A World Economic Forum survey of over 6,000 mobile data found out that Rwanda is the 5th country with the cheapest mobile data cost in the world.
The survey shows that infrastructure is key to cheap data cost. It says excellent infrastructure or a heavy reliance on phones for connectivity usually lead to lower prices.
As a country, Rwanda has the ambition of becoming a knowledge based economy, but in the 21st century, a knowledge based economy is not possible without countrywide access to cheap, fast and reliable internet.
Over the past years the government and the telecom industry have partnered to invest massively into building the infrastructure necessary for a knowledge based economy to emerge and prosper.
Like Rwanda, all the top 5 countries on the WEF list are developing countries that leapfrogged legacy technology like landlines and invested in mobile data instead.
As a matter of fact, India, the country with the cheapest mobile data costs, has fewer than 2% of its internet users connected over a landline, and there a gigabyte of data costs just Rwf240 ($26 cents).
All the other countries in the top five, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine have average data costs below Rwf550/gigabyte.
On the opposite side of the list, is Zimbabwe, the most expensive data to buy mobile data in, with an eye-watering average of Rwf69,380/gigabyte, but that is only the average.
The most expensive data plan in Zimbabwe will cost you a massive Rwf127,319/gigabyte.
On the other hand, Asian countries make up half of the top 20 cheapest in the world.
Despite high prices in Zimbabwe, 10 of the top 50 cheapest data nations are in sub-Saharan Africa, where mobile dominates the communications infrastructure.
Countries with developed cable networks are among the most expensive places to buy mobile data.
In the United States, the average cost of a gigabyte of data is more than Rwf11,000/gigabyte, putting it at number 182 in the rankings.
The UK fared little better with an average cost of Rwf6,000/gigabyte, ranked at number 136.
Finland by contrast has both some of the best fixed communications infrastructure and Europe’s lowest data costs. Europe’s most expensive data is found in Greece, where the cost averages Rwf30,000/gigabyte.
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