Tanzania has the lowest mobile data cost in Africa as it reaps the benefits of the rollout of 4G LTE network by state-owned TTCL and intense competition from numerous operators.
According to ICT Africa report released recently as #DataMustFall campaign gains traction in the region, Tanzania has the cheapest rate for one gig at 0.89 US dollars in comparison to South Africa which is priced at 5.26 US dollars.
Other large markets such as Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria have higher data prices than Tanzania the report says, showing the cost of 1GB of mobile data in Kenya is 5.0 US dollars, Egypy 2.8 US dollars, Nigeria 5.26 US dollars and Malawi 5.8 US dollars.
There is a strong relationship between the prices charged in the relevant countries for data and the profitability of the companies, the report said. Commenting, a telkom expert, Mr Kamugisha Kazaura, said the low cost of mobile data was due to the rollout of high speed data network through 4G LTE technology by state-owned telecommunication company, TTCL and intense competition from major service providers. "Comparatively we have the lowest cost in the region...
"TTCL came with very affordable prices after launching the 4G LTE network last year which forced other providers to lower theirs," Mr Kazaura, former TTCL Chief Executive Officer, told the 'Daily News' in an interview. He said competition from other major mobile data operators had contributed to lower prices of mobile data in the country.
"We enjoy price advantage due to intense competition," he said, adding, however, that the potential for further growth was high because of low service penetration.
The market has a great potential for growth as internet penetration is hardly 20 per cent while global average is between 45 to 50 per cent providing huge opportunities for operators to upgrade and reach more areas, he said. "The opportunities in the market are still immense," he said.
According to internet usage statistics for Africa provided by Internet World Stats, internet users in Tanzania are estimated to reach 7,590,794 as at 30 of June, this year, which is equivalent of 14.5 per cent of the total population.