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Using our smartphones to surf the web is one of the basic functions we do everyday. In Africa where the majority are on prepaid plans, we rely on limited data packs that are either subscribed daily, weekly or monthly to connect to the Internet.

However, thanks to factors like taxation, competition, infrastructure, size of the market and more, data bundle pricing is quite different among countries. As Kenyans, we have an idea of what our operators charge for data bundles and we can access this information through USSD codes.

What if you were curious to know what people from countries in the East Africa region pay for data? Well we have you covered.

We will segment this under the different countries and the charges in different currencies will be converted into Kshs to level the playing field for an easy omparison.

Kenya

Data Package Safaricom (Kshs)Data PackageAirtel (Kshs)Data PackageTelkom (Kshs)Data PackageJTL (Kshs)
7MB (daily)58MB (daily)525MB (daily)101GB (daily)50
15MB (daily)1040MB (daily)1080MB (daily)208GB (weekly)300
50MB (daily)20100MB (daily)20500MB (daily)4915GB (weekly)500
150MB (daily)50400MB (daily)502GB (daily)9925GB (monthly)1000
500MB (daily)992GB (daily) 9940MB (weekly)2040GB (monthly)2000
Giga 1GB (daily)99200MB (weekly)50150MB (weekly)4970GB (monthly)3000
100 MB (weekly)50500MB (weekly)100400MB (weekly)99120GB (monthly)4000
350 MB (weekly)992GB (weekly)2502GB (weekly)249210GB6000
1GB (weekly)2506GB (weekly)5001GB (monthly)249Kifaru (1GB daily)1500 (monthly)
3GB (weekl)5001.5GB (monthly)3003GB (monthly)499Ndovu (2GB daily)2500 (monthly)
10 GB 9weekly)9994GB (monthly)50010GB (monthly)999Simba (3GB daily)4000 (monthly)
350MB (monthly)25010GB (monthly)100020GB (monthly)1999
2GB (monthly)50015GB (monthly)150036GB (monthly)2999
5GB (monthly)100025GB (monthly)2000Night Owl 5GB (12AM-6AM)39
15GB (monthly)200040GB (monthly)3000
25GB (monthly)3000
6GB (90 days)3500
16 GB (90 days)6000
30GB (90 days)9000

Tanzania

Data PackageVodacom (Kshs)Data PackageTigo (Kshs)Data PackageZantel (Kshs)Data PackageHalotel (Kshs)
70MB (daily)2270MB (daily)2260MB (daily)13100 MB (daily)22
200MB (daily)45200MB (daily)44.5150MB (daily)22200 MB (daily)45
1GB (daily)891GB (daily)89750MB (daily)45250MB (daily)45
1GB (weekly)89500 MB (weekly)1341.2GB (daily)89500MB (daily)67
2Gb (weekly)3572GB (weekly)357500MB (daily social)221.2GB (daily)89
10GB (weekly)53510GB (weekly)669700MB (weekly)133200MB (weekly)45
500MB (monthly)223500MB (monthly)2231.2GB (weekly)223450MB (weekly)89
2GB (monthly)6682GB (monthly)6692.5GB (weekly)3571GB (weekly high speed)223
10GB (monthly)156010GB (monthly)156010GB (weekly)5351.5GB (weekly)223
20GB (monthly)2229500MB (social) daily451.2GB (weekly social)453.5GB (weekly)446
30GB (monthly)42351GB (social) weekly891.5GB (monthly)44613GB (weekly)669
3GB (social) monthly2233GB (monthly)669700MB (monthly)223
1GB (daily YouTube)897GB (monthly)11141.5GB (monthly)446
14GB (monthly)15603GB (monthly)669
2.5GB (monthly social)672GB (monthly high speed)669
2GB (night pack)676GB (monthly high speed)1114
12GB (monthly)1560
25GB (monthly)2229
40GB (monthly)4235

Uganda

Data BundlesMTN (Kshs)Data BundlesAirtel (Kshs)Data BundlesAfricell (Kshs)Data BundlesUTL (Kshs)
15MB (daily)715MB (daily)720MB (daily)710MB (daily)5
40MB (daily)1440MB (daily)1450MB (daily)1425MB (daily)10
100MB (daily)27100MB (daily)27120MB (daily)2750MB (daily)16
300MB (daily)55300MB (daily)55320MB (daily)55100MB (dialy)27
1GB (daily)137400MB daily (3 days)82600MB (daily)88100MB (weekly)55
500B (weekly)1371GB daily (3 days)137900MB (daily)123500MB (monthly)398
1.5GB (weekly)274100MB (weekly)551.2GB (daily)1371GB (monthly)768
5GB (weekly)549350MB (weekly)961.5GB (daily)1783GB (monthly)1784
25MB (monthly)41850MB (weekly)2742GB (daily)2395GB (monthly)2744
300MB (monthly)1511GB (weekly)1923GB (daily)32910GB (monthly)3156
600MB (monthly)2743GB (weekly)41250MB (weekly)48
2GB (monthly)5495GB (weekly)54980MB (weekly)69
10GB (monthly)205825MB (monthly)41200MB (weekly)151
30GB (monthly)4116300MB (monthly)137800MB (weekly)600
Unlimited Internet (monthly)9,0561GB (monthly)27425MB (monthly)40
Unlimited Internet Basic (monthly)49121.25GB (monthly)411100MB (monthly)120
Social Bundle (daily)7/141.75GB (monthly)549125MB (monthly)134
Social bundle (weekly)695GB (monthly)823250MB (monthly)268
Social bundle (monthly)1377GB (monthly)1646350MB (monthly)370
15GB (monthly)2881500MB (monthly)535
20GB (monthly)20581GB (monthly)947
25GB (monthly)24691.5Gb (monthly)1221
35GB (monthly)61742GB (monthly)1368
51GB (monthly)41163GB (monthly)1633
100GB (monthly)150903.5GB (monthly)2058
4GB (quarterly)10705GB (monthly)2442
10GB (quarterly)21407GB (monthly)2853
20GB (quarterly)356710GB (monthly)3426
85GB (quarterly)1234715GB (monthly)5460
300GB (annually)4115720GB (monthly)5762
30GB (monthly)7817
40GB (monthly)8643
50GB (monthly)9055
80GB (monthly)11798
100GB (monthly)13170
1GB (quarterly)1235
1.5GB (quarterly)1372
2GB (quarterly)1781
3GB (quarterly)2126
5GB (quarterly)3197
6.5GB (quarterly)3540
10GB (quarterly)4390
20GB (quarterly)8231
30GB (quarterly)10152
45GB (quarterly)16463
30GB (bi-annually)13719
100GB (annually)24694
1GB (1 hour for a day)137
1GB (12AM-6am)69

Rwanda

Data PackageMTN (Kshs)Data PackageAirtel-Tigo (Kshs)
15MB (daily)119.8MB (daily)12
50MB (daily)2324.5MB (daily)23
100MB (daily)4129.5MB (daily)17
200MB (daily)58400MB (daily)52
1GB (daily)1161.2GB (daily)93
500MB (weekly)116300MB (weekly)116
1.5GB (weekly)2325GB (weekly)580
1GB daily for a week5803GB (monthly)348
300MB (monthly)11630GB (monthly)2436
1GB (monthly)232
3GB (monthly)580
10GB (monthly)1160
30GB (monthly)2900
1GB daily (monthly)2436
2GB daily (monthly)2900
3GB daily (monthly)3480

Comparison

This massive comparison shows very interesting similarities and disparities across the region.

Generally, the variances are smaller than you thought. I was expecting huge descripancies in pricing between operators in the region, but the differences are small.

Also, the notion that Kenyans pay more for Internet is now out of the question. Thanks to the increased competiion in the market, Kenyans are now getting more data for the same price, which is great for the Internet savvy generation.

We’ve now managed to reach the price levels Tanzanians have been enjoying for a while now. For example, you can pay Kshs 99 for 1GB daily on Safaricom which is comparable to the Kshs 89 you pay for the same bundle on Vodacom in Tanzania. For the same bundle pricing, MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda will charge you Kshs 137 and MTN Rwanda will charge you Kshs 116.

The other interesting bit is how similar the bundle packages are. You will find daily data bundles, weekly data bundles and monthly data bundles in each of the 4 countries. Operators in other countries go further by offering quarterly bundles (Kenya and Uganda) and some go as far as offering you 6 month or yearly data bundles (Airtel Uganda).

Ugandan telcos have the most diverse data bundle pricing when compared to other East African countries. You will find data bundles of all types and with different limits. Africell Uganda is the best case study candidate for this as you can get data bundles ranging from 20MB daily all the way to 100GB annually, the most diverse list among the telcos in the region.

Some telcos in the region also have a ‘social bundle’ which is geared for social media use. MTN Uganda and Vodacom Tanzania have these special bundles as offerings. In Kenya, we do have these special bundles for social media use, but they are usually targeted for WhatsApp and are not included in this list. Some of these WhatsApp bundles offer free WhatsApp when you purchase the bundle while other telcos offer specific bundles for accessing WhatsApp.

The weirdest data packages are the daily ones offered by Rwanda’s Airtel-Tigo. There is a 9.8MB bundle, 24.5 MB and 29.5MB one. It is kind of weird that they are not whole numbers but the 400MB one for Kshs 52 daily is great.

Ugandans pay the most for data in East Africa, comparatively of course and adding the fact that they need to pay a social media tax on top doesn’t help their case. In Kenya’s case, the taxes were incorporated into the pricing and for Tanzania, the taxes and licencing were targeted at people with online businesses.

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