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Top 10 African countries with the most expensive internet in 2023

5G mobile networks which provide high-speed mobile internet services, allowing users to download entire movies in seconds
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is ranked as the fourth-most expensive region globally for mobile data, according to a cable.co.uk report.
  • Six Sub-Saharan African countries are among the top 50 cheapest globally, with Malawi claiming the region's top spot at USD 0.38 for 1GB of mobile data.
  • Zimbabwe leads as the most expensive country globally and within the region at USD 43.75 for 1GB of mobile data.

According to a report from cable.co.uk, Sub-Saharan Africa ranks as the fourth-most expensive region globally for mobile data. The study, conducted from June to September 2023, assessed the cost of 1GB of mobile data in 237 countries.

Within Sub-Saharan Africa, only six countries feature among the top 50 cheapest globally. Malawi claims the top spot in the region, ranking 29th globally with a cost of $0.38. However, the region also hosts five out of the ten most expensive countries worldwide, with Zimbabwe leading both the regional and global standings at $43.75. South Sudan follows at $23.70, then the Central African Republic at $10.90, Zambia at $8.01, and Seychelles at $5.43.

In contrast, the five cheapest countries globally for the average cost of 1GB of mobile data are Israel ($0.02), Italy ($0.09), Fiji ($0.09), San Marino ($0.10), and Cambodia ($0.12). Notably, only one of these countries is an island, and none are located in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Italy stands out as the provider of the most affordable mobile data in Western Europe and oversees the infrastructure in San Marino. Israel, a global leader in 5G provision, also maintains its top position globally for data pricing.

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“Our yearly mobile data pricing tracking study is as much a measure of the quantity of data offered as it is the price of data more broadly. After all, those countries with the most improved (cheaper) pricing across the five years our tracker now covers tend to be those offering tens or even hundreds of times more data in 2023 as was available for similar money in 2019. It’s encouraging to see the price of data coming down across the globe as a whole, with the vast majority of countries offering 1GB of mobile data for less than $2.00. It’s a very different picture to the one we saw in 2019.”

Here is the ranking of the ten most expensive countries in Sub-Saharan Africa based on the average price of 1GB (USD):

Rank Country Average price of 1GB (USD)
1 Zimbabwe 43.75
2 South Sudan 23.70
3 Central African Republic 10.90
4 Zambia 8.01
5 Seychelles 5.43
6 Mali 4.56
7 Chad 4.09
8 Gabon 4.09
9 Gambia 3.56
10 Burkina Faso 3.27

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