A report from comparison site Hellosafe has revealed that Botswana is the second country in the world with the most expensive data after Yemen.
With an average price per GB of (Canadian Dollar) $20.28 (about P202.89) in 2022, Botswana is the second most expensive country in the world for mobile data and almost three times more expensive than in the US ($7.33).
Hellosafe, which is Canadian-based platform that compares insurance and financial products, says Yemen and Botswana lead the pack on the list of top 10 countries with the most expensive mobile data plans. They are followed by Turkmesnistah (16.61), Togo (16.87), the Seychelles ($16.51), South Korea ($16.36) Switzerland ($9.61), Qatar ($8.96) Barbados ($8.82) New Zealand ($8.77).
Says the report: “The world record for the most expensive mobile data charged goes to the unfortunate inhabitants of the island of St. Helena, who in 2022 paid an average of $53.6 for a GB.” Using data from Cable.co.uk, Hellosafe analysed 5,000 mobile plans worldwide. The report says the analysis of mobile data prices around the world shows huge disparities between countries and territories. “With the same standard of living, only South Koreans ($16.36 for 1 GB of mobile data), Swiss ($9.61), and New Zealanders ($8.77) pay more for their mobile data than Canadians,”it says.
Among the cheapest mobile data countries in the world, the report explains, Israel holds an enviable first place,with an average mobile data cost of $0.05 per GB found over the year 2022. Italy ($0.16 per GB) and France ($0.30) are also in the top 10 – two markets characterised by an opening up to competition that seems to have driven prices down. In 2020, the then Minister of Transport and Communications Thulaganyo Segokgo informed Parliament that mobile data prices in Botswana are comparable with data prices of countries of similar economic status.
In his response to a question, Segokgo said in November 2019 that 1 Giga Byte prepaid data bundle in Namibia cost US$9.51, in South Africa US$10.19 while in Botswana the most expensive operator’s 1 Giga Byte cost US$ 10.92 while the cheapest was US$6 82. According to Segokgo, pricing of mobile communications services, including data services, was determined on a cost-based principle.
Commenting on the worldwide rankings that was published in 2022, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, stated: “At the more expensive end of the list, we have countries where often the infrastructure isn’t great but also where consumption is very small. “People are often buying data packages of just tens of megabytes at a time, making a gigabyte a relatively large and therefore expensive amount of data to buy.”