Cost of Broadband Too 'Freaking' High in Nigeria
|Dr. Eugene Juwah, NCC Executive Vice Chairman
A new report by Ovum, independent telecoms analyst has disclosed that consumers in emerging markets across the globe were still paying far more for fixed and wireless broadband than their mature market counterparts, putting it completely out of reach for the majority of them.
Ovum, in the report studied broadband prices in 19 emerging markets, such as Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, India and Pakistan, to see what has changed from its last look in 2010. The report disclosed that despite the presence of two submarine cables in Nigeria, cost of broadband access was still on the high side. It also pointed out that broadband costs in South Africa was one of the highest in Africa
The analysts found that while prices in most markets fell compared to 2010, broadband continued to be beyond the reach of the vast majority of emerging market consumers. This lack of affordability it stressed was a major inhibitor to unlocking the growth potential in these markets. Ovum Senior Analyst Richard Hurst said: “Demand for broadband services in emerging markets continues to be stifled by high prices. In some countries, broadband pricing was double or triple the price of an equivalent service in a more developed market”.
“In addition, lower GDP per capita in most emerging markets means that broadband is only available to the highest socioeconomic groups.” Ovum found that the Philippines and Malaysia had the lowest broadband tariffs of the 19 countries in its sample, however broadband is still unaffordable in the Philippines. Entry-level WiMAX services in the Philippines cost as much as $223 per year for wi-tribe’s entry-level WiMAX while Globe’s entry-level HSPA service was the most affordable broadband tariff in the Philippines, costing 1.28 per 100 MB.
In fact, the broadband services using HSPA technology were the cheapest option for entry-level users, with an average global price of $223 per year. While this was far cheaper than entry-level broadband services based on DSL and WiMAX technologies, HSPA packages had a much lower data allowance. Overall, Ovum found that entry-level DSL packages offered the best value for emerging market consumers.
Hurst added: “While prices remain high, we expect them to fall slightly in the short-term. Network operators and service providers will reduce their prices and introduce packages to improve affordability and stimulate data usage so they can attract more subscribers and drive revenue growth.”