Mobile internet cost in Ghana has been adjudged as one of the to five cheapest on in Africa.
According to a report from British technology research firm, Cable, Ghana is one of to 10 African countries that charge less than one dollar per gigabyte (1GB) of mobile.
The report noted that at 0.66 dollars (GHS3.99) per 1GB, Ghana’s mobile data is the fourth cheapest on the continent, coming only behind that of Sudan, Algeria and Somalia.
Last year, mobile data cost in Ghana was ranked sixth in Africa and 34th in the world, at 0.98 dollars (GHS5.69). This year has move two places up.
This is a clear indication that data cost in Ghana is on a downward trend, but Ghanaians have not stop demanding for even cheaper data cost.
Mobile data cost in Ghana has largely been blamed on taxes, particularly the Communications Service Tax (CST), which stakeholder believe can be scrapped.
Lower internet cost campaigners in Ghana had initially advocated for the telcos to absorb that tax on behalf of consumers, but the telcos have said that the heavy and ever-increasing taxes on them have pushed their operational cost up so they cannot absorb CST.
Government has reduced CST from nine per cent to five per cent, but the clarion call is for it to be completely abolished.
Meanwhile, Sudan offers the lowest cost of internet access over a smartphone anywhere in Africa and ranks among the top five cheapest countries for mobile data, in the world, according to the Worldwide Mobile Data Pricing 2021.
The cost of mobile internet in Sudan is 0.27 US dollars per gigabyte of data.
Consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, Dan Howdle, said countries with the cheapest rates of mobile data have excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure, making it easier for service providers in those markets to be 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,” said Howdle in the report.
The report, which featured more than 230 countries across 12 regions and compared the cost of 1GB from over 6,000 mobile data plans, also pointed out that North Africa (at an average of 1.53 dollars) has the cheapest data plans in the world.
Algeria (16), Libya (30) and Morocco (45) are in the World’s top 50 while Egypt (55) Tunisia (59) and Mauritania feature in the top 100 global list.
However, Egypt (1.04 dollars), Tunisia (1.09 dollars) and Mauritania (1.56 dollars) charge more than a dollar for 1GB of data.
Kenya and South Africa, with advanced mobile infrastructure and high internet traffic, fall far behind the top 100 list, with charges of 2.25 dollars and 2.67 dollars per gigabyte of data respectively
The cost of data in these two countries, however, is cheaper than the global average of 4.07 dollars.
According to the report, South Africa and Kenya are considered competitive mobile markets with data prices in of the two countries not necessarily considered expensive by customers.
“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,” says the report.
South Africa and Kenya have rolled out commercial 5G networks in their markets.
This ultra-high-speed internet, though still in its infancy, is billed to have the potential to drive unprecedented and inclusive mobile data growth across the continent.