13 September 2017

Nigeria: Africans Break UN's Threshold On Mobile Phone, Data Spending

Just like in other activities Africans are breaking known boundaries and creating new records, while the continent, for the wrong reasons, is also calling the shots in telecom spending.

GSMA Intelligence report released recently has singled out the continent as one which its citizens place priority on communication and also pay through the nose to maintain it.

The 2017 report disclosed that the total cost of mobile ownership (TCMO) for purchasing a handset and 500 MB of data per month represents on average 10 per cent of monthly income, well above the five per cent threshold recommended by the UN Broadband Commission.

The report, which covers 27 countries in the region where data is available, alarmingly noted that high prices have the most adverse impact on those on lower incomes, who are ordinarily, to benefit the most from access to mobile technologies.

A further breakdown shows the cost of an equivalent basket as a share of income is 25 percent for those in the bottom 40 per cent income group, reaching as high as 68 per cent in the DRC.

It also stated that taxation represents 22 per cent of the TCMO, while sector-specific taxes represent five per cent of the TCMO on average. "In certain countries, the level of taxation on mobile ownership represents more than five per cent of monthly income, making the service unaffordable - without even considering the price of the device and service," the report added.

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