Rwandans are paying some of the cheapest rates for mobile data than anywhere else, according industry study ranking of 230 countries.
Rwanda emerged 5th where 1GB of mobile data costs an average of $0.56 (Rwf500). In Africa, only Sudan, that is currently in the midst of deadly anti-government protests, is where internet prices go for $0.68 for 1GB.
The data was collected by Cable.co.uk, a Broadband, TV and Mobile Phone Price Comparison Site.
Sub-Saharan Africa lays claim to the most expensive nations in the world for mobile date: Zimbabwe, whose average cost for 1GB of mobile data is an eye-watering $75.20, while its most expensive gigabyte is an even more shocking $138.46.
In the east African region, prices are on the high end; Burundi $2, Kenya $2.73, Uganda $4.69 and lastly Tanzania $5.93.
In DR Congo, mobile data is surprisingly cheap at $0.88 – perhaps because not many need it. South Africa, the biggest and most sophisticated economy in Africa, sells its 1GB data at $7.19.
In north Africa, the cheapest country in the region is Egypt, with an average of $1.49, followed by Morocco and Western Sahara (both $1.66).
The UK is one of the priciest countries in Europe for mobile phone data, with Britons typically paying almost six times more than their counterparts in Finland.
India is the superstar. A country whose young population has a particularly high technological awareness, Cable says India offers a vibrant smartphone market, with strong adoption and many competitors. Data, therefore, is quite staggeringly cheap India 0.26 for 1GB.
Dan Howdle, an analyst at the site which collected the data 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 often buy data packages of just 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 their consumers.”