ΑTHENS – Unlike in the United States and some other countries where cell phone users can pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited Internet access, Greeks must pay by the gigabyte with rates the seventh highest in the world, making access too costly for many.
A survey conducted by British company Cable in 230 countries showed that phone users in Greece pay as much as 28.93 euros ($32.23) for 1 Gigabyte (GB) of usage, more than four times higher than the average world rate of 7.5 euros ($8.36.) The most expensive country is poverty-stricken Zimbabwe, where it’s 66 euros ($73.53) and the cheapest is tech-savvy India, where it’s only 0.22 cents per GB.
Many Greeks get sticker shock with their monthly bills to see how much it costs to surf the Internet but the exorbitant rates don’t keep them off.
To gauge the average charge in Greece, Cable assessed 15 cell network packages through the rates mentioned in the providers’ websites. The lowest rate among those packages was 2.08 euros ($2.32)/GB of data and the highest was an eye-popping 193.72 euro ($215.83/GB for people who want to browse on the subway or in public places.
Greek cell phone companies, which won’t offer flat monthly rates for all access, said that rates they advertise as standard charges aren’t those always offered to consumers who can use discounts and special offers if they know about them. Take it or leave it.