Nigeria has ranked 43rd among countries with exorbitant data charges globally.
Worldwide Mobile Data Pricing 2021 report from Cable.co.uk, which surveyed some 230 countries on the affordability of data, ranked Nigeria behind Sudan (fifth globally), Algeria, (16th(, Somalia (22nd), Ghana (27th), Libya (30th), Tanzania 32nd and Mauritius (33rd).
The study noted that Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) still has the most expensive data prices in the world. It hosts six of the world’s 10 prohibitive for 1GB of mobile data, including the highest priced, Equatorial Guinea, with Sudan the only African country among the top 10 cheapest around the globe, selling 1GB of mobile data at $0.27 on the average.
The report compared the cost of 1GB of mobile data across 6,148 mobile data plans in the sampled nations. South Africa ranked 136 with average price of 1GB fixed at $2.67.
Its findings in the region showed that the average price for 1GB of mobile data was around $6.44. Next most expensive was Oceania at $5.51 and then South America at $5.25.The information was gathered and analysed by Cable.co.uk between December 2020 and February 2021.
The SSA region also has some of the priciest data in the world, with Equatorial Guinea the most expensive ($49.67) in 230th place. It is followed by Saint Helena ($39.87), São Tomé and Príncipe ($30.97), Malawi ($25.46), Chad ($23.33) and Namibia ($22.37) at the bottom of the table.
On the other end of the spectrum is North Africa with the cheapest regional average of just $1.53 per GB. All but one of the seven North African countries is in the affordable rung of the table.
Algeria is the cheapest in the zone at $0.51 per GB and 16th in the world. Its most expensive country was Mauritania ($5.56), the only nation in the axis to exceed the global average of $4.07.
Consumer Telecoms Analyst at Cable.co.uk., Dan Howdle, observed that many of the cheapest countries in which to buy mobile data fall roughly into one of two categories.
According to him, 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.
Israel came out as the cheapest country in which to buy mobile data, with the average cost of 1GB at a meagre $0.05. The most expensive, Equatorial Guinea, was nearly a thousand times more expensive with 1GB costing $49.67.
Speaking on the issue with The Guardian, the Nigerian Coordinator, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), Olusola Teniola, said the report also pointed out that the cheapest mobile data price one could get in Nigeria was $0.03, which means countrywide, the average at $0.88 for 1Gb of data per month is not the highest in Africa and is below NGN500 for 1Gb per month.
He said though in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020 to 2025, the country seeks to achieve N390 for 1Gb by 2025, “we are not far off this. The key issue with the data is that it doesn’t measure income which is crucial to Internet affordability and this is what A4AI does with its measurements and it has been adopted by the UN Commission and in our NNBP 2020-25.”
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