ICT services more affordable in Africa


Top Countries

The top countries with the relatively cheapest broadband prices are all high-income economies and include many of those ranked at the top of the IPB overall: Monaco, Macau (China), Liechtenstein, the US and Austria. Customers in 31 countries – all of them highly industrialized economies – pay only the equivalent of one per cent or less of average monthly GNI per capita for an entry-level broadband connection.

In 32 countries, however, the monthly price of an entry-level fixed broadband subscription corresponds to more than half average monthly income. In 19 of those countries, a broadband connection costs more than 100 per cent of monthly GNI per capita.

And in a handful of developing countries the monthly price of a fast Internet connection is still more than ten times monthly average income.

'Least developed'

Many of the countries where the cost of broadband Internet access is extremely high are UN-designated Least Developed Countries, but the group also includes Tajikistan, Swaziland, Uzbekistan, and Papua New Guinea.

Not surprisingly, both broadband penetration and Internet user levels in these countries remain extremely low.

Steepest price falls in Africa

Relative overall prices decreased by over 50 per cent in Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Guyana, Uganda and Austria. The top ten countries showing the greatest decrease in the ICT Price Basket value were countries with high values to begin with. Apart from Bangladesh, all are from Africa. While the drop is mainly due to price decreases in fixed broadband services, in several countries, including Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Benin, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda, mobile tariffs also decreased considerably.

The regional price trends highlight that while ICT prices are falling in all regions of the world, the greatest price drops occurred in Africa, where fixed broadband prices fell by over 55 per ent and mobile cellular prices by 25 per cent.

Despite this encouraging trend, Africa continues to stand out for its relatively high prices. Fixed broadband Internet access in particular remains prohibitively high, and, across the region as a whole, still represented almost three times the monthly average per capita income. Only one out of ten people in Africa is using the Internet.

For more information visit www.itu.int/ITU-D/icteye/Default.aspx

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