Namibia trumps SA in mobile broadband costs - TechCentral

Namibia trumps SA in mobile broadband costs

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Despite its small, dispersed population, the desert nation of Namibia is trumping its neighbour, South Africa, when it comes to the cost of mobile broadband, a new research report says.

“The dynamic bundling observable in countries such as Namibia has not yet been offered by South African operators,” says Research ICT Africa in a new report on mobile voice and data pricing in South Africa.

“MTC in Namibia offers a prepaid product, Aweh Aweh Gig2, that requires a weekly activation fee of R30 for which the user gets 700 minutes, 700 SMSes and 1GB of data. This translates to R120/month for 2 800 minutes, 2 800 SMSes and 4GB of data, which is less than what South Africans pay for 1GB,” the researcher says.

“The model is quite simple: MTC is profitable at a price of R120/user and does not care about how many minutes its customers use, or how many SMSes they send. This gets close to the flat-rate pricing that is becoming more and more common in other markets.”

Research ICT Africa says it started to track mobile broadband data across Africa by collecting quarterly prices across 21 African countries for a 1GB monthly prepaid usage basket. It intends expanding this research this year.

“While data prices are on a steep decline in most African countries covered by Research ICT Africa, they have been constant in South Africa at R149 in 2014.”

Although Vodacom and MTN are among the more expensive operators in Africa, they fare well in terms of value for money and are among the top 10 operators, it says.

“Cell C’s ranking has continued to drop since its initial ranking at ninth place in the first quarter of 2014, dropping to 21st place in the second half of the year.”

Research ICT Africa calculates a broadband value for money index that measures the average download and upload speeds as measured by the NetIndex (Ookla)and divides this average by the price of 1GB of data per month.

A higher ranking on the index is attained either because the average speed is higher, or the price is lower, or both. MTN Cameroon has, for example, the second lowest data price, but due to poor download and upload speeds achieves only a low ranking on the value for money index.”  — © 2015 NewsCentral Media

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