile is much less than in some developing nations. For almost 50 countries surveyed, including the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Russia, the cost of running a mobile accounts for less than 1% of GNI.
In two countries – Central African Republic and Madagascar – it can cost more than 50% of GNI, while in 12 nations, it costs more than 25%.
At almost 18% of GNI, the cost of operating a mobile phone in Africa is much higher than all other regions. The Americas region is next, at 3.9% of GNI. In Europe, the average cost is 1.47% of GNI.
Although 8 in 10 people in the developing world now own a mobile phone, it is clear the operating costs are disproportionately high in certain countries and regions.
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.