The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Photo credit: Ben Mack
The UAE has one of the most expensive average monthly broadband subscription prices in the world, at more than twice the global average, according to a report from Cable.co.uk.
The Worldwide Broadband Price Comparison report, which compares average costs for a monthly broadband package in 195 countries, ranked the UAE at 183rd
Average price for broadband in the UAE, which is controlled by a duopoly of telco providers, is $157.10, against a global average of $72.92.
The GCC has some of the most expensive broadband packages in the world, ranking in the most expensive quartile of results. The average cost of a broadband package in Oman is $150.63, while in Bahrain it is $96.26 and Saudi Arabia it is $95.72. In comparison, the average monthly price for a broadband package in the USA is $67.69, while in Western Europe packages range from $29.48 in Italy to $80 in Switzerland.
The average price of a broadband deal globally remains constant, dropping just USD 0.12 overall, from USD 73.04 to USD 72.92, or around 1.64%, between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Cable.co.uk report, assisted by international consumer insight consultancy BVA BDRC, analysed data from 3,303 fixed-line broadband deals in 195 countries.
The most expensive country in the world for broadband is Mauritania, with an average package price of $768.16, while Ukraine offers the world's cheapest broadband, with an average cost of $5 per month.
Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said: "Despite many countries providing faster access year-on-year, and the price of broadband fluctuating - sometimes wildly - from country to country, on average the price of broadband worldwide remains largely unchanged, falling just 1.64% since the fourth quarter of 2017.
"In our worldwide broadband speed comparison, released earlier this year, similar disparities were apparent to those seen here. The countries with slow, patchy broadband infrastructure that supplies only a fraction of the population tend to be the most expensive. Likewise, those with exceptional, often full-fibre (FTTH) infrastructure supplying the majority of the population tend to be the cheapest, if not in absolute terms, certainly on a cost-per-megabit basis.
"The United States is a point of particular interest in this data set. As arguably the world's most technologically advanced Western nation, its broadband is shockingly expensive compared to much of the world. In fact, it costs seven times as much to get a broadband deal in the United States as it does to get one in Russia, and over 64% more than it does in China. America's broadband duopoly simply cannot compete with healthier, multi-provider marketplaces."