Its true, mobile data and voice call prices around the world have been reducing over the past years. But in Africa, there’s still a problem.

According to a report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Africans pay the most for mobile data and voice calls.

Mobile Voice Packages

The report shows that the global average prices for mobile voice calls has nearly halved, and the affordability gap between developed and developing countries dropped from 9 to 2.9 percentage points between 2008 and 2019.

On average, Africans paid $9 for mobile voice packages, as of 2019. That is lower, yes lower, than what users in Europe ($15) and America($17) pay. But considering the price alone is not right, that’s why the ITU report throws Gross National Income(GNI) in the mix.

By expressing prices as a share of GNI, the perspective on the differences between the various regions of the world changes.

Africa emerges with the highest prices per GNI, going “as much as 12 per cent, while Europe has the most affordable mobile voice package prices at 0.9 per cent of GNI on average.

In Africa, compared to the rest of the world, users pay nearly 200% more than the global average of mobile voice package prices.

Also Read: The Expensive Nature of Safaricom’s Calling Rates Doesn’t Encourage Long Calls

The report, which analyzed 184 countries around the world, notes that over two-thirds of African countries made up the bottom quarter for countries paying the highest mobile voice package prices as a share of GNI.

Mobile Data

On mobile data prices, Africans pay nearly three times more than what other users pay for in other regions with GNI put into consideration. The average cost of 1.5GB of data in Africa stood at $10, lower than the global average of $14 but is the least affordable relative to income.

Featured Image Credit: Quartz Africa

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