It’s about to get cheaper for over 500 million Africans to roam on their phone networks

Monday, October 9, 2017

Countries in the common market for eastern and southern Africa (COMESA) will soon abolish the roaming and termination charges levied on mobile calls while reducing the interconnection rates among different operators.

The 19-member bloc, stretching from Libya in the north to Swaziland in the south, signed a binding decision to bring down the price of communication technologies, enhance competition, and increase access to both high-quality cellular calls and affordable internet access.

Even as lower smartphone prices drive a digital revolution in Africa, many Africans still pay a significant amount of their income to make phone calls or surf the internet. According to the World Bank, Africans pay on average 25% of their monthly gross national income per capita in mobile cellular calls, compared to 11% in other developing nations.

Photo courtesy of Erik Hersman.

Source: Quartz Africa (link opens in a new window)