ICT services become more affordable worldwide in 2022

After a brief uptick in 2021, income-adjusted cost of fixed and mobile Internet services resumed its downward trend in 2022. The two connectivity price benchmarks, namely the data-only mobile broadband basket and the fixed broadband basket, have become more affordable in all regions of the world and for all income groups. The global median price of the mobile broadband basket dropped from 1.9 to 1.5 per cent of average gross national income (GNI) per capita, while that of the fixed broadband basket dropped from 3.5 to 3.2 per cent of GNI per capita.

Nonetheless, lack of affordability continues to be a key barrier to Internet access particularly in low-income economies, even though this country group witnessed a nearly two-percentage-point drop in the in the income-adjusted price of mobile broadband services. A wide gap remains between high-income economies and the rest of the world. Compared to median prices that are paid in high-income economies, the basket costs nearly 10 times as much in lower-middle-income economies and nearly 30 times as much as in low-income economies, after adjusting for differences in GNI per capita.

The United Nations Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development aims to make broadband prices in developing countries affordable by 2025, affordability being defined as the availability of broadband access at a price that is less than two per cent of the monthly GNI per capita.

Where data are available for both 2021 and 2022, more economies met the two per cent affordability target for all five baskets of ICT services in 2022 than did so in 2021. Thus, 103 economies met the target with respect to the data-only mobile broadband basket in 2022 and 71 economies met the target with the fixed broadband basket (in each case 7 more than in 2021).

Detailed global, regional, and country-level analysis for all five price baskets along with the full country-level dataset of ICT prices in 2022 will be released in early 2023[1].

[1] More information on ICT prices available at https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/ICTprices/default.aspx .