High Internet cost is forcing nearly half of the people with 4G network coverage to remain offline, especially in developing countries.
The United Nations’ arm in charge of global communications, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in collaboration with the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), which discovered this, informed that high costs of Internet access relative to income remain one of the main barriers to the use of information and communication technology (ICT) services worldwide.
Taking income differences into account, the organisations said mobile broadband subscription with at least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of data costs is around four times more in developing countries than in developed ones.
Checks by The Guardian showed that data in Nigeria is cheaper than in most African countries. But that does not say much as data in Africa is more expensive than anywhere else in the world. The cost of 1GB in Nigeria is roughly $2.78, compared to $2.33 in Rwanda, $3.63 in Ghana and $5.99 in Gabon. Meanwhile, prices are $0.26/GB and $0.51/GB in India and Ukraine.Also, while MTN claims that its 4G network now covers 60.1 per cent of the population, up from 43.8 per cent in 2019, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Draft Consultation Document for the Deployment of 5G Mobile Technology in Nigeria, unveiled last November, informed that coverage showed that most rural areas only have access to 89.8 per cent 2G networks while 3G has coverage of over 74 per cent. NCC said the data-centric 4G had only about 37 per cent of the population of the country covered. (Guardian)