Opinion

Mobile Data Cost in Nigeria; Expensive or Affordable?

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Recently, a directive came, from Dr. Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, to the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), for enforcing telcos, to bring down the cost of data, offered to their various network subscribers.

The report has it that, Dr. Patanmi expressed worries, over the amount that, an average Nigerian spends, on data, without getting commensurate value for their money.

The cost of mobile data in the country has become a regular issue, among the country’s internet users, but there seems to be an atmosphere of relief now, as the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy has waded into the issue.

On average, how much does a Nigerian spend, on mobile data? For a 1GB mobile data that runs through a 30-day subscription plan, the cost is, around N1,000, equivalent to $2.76.

Cable, a UK-based broadband research firm, found out that, the average price of 1GB of mobile data in Nigeria, cost around $2.22. In terms of the Global Mobile Data Price, Nigeria ranks 44, among other countries.

Number 44 out of 230 countries surveyed! This appears to put Nigeria, in a not-too-bad position, right? Well, let us take a further look, by comparing how Nigeria’s fares, in relation to some African countries.

Research, by the Alliance for Affordable Internet, (A4AI), has shown that mobile consumers, on the African continent, pay the highest to access the internet.

The research assessed, not less than 140 middle-income and low-income countries, for the 2019 Affordability Report.

From the earlier report, Nigeria is, shown as, one of the cheapest countries, across the world, for mobile data affordability.

The research had shown that 10 out of the 50 mentioned above, are from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Globally, Rwanda, Sudan and DR Congo, are present in the top ten.

Cost on 1GB of data, shows $0.56, $0.68 and $0.88, respectively, for these three countries. Other countries, like Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Cameroon and Guinea, spend less than $2, on 1GB mobile data.

The result from Cable, also, showed that in Zimbabwe the cost is, $75.20 per 1 GB! Is that not that alarming?

Where does this, then, put Nigeria? In perspective, Nigeria’s competitors, in the tech ecosystem space, seem not to be, on the advantaged position.

Kenya is 54, while South Africa is, 143, with the former, averaging $2.73, for 1GB, while the latter averages $7.17, for the same amount of data.

It is much expected that the large market size, in Nigeria, as compared to Kenya and South Africa, would render the price of mobile data cheaper.

After all, in India, the cost of 1GB data is $0.26, with a massive population of monthly internet users, being 451 million, as at the end of the 2019 financial year.

This might just be, a good argument, as to, why Nigeria, should provide the cheapest cost, in Africa.

According to A4AI, the affordability of mobile data means that it is, not costing up to 2% of an average monthly income.

As of today in Nigeria, the figure stands at, 1.7 percent, an indication that shows that mobile data is affordable by A4AI standards.

From all indications, we can, arguably, conclude that mobile data is not too expensive in Nigeria, but can it get cheaper, than the current price? Yes, it can!


Featured Image: moguldom


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