Research ICT Africa (RIA) has submitted its report on the cost of communication to parliament, which shows that South Africa’s mobile data prices remain high.
The report states that many South Africans are spending significant portions of their income – around 20% – on small amounts of data (1GB).
“This is because data prices still remain relatively high and because people are using a wider range of services more extensively,” said RIA.
RIA highlighted that operators are required to build next-generation networks, increase their capacity to meet demand, and attempt to retain the quality of their networks.
“As a result, they are collectively investing billions of dollars in network extension and upgrades, for which they are required to ensure yield good rates of return for their shareholders.”
How much mobile data costs in South Africa
South Africa’s cheapest 1GB data product places 16 of out 47 African countries assessed by RIA.
Tanzania has the cheapest 1GB for US$0.89, in comparison to South Africa – priced at US$5.26.
Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria also have better data prices than South Africa.
The chart below shows the US$ price of 1GB of prepaid data in 20 African countries.
South African operator prices
Looking at local operators, the 1GB data basket in the South African market has not seen much change.
All operators, except for Telkom Mobile and MTN, sell 1GB of mobile data for prices around the R150 mark.