A new study by UK-based broadband research firm Cable has shown that Zimbabwe has the most expensive mobile data in the world. The research stated that 1 gigabyte(GB) costs USD 75 per month making it the most pricey in the world.
Surprisingly, for the same quantity of data, Indians pay a staggering average of just USD 0.26, a cost that is 289 times cheaper than that of Zimbabwe. India’s leading telecom operators slashed their mobile data rates by 90 percent.The move to slash was triggered by a provider “Reliance Jio” which launched ‘4G’ broadband services offering the lowest prices forcing other service providers to lower their prices in order to match and survive in the competition.
The report reveals that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to four of the six most expensive countries with Zimbabwe on the top of the list
Interestingly, the region also houses three countries among the top 10 global cheapest in the world when it comes to data packages: Rwanda tops on the list with 1 GB costing USD 0.56, followed by Sudan USD 0.68, then Democratic Republic of Congo USD 0.88.
The study also showed that 10 out of the top 50 cheapest countries in the world for mobile data are in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report further notes that this is a stark contrast owed to the fact that the cost of broadband on the continent is almost universally very high or non-existent.
The UK-based firm analysed data from 6 313 mobile data plans in 230 countries between 23 October and 28 November 2018.
While giving their sentiments on the mobile data survey findings, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk said,“Many of the cheapest countries in which to buy mobile data fall roughly into one of two categories. Some have excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure and so providers are able to offer large amounts of data, which brings down the price per gigabyte. Others with less advanced broadband networks are heavily reliant on mobile data and the economy dictates that prices must be low, as that’s what people can afford.”
He added: “At the more expensive end of the list, we have countries where often the infrastructure isn’t great but also where consumption is very small.”
“People are often buying data packages of just a tens of megabytes at a time, making a gigabyte a relatively large and therefore expensive amount of data to buy. Many countries in the middle of the list have good infrastructure and competitive mobile markets, and while their prices aren’t among the cheapest in the world they wouldn’t necessarily be considered expensive by its consumers.”
The average cost of mobile data in Zambia, Lesotho and Tanzania is USD2.25, USD 2.43 and USD 7.51 per 1GB respectively. In North Africa, Egypt is the cheapest at USD 1.49 per 1GB, while Algeria is the most expensive in the region at USD 5.15 on average. The cost of buying 1GB in South Africa, on average, amounts to USD 7.19.
The report also notes that the global average for 1GB was USD 8.53. After India, Kyrgyzstan is the second country with the cheapest mobile data rates with 1 GB costing USD 0.27. It’s followed by Kazakhstan USD 0.49 and Ukraine USD 0.51 in third and fourth place, with Russia 12th on the list with an average 1GB cost of USD 0.91.
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