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Price benchmarking by RIA applies pressure on regulator and policy makers in South Africa

The quote below comes from one of many media reports that carried the results of RIA benchmarking of mobile prices across Africa.

SA’s prepaid cellphone pricing is three times more expensive than Namibia’s, making SA among the most expensive countries in Africa despite an intervention to regulate the tariffs, according to a study released this week by Research ICT Africa.

The research found that among 46 African countries studied, SA ranks 30th in affordability of prepaid mobile telephony. This places SA behind countries whose regulators have enabled competition by enforcing cost-based mobile termination rates. Kenya, Mauritius, Egypt and Namibia were found to be the most affordable.

The operators may react against RIA, but we hope policy makers will do the right thing and bring down prices. There can be no reasonable explanation for South Africa having prices that are three-times higher than neighboring, thinly populated Namibia.

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