MTC 3rd most expensive operator
A report released by The Research ICT Africa Network has found that Namibian cellphone subscribers pay nine times more than their Kenyan counterparts for pre-paid packages.
Additionally, the study found that subscribers of the dominant Namibian operator paid 13% more then subscribers of the country’s second operator, tn mobile.
The research consortium used a mobile basket modelled upon a combination of 40 voice calls, 60 text and multimedia messages and 75 free minutes, comparing this user profile amongst mobile operators in 17 African countries. The researchers invoked an OECD mobile basket to draw up their inferences.
MTC was ranked a lowly 15th while Kenya took the spoils as the cheapest mobile operator on the continent. Asked for comment, MTC’s spokesperson, John Ekongo did not delve much into issues pertaining to the OECD index.
Ranked from cheapest to most expensive, the comparative model lists Kenya, Sudan, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tunisia, Tanzania, Algeria, Nigeria, Libya, Uganda, South Africa, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Mozambique. The list gives an indication of the relative prices per country. Mozambique was ranked the most expensive after Sierra Leone while Kenya, Egypt and Sudan were ranked first, second and third respectively. Subscribers in Kenya spend at most US$0.98 using an OECD mobile basket while subscribers in Namibia part with approximately US$8.69 for a similar package.
Encouragingly however, Namibia fared well in the mobile broadband stakes. Subscribers in Tunisia and Algeria paid as little as US$2.7 for a gigabyte of data while Namibian subscribers paid US$13.8 for a gigabyte of data. Subscribers in Botswana paid US$63.7 and in Benin US$112.4 for a gigabyte of data.
Benin is the most expensive out of the 21 countries surveyed on the continent.
Said ICT Africa, “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 N$149 in 2014.
The dynamic bundling observable in other countries such as Namibia has not yet been offered by South African operators.
MTC in Namibia offers a prepaid product, Aweh Aweh Gig, that requires a weekly activation fee of N$30 for which the user gets 700 minutes, 700 SMS and 1 GB of data.
This translates to R120 per month for 2,800 minutes, 2,800 SMS and 4GB of data, which is less than what South Africans pay for 1 GB.”
“The model is quite simple, MTC is profitable at a price of N$120 per 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 which is becoming more and more common in other markets,” said ICT Africa.
MTC’s broadband offering fared well in the value-for-money stakes and was ranked third. The Research ICT Africa Network composed a value-for-money index and rated MTC’s services third on the continent while Ethiopian operator Ethio took the spoils followed by Thigo Rwanda. “The Broadband Value for Money Index measures the average download and upload speeds as measured by the NetIndex (Ookla) and divides this average by the price of 1GB data use 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.