New Zealand’s Mobile Data Among the Most Expensive in the World

Date Jul 14, 2020
Blog category Broadband
Blog category Mobile Phone
By Michael Speight
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Although mobile data in New Zealand is relatively cheap nowadays, it still has one of the most expensive around the world.

Cable.co.uk recently released a mobile data comparison report where NZ ranks 180 out of 250 countries in terms of price offerings. This was calculated per 1GB of mobile data, with NZ’s average price being $10. Out of 41 mobile plans that were measured last February, data showed that the cheapest mobile plan for a 30-day period was $1.62, while the most expensive was $30.31. 

NZ mobile data deals now cheaper than in 2019

In 2019, New Zealand’s average offering for mobile data per 1GB was at $14.35, and ranked 165 out of 230 countries. For comparison, the average offering of Australia, Oceania’s cheapest at rank 50, last year was only at $3.82AUD ($4.02NZD). Although the country sees improvement for mobile data plans in 2020, it still ranks lower than its regional neighbours, including Fiji, Australia, Vanuatu, Palau, Guam, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea.

NZ records one of the most unreliable internet in the world

Despite charging high costs, New Zealand’s mobile data doesn’t promise the best speeds. Mobile internet providers have introduced a series of unlimited data plans, but these are not as reliable compared to the worldwide average. Once users reach a certain data cap, providers are reducing internet speeds, in order to minimise excessive usage. Another deal-breaker is that users can’t use it for tethering or mobile hotspot either. This means that a mobile phone’s internet can’t be used to connect other electronic devices. 

NZ needs to invest in mobile infrastructure

New Zealand’s lag in mobile data can be mostly attributed to the country’s lack of mobile infrastructure. Current internet lines are mostly used for broadband; and little to no towers are built specifically for wireless mobile internet. Due to this, most Kiwis prefer using their broadband at home, rather than adding costs by availing a mobile data plan. One factor which also contributes to this is that a lot of the population live in rural areas where it is difficult to build infrastructure for mobile. 

NZ to continue improving wireless services

As 5G connectivity continues to rise in popularity, mobile data providers are keen on improving their internet connection speeds. The launch of this tech in New Zealand means that Kiwis can now enjoy the true benefits of unlimited mobile data internet. According to Statistics NZ survey released in 2017, broadband installations in Kiwi households have seen a decrease of 3%. This implies that with the right infrastructure and decent speed, New Zealanders are willing to switch to unlimited mobile data plans for good. 

As the rest of the world continues to improve mobile internet technology, New Zealand will follow suit in no time. So for now, make sure to avail only the best mobile data plan if you plan to make the switch. You can use our online mobile plan comparison services to find the best mobile data plans for your needs. Contact us here at Glimp to find out more.

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