South Africa climbs up world mobile data affordability rankings

THE cost of mobile data in South Africa is in decline. According to Ekasi Esports, the nation climbed from 148th to 136th place in 2020, based on the price of a gig of mobile data.

In May 2020, one gigabyte of mobile data costs R88, according to United Kingdom price comparison website Cable.co.uk. By the end of the year, the price had dropped to R39 with South Africa cheaper than developed countries such as the US, Canada and New Zealand. SA’s mobile data cost is now at par with Germany and Japan.

South African mobile data still has some way to go before becoming a contender for the top spot in affordability which is currently occupied by Israel where a gig of data costs just five US cents.

Initiatives by the Competition Commission and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to reduce the cost to communicate are bearing fruit and further mobile data price reductions can be expected as progress continues with the assignment of spectrum suitable for mobile data services.

The current pandemic has demonstrated that remote access to affordable high-speed data boosts the real-world quality of life and underscores the gap between the connectivity-haves and connectivity-have-nots.

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