It will cost $43,000 per GB to roam in Angola for Telecel subscribers

By Staff Writer | 09 Mar 2019 at 13:08hrs
Telecel store in Victoria Falls
International roaming charges remain a money-making scheme for the mobile industry, and there is no will to change it thanks to the high profits.

So bad did the international roaming situation become that the EU stepped in in 2012 to stop the practice of exorbitant rates.

The EU's 2012 Roaming Regulations put price caps on data charges - 70 cents per megabyte - which was six times lower than what these rates were three years earlier.

The EU went one step further in 2016 when representatives of the member states voted to abolish all roaming charges by June 2017.

This makes perfect sense. Why would local consumers pay R1 per MB when using a network, but when a traveller uses the same network the price shoots up to R100 per MB?
Africa trying to do something without success

In Africa, countries have been trying to do the same as the EU and signed the SADC "roam like at home" initiative in 2007.

This initiative wants to convince operators to allow consumers to pay charges as close as they would have paid in their home countries.

Fast forward 10 years, and not much has been done regarding the high roaming fees on the continent.

In September 2017, the high cost of roaming in the SADC was again discussed when communications ministers met, but not much came from this.

Paying $43,000 per GB when roaming

To illustrate the ridiculous roaming charges.

Telecel Zimbabwe subscribers pay $0.43 for 10kb of data when roaming in Angola, $0,05 in South Africa. A simple calculation shows that a Telecel subscriber pays $43,000 for a gigabyte in Angola and $5,000 when in South Africa.

The table below shows how much it costs for Zimbabweans to roam, and how much it costs locals to roam on the Telecel Zimbabwe network.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe subscribers pay $3,75 for 1Mb of data when roaming in South Africa. A simple calculation shows that an Econet subscriber pays $3,750 for a gigabyte when roaming in South Africa

According to a report by broadband market analyst firm, which analysed data from 6 313 mobile data plans in 230 countries between 23 October and 28 November 2018, Zimbabwe is the most expensive country in which to buy mobile data.

According to the firm, in Zimbabwe, the average cost of 1GB of mobile data during the period was $75.20, which is 289 times the average cost in India, which is the cheapest country in which to buy mobile data, with an average cost of 1GB at $0.26.



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