According to the findings of a study that was just recently made public by Cable.co.uk, five of the ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa that have the highest prices for purchasing mobile data are located there. The study surveyed 233 countries to determine the price of 1 gigabyte of data in each of those nations.
Saint Helena has the highest average price at $41.06 per GB, followed by So Tomé and Principe at $29.49, Botswana at $15.55, Togo at $12.94, and Seychelles at $12.66.
On the other hand, Libya and Ghana lead the continent with the lowest average cost for 1 GB of data, which is $0.61 per country.
Nevertheless, despite having the lowest prices on the continent, these two nations are ranked 40th and 41st in the world in terms of the overall cost of living.
The other three nations that make up Africa’s top five most expensive countries for 1GB are Somalia, Morocco, and Nigeria, each of which has an average price of $0.63, $0.69, and $0.61.
To put this into perspective, the average cost of 1 GB of data in Israel is only $0.04, making it the most affordable country in the world. This is 15 times less expensive than the cheapest plans available in Africa.
The following was stated by Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at Cable.co.uk, in his commentary on the report: Countries that tend to have inadequate infrastructure but have relatively low levels of consumer demand tend to be located closer to the top of the list of most costly places to live.
Because most people only purchase data packages of tens of megabytes at a time, a gigabyte is a significant amount of data that must be purchased, making it relatively expensive.
The observation made by Howdle highlights the significance of economies of scale in the effort to cut the price that Africans pay for mobile data dramatically. If there is an ongoing rise in the demand for mobile data, telecommunications companies and major technology firms will likely increase the amount of money they invest in the continent’s infrastructure, which would very likely result in a decrease in the prices of data services.
Even though Statista’s research indicates that the number of people using the internet in Africa will reach 565 million in 2022, which is six times greater than in 2010, Even though it has increased by a factor of six since 2010, the internet penetration rate on the continent as of December 2021 is still just 43.1%. This is more than 20 percentage points lower than the average for the rest of the world, which is 66.25%.
Cheaper mobile data might help the continent progress toward becoming on pace with the rest of the globe regarding internet usage. This could be especially helpful because the use of smartphones across the continent is also on the rise.