South Africa has the second most unequal broadband pricing in the world

Data prices have always been a hot topic in South Africa. We have some of the most expensive mobile data prices anywhere – which the Competition Commission has started to tackle – but the picture isn’t as clear when it comes to broadband pricing.

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According to Point Topic’s residential broadband report, South Africa has the third cheapest residential broadband pricing in the world. But it also found that we have among the worst median residential broadband pricing in the world. This means there is a massively disparate selection of broadband options in the country, with only Poland having a less consistent industry.

The report looked at the average prices of ADSL and Fibre broadband services, spread across both standalone and bundled services. To exclude exchange rate fluctuations the company used purchasing power parity (PPP) data to compare broadband prices between countries.

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It found that South Africans can buy a 4Mbps uncapped data service for around 12 USD per month, which is highly competitive in the international market, only bested by Hong Kong and Belarus. The full list can be found below.

While broadband pricing being so competitive for the lower end of the market is commendable, we have to realise that the people that need cheap data the most don’t have access to fixed line connections. It highlights the importance of the big telecoms companies to lower their mobile data costs – certainly they are more than able to do so, even if they have slightly higher infrastructure costs (although we’re not sure this is the case).

The entry-level ranking for South Africa has improved from fifth to third over the last six months since the last report. We’d argue that we need to improve our pricing model in the mid-range contracts, though.