Onkokame Mothobi participating in ITU Expert Group on Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (EGTI)

September 12th, 2017|0 Comments

The 8th Meeting of the Expert Group on Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (EGTI) is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 12-13 September 2017. The meeting will be organized by the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and hosted by ITU. The EGTI meeting will be held back-to-back with the 5th Meeting of the Expert Group on ICT Household Indicators (EGH), which will also take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14-15 September 2017. RIA's senior researcher, Onkokame [...]

Cost of smartphones continues the digital divide in Tanzania

August 16th, 2017|0 Comments

Cost of smartphones continues the digital divide in Tanzania Tanzania is ranked fourth among 49 African countries when comparing the cheapest 1GB of prepaid mobile data, yet the Internet penetration rate remains low at 30%. A nationally representative ICT Survey recently completed by Research ICT Africa (RIA) finds 43% of Tanzanian population does not own a mobile phone. The Survey also identifies the cost of smartphone devices to be a major inhibiting factor on Internet take up. RIA’s Beyond [...]

Botswana telecommunications limp a decade after policy changes

February 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

Botswana telecommunications limp a decade after policy changes Even though the market continues to develop innovative broadband, competition in the market has remained dull. Competitors do not aggressively seek to increase their market shares and revenue, hence, first-mover Mascom, continues to dominate the market. Between 2014 and 2016, Mascom owned close to 55% of the market, while Orange owned around 28% and beMOBILE 17% on average. Botswana’s mobile operators have become comfortable in their respective market segments at the cost of competition. At [...]

Much ado about nothing? Zero rating in the African context

October 6th, 2016|0 Comments

Much ado about nothing? Zero rating in the African context A fresh, public-interested assessment of the zero-rating of certain applications (apps) and platforms in the African mobile prepaid environment is overdue. This policy paper examines the issue of zero-rating within the contexts of the range of discounted and dynamically-priced African mobile network operator (MNO) products, and the priority public policy issues facing the continent in relation to the Internet. The research is based on a four country assessment-Ghana, Kenya, [...]

State of the Prepaid Market-Cost of communication submission to South Africa Parliament: 2016

September 19th, 2016|0 Comments

State of the Prepaid Market-Cost of communication submission to South Africa Parliament: 2016 While the effective prices of data in South Africa may be well below the advertised price of the 1GB measure used internationally, users, especially those in lower income category, are spending significant portions of their income, around 20%, on relatively small amounts of data (1GB). This is because data prices still remain relatively high, but also because people are using a wider range of services [...]

South Africa: Top operators for personalised products

July 20th, 2016|0 Comments

South Africa: Top operators for personalised products Although some operators called for regulation of OTTs in the South African mobile market at Parliamentary hearings held earlier this year, their innovative new pricing strategies suggest responsiveness to this fast-changing environment. South African operators, in line with operators in other markets, have responded to these disruptions by introducing new products such as bundled data, voice and SMS, or service-specific promotions. Are these new products easier on the pockets of consumers and are they transparent enough for consumers? Download [...]

Rise of the living dead-SA’s mobile operators wake up as 2020 draws closer

July 19th, 2016|0 Comments

Rise of the living dead-SA's mobile operators wake up as 2020 draws closer The mobile telecommunications landscape in South Africa is possibly one of the most dynamic in Africa. The financial year 2015/16 has seen a multitude of strategic responses from operators to factors changing demand. In response to the latest financial statements released by SA’s listed mobile operators, this policy brief looks at the mobile environment and analyses the competitive tactics of each operator according to a set of performance criteria to determine their direction. It [...]

Bundled Value Index Methodology

July 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Bundled Value Index Methodology Bundled Value Index Methodology:RIA created the BVI as a means to capture the value of combined data, sms and voice packages on offer. Given the complexity as well as increased number of products on the markets, only bundles offering data combined with voice and SMS or, data and voice, or data and SMS are captured. Previously RIA used the OECD price basket to capture and assess voice and SMS bundles. Blended packages which include data, however, [...]

Rise of the underdogs – South Africa’s smaller operators increase contract values

June 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Rise of the underdogs - South Africa's smaller operators increase contract values A year on from the mid-contract price increases by Vodacom, MTN and Cell C that disgruntled many consumers, we reflect on the post-paid market in South Africa to see what has transpired. In Q1 2016, the value offered by South Africa’s smaller operators has increased, most notably for Cell C and Me&You mobile. Smaller operators are tailoring their offers to increase consumer value.  The value offered by [...]

Dr Gillwald Stockholm Internet Forum Interview

June 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Dr Gillwald Stockholm Internet Forum Interview Dr Gillwald took part in the Stockholm Internet Forum in 2015. She provided perspective on whether a little internet is better than no internet at all, in particular, with regards to the net neutrality debate and zero rating. Please find post panel interview here.

Mozambique: Better broadband performance with more competition

June 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Mozambique: Better broadband performance with more competition The entry of the new operator Movitel into the market in 2012 has shaken up the duopoly mobile and fixed monopoly markets that delivered poor services primarily in the major cities at high prices. Assisted by the reduction in the mobile termination rates in 2012, the market has become far more competitive with mCel and Vodacom Mozambique pressured into reducing their mobile prepaid voice tariffs. On the other hand, the fixed-line market dominated [...]

Shift from just­‐voice services: African markets gearing for internet

June 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Shift from just­‐voice services: African markets gearing for internet Voice and SMS revenues have been eroded by the increasing use of IP-based services such as instant messaging and voice over IP (VoIP). African operators have reacted to this change in the telecommunications market by providing bundling voice, SMS and data services. In South Africa, only MTN and Cell C have introduced prepaid bundled services. Such bundles however are not cheap. With the new mobile termination rate glide path only effective [...]

Fall from grace: protectionism and monopolies push Cameroon down broadband index

June 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Fall from grace: protectionism and monopolies push Cameroon down broadband index Poor policy decisions in Cameroon have impeded the growth of affordable, real broadband services that are taking off in many of the continent’s leading economies. Although the introduction of bundled products by Orange Cameroon has significantly reduced the price for mobile prepaid services, the country lags behind its African peers in the deployment of 3G services due to protectionist policies and weak regulatory environment. ADSL services are offered [...]

Dramatic MTR cuts drives SA’s mobile prices down

June 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Dramatic MTR cuts drives SA's mobile prices down With the mobile termination rate (MTR) enforced at 20c by the Courts last March the battle for airtime sales has shifted into a full-scale price war significantly improving South Africa's ranking on the Africa Price Transparency Index. MTN SA, previously the most resistant to pricing pressure from upstart Cell C, has now taken them head on. After their previous strategy cost them a million subscribers in their last financial year, [...]

Bundling up – new pricing strategies in the African prepaid market

November 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

Bundling up - new pricing strategies in the African prepaid market As the African prepaid data market evolves, Over the Top (OTT) services are the new battleground: new entrants and some dominant operators are creating innovative new pricing strategies to increase market share or  retain customers and defend their revenues from OTT players. Bundles exist in various forms: voice and data; SMS and data or voice; sms, data and voice. These bundles are generally offered with a limit or uncapped [...]

South Africa’s contract value offerings and the entry of virtual networks – Quarter 2 2015

August 25th, 2015|0 Comments

South Africa’s contract value offerings and the entry of virtual networks - Quarter 2 2015 For the longest time Virgin mobile was the first and only virtual mobile network operator (MVNO) in South Africa. Over the last year and a half MVNOs have been on the increase, with pronounced activity and complexity in the range of the products and services they are offering to consumers.MVNO’s are generally not designed to challenge the larger incumbent operators such as MTN and [...]

Postpaid Policy Brief Update

May 25th, 2015|0 Comments

Postpaid Policy Brief Update Vodacom released preliminary results for its financial year ending in March 2015, and CellC launched new products and started a buy back contract campaign in the same week as the RIA policy brief was launched. This required an immediate update. Download

Q1 2015 African Prepaid Pricing index

May 20th, 2015|0 Comments

Q1 2015 African Prepaid Pricing index Table 1: OECD mobile baskets, 2010 definition, 40 calls. Montly call distribution, minutes and SMS Country name Cheapest product % cheaper than dominant dominant operator cheapest in country USD Rank USD Rank Kenya 1.67 1 1.67 2 Dominant is the cheaper Sudan 2.21 2 1.38 1 38% Egypt 2.81 3 2.81 3 Dominant is the cheaper Ghana 3.02 4 2.79 4 8% Ethiopia 3.53 5 3.53 5 Dominant is the cheaper Mauritius 3.32 [...]

Cameroonian government revokes Viettel’s 3G monopoly

April 16th, 2015|0 Comments

Cameroonian government revokes Viettel’s 3G monopoly In its edition of September 26 2014, The Cameroonian newspaper Le Quotidien de l’Economie, reported that Viettel’s request for an extension of its exclusivity on the provision of 3G services until 2016 has been turned down by the Cameroonian Government. The Agence de régulation des télécommunications (ART) has reportedly authorised MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroon to offer 3G services from 2015, indicating that Viettel’s application to extend its monopoly was rejected. Granted in 2012, [...]

Q4 African Prepaid Pricing Index

February 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Q4 African Prepaid Pricing Index Table 1: OECD mobile baskets, 2010 definition, 40 calls. Montly call distribution, minutes and SMS Country name Cheapest product % cheaper than dominant dominant operator cheapest in country USD Rank USD Rank Kenya 0.98 1 0.98 1 Dominant is the cheaper Egypt 2.69 2 2.69 3 Dominant is the cheaper Sudan 2.83 3 1.06 2 63% Ghana 3.58 4 3.11 4 13% Ethiopia 3.8 5 3.8 6 Dominant is the cheaper Mauritius 3.9 [...]

Value for Money Index 2014

February 25th, 2015|0 Comments

Value for Money Index 2014 Value for Money Index 2014 Operator Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank &nbsp Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Ethio 1,596.69 1 1,073.67 1 5,452.91 11 186.63 18 TTCL Mobile 1,135.94 2 497.22 8 2,427.25 22 Tigo Rwanda 887.98 3 161.70 24 3,821.61 15 94.66 26 Ooredoo 676.33 4 3,149.64 1 MTC 669.83 5 384.75 11 9,746.76 2 370.01 10 Vodacom South Africa 626.76 6 513.17 5 8,188.34 5 797.18 4 Smile Nigeria [...]

SA broadband quality drops but prices remain high

August 26th, 2014|0 Comments

SA broadband quality drops but prices remain high South Africa remains one of the most expensive countries in RIA’s Broadband Price Index. But in the Broadband Value for Money Index, which measures price in relation to quality, South African operators perform better, with investment in high-speed 3G and LTE infrastructure seemingly paying off. The rapidly increasing number of broadband users and their increasing consumption of data as a result of data focused business growth strategies are already taking its [...]

SA’s Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) Debate and Africa 2012 Index

July 21st, 2014|0 Comments

SA’s Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) Debate and Africa 2012 Index South Africa’s mobile termination rate (MTR) reductions of March 2011 and March 2012 have not, contrary to claims made by operators, hurt the industry or led to higher retail prices, lower investments or retrenchments. End-user prices have come down to some extent, but South Africa continues to be among the most expensive countries in Africa for prepaid mobile usage, and South Africa's MTRs are still far above the [...]

New mobile pricing portal

July 21st, 2014|0 Comments

New mobile pricing portal Research ICT Africa has developed a new mobile pricing portal with data on pre-paid mobile pricing products collected quaretly from all African operators in all African countries, since January 2011. The mobile pricing portal aims at increasing price trasparency in the African continent, in order to support users to make informed decisions when select a mobile operators and to compare prices across operators. It is also a useful instrument for mobile operators since they [...]

How do mobile and fixed broadband stack up in SA?

July 21st, 2014|0 Comments

How do mobile and fixed broadband stack up in SA? Further, unlike in more developed nations, where fixed is the predominant form of broadband access in South Africa, mobile broadband is predominant - it is also, unlike in those markets, both cheaper and faster than fixed.   However, wireless is inherently less stable than fixed broadband technologies such as XDSL and fibre and the implications of not having ubiquitous, reliable always on high-speed connectivity for the economy and global [...]

SA mobile prepaid prices plateau

July 21st, 2014|0 Comments

SA mobile prepaid prices plateau Mobile termination rate (MTR) reductions by the South African regulator in March 2013 impacted positively on prepaid mobile retail prices in the second quarter of last year. But by the last quarter of 2013, prepaid voice mobile prices had stabilised in South Africa with no further reductions in prices of the dominant operators: MTN and Vodacom. The absence of further responsiveness to pricing pressure from smaller operators, who reduced their prices dramatically during [...]

Is broadband data worth the money?

July 21st, 2014|0 Comments

Is broadband data worth the money? While expansion of mobile networks across the continent continues to be constrained by the failure to assign high demand broadband spectrum, operators are devising ways around this by recycling their spectrum in order to offer high-speed and quality broadband bundles. The range of 4G services now becoming available creates another divide between countries’ ICT sectors, their regulators and their operators. The development of innovative bundles and pricing strategies is helping to facilitate the [...]

Fair Mobile

February 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Fair Mobile The cost of communication varies across the continent. Fair competition is the key to bringing prices to affordable levels while proving efficient incentives to invest. The Fair Mobile Index tracks price developments for mobile telecommunication across the African continent. The purpose is to establish price transparency for consumers, allow for the benchmarking of affordability across countries and to provide tools to assess the impact of policies and regulatory interventions. Download the 2011 Q1 Fair mobile: Approaches and [...]

2011 Africa Fair Mobile Index: Dynamic changes

February 26th, 2014|0 Comments

2011 Africa Fair Mobile Index: Dynamic changes The Fair Mobile Index aims at communicating the real value of mobile voice services and at comparing differences in mobile voice services value across the African continent. It allows for the comparison of mobile services tariffs in all African countries in relation to the value of a widely used commodity with which citizens are likely to be familiar such as cooking oil, sugar or tea. The following report is based on [...]

Africa Prepaid Mobile Price Index 2012: South Africa

February 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Africa Prepaid Mobile Price Index 2012: South Africa Among 46 African countries studied, South Africa ranks poorly for prepaid mobile telephony affordability. Ranked 30th out of 46 African states, South Africa is now far behind countries where the regulator, unlike in South Africa, has enabled competition by enforcing cost-based mobile termination rates. The resulting competition has in many cases driven down prices for consumers. Not long ago, South Africa and Namibia shared the same mobile termination rates and [...]

Myth buster on reasons for SA high prepaid mobile pricing

February 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Myth buster on reasons for SA high prepaid mobile pricing The reactions of various interest groups to a yearlong study by RIA into pre-paid mobile prices across the continent, and South Africa’s relatively poor showing in it, are perhaps not surprising. They nevertheless prompt clarification and hopefully further debate - before the issue of the high price of communications in South is again swept under the carpet. Research ICT Africa Executive Director, Alison Gillwald responds. Read more... [...]

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