Despite the strong devaluation of the kwanza since 2016, which resulted in an unprecedented approximation to prices in the Southern region, the domestic market for mobile telephony and the Internet continues to charge above-average prices.
Based on the calculations made available on the “How much” web page, the average price of one gigabyte of telecommunications in Angola is set at $ 7.95 547 kwanzas).
The same unit has an average cost of $ 14.3 (4579 kwanzas) if we analyze a set of ten countries in the region – South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) , Angola and Mauritius.
However, if we remove Zimbabwe from the comparative list (that country has the highest average telecommunication cost in the world at $ 75.2 per gigabyte), the average regional price for the service under review drops to $ 7.62 kwanzas), about 100 kwanzas below the reference to Angola.
All the countries analyzed have three or more telecommunication providers and only Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique present average tariffs higher than those practiced in Angola. On the other hand, the DRC, Zambia and Mauritius are the champions of low prices.
Within the same group of nations, when the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is analyzed per capita, Angola is in the fifth position with $ 4,100 (about 1.3 million kwanzas), after Mauritius ($ 11,286), Botswana (7,585), South Africa (61,882) and Namibia (5,593).
According to data released in March by the Angolan Institute of Communications (INACOM), the sector regulator, Angola has 13 million mobile phone users (for a population of around 30 million in 2019), more than 170 thousand users of the fixed telephone network , nearly six million Internet service customers and 1,928 million pay-TV subscribers. In October 2018, José Carvalho da Rocha said that we are faced with a “high rate of coverage” in the telecommunications sector, but that “is not what is wanted”, so, he noted at the time, work is being done in the country to improve and infrastructure.
“We are building the infrastructure. That is why we are seeing a growing number of users. Now we have to continue working with the operators to cover the whole country with a strong infrastructure, “he said.
The viability of a third and fourth telecommunication operator has always been a matter of debate. Unitel and Movicel argue that there is no market for new competitors, while some industry experts, users and connoisseurs advocate more competition and a business environment that provides better services and prices adjusted to the purchasing power of most citizens.
In recent days, in statements to “Valor Econômico” weekly, Isabel dos Santos (who will leave the leadership of Unitel during the month of May) guarantees that “low rates” are one of the main reasons for the international operators “not to be interested by the Angolan market. ”
“Unitel’s tariff is the lowest in SADC, about 30 kwanzas for the first minute and ten minutes for the next. We are talking about eight and three cents, respectively, “said the businesswoman.
Unitel holds a market share of 80 percent. The remaining 20 percent is in the hands of Movicel.