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.
|Data Package||Safaricom (Kshs)||Data Package||Airtel (Kshs)||Data Package||Telkom (Kshs)||Data Package||JTL (Kshs)|
|7MB (daily)||5||8MB (daily)||5||25MB (daily)||10||1GB (daily)||50|
|15MB (daily)||10||40MB (daily)||10||80MB (daily)||20||8GB (weekly)||300|
|50MB (daily)||20||100MB (daily)||20||500MB (daily)||49||15GB (weekly)||500|
|150MB (daily)||50||400MB (daily)||50||2GB (daily)||99||25GB (monthly)||1000|
|500MB (daily)||99||2GB (daily)||99||40MB (weekly)||20||40GB (monthly)||2000|
|Giga 1GB (daily)||99||200MB (weekly)||50||150MB (weekly)||49||70GB (monthly)||3000|
|100 MB (weekly)||50||500MB (weekly)||100||400MB (weekly)||99||120GB (monthly)||4000|
|350 MB (weekly)||99||2GB (weekly)||250||2GB (weekly)||249||210GB||6000|
|1GB (weekly)||250||6GB (weekly)||500||1GB (monthly)||249||Kifaru (1GB daily)||1500 (monthly)|
|3GB (weekl)||500||1.5GB (monthly)||300||3GB (monthly)||499||Ndovu (2GB daily)||2500 (monthly)|
|10 GB 9weekly)||999||4GB (monthly)||500||10GB (monthly)||999||Simba (3GB daily)||4000 (monthly)|
|350MB (monthly)||250||10GB (monthly)||1000||20GB (monthly)||1999|
|2GB (monthly)||500||15GB (monthly)||1500||36GB (monthly)||2999|
|5GB (monthly)||1000||25GB (monthly)||2000||Night Owl 5GB (12AM-6AM)||39|
|15GB (monthly)||2000||40GB (monthly)||3000|
|6GB (90 days)||3500|
|16 GB (90 days)||6000|
|30GB (90 days)||9000|
|Data Package||Vodacom (Kshs)||Data Package||Tigo (Kshs)||Data Package||Zantel (Kshs)||Data Package||Halotel (Kshs)|
|70MB (daily)||22||70MB (daily)||22||60MB (daily)||13||100 MB (daily)||22|
|200MB (daily)||45||200MB (daily)||44.5||150MB (daily)||22||200 MB (daily)||45|
|1GB (daily)||89||1GB (daily)||89||750MB (daily)||45||250MB (daily)||45|
|1GB (weekly)||89||500 MB (weekly)||134||1.2GB (daily)||89||500MB (daily)||67|
|2Gb (weekly)||357||2GB (weekly)||357||500MB (daily social)||22||1.2GB (daily)||89|
|10GB (weekly)||535||10GB (weekly)||669||700MB (weekly)||133||200MB (weekly)||45|
|500MB (monthly)||223||500MB (monthly)||223||1.2GB (weekly)||223||450MB (weekly)||89|
|2GB (monthly)||668||2GB (monthly)||669||2.5GB (weekly)||357||1GB (weekly high speed)||223|
|10GB (monthly)||1560||10GB (monthly)||1560||10GB (weekly)||535||1.5GB (weekly)||223|
|20GB (monthly)||2229||500MB (social) daily||45||1.2GB (weekly social)||45||3.5GB (weekly)||446|
|30GB (monthly)||4235||1GB (social) weekly||89||1.5GB (monthly)||446||13GB (weekly)||669|
|3GB (social) monthly||223||3GB (monthly)||669||700MB (monthly)||223|
|1GB (daily YouTube)||89||7GB (monthly)||1114||1.5GB (monthly)||446|
|14GB (monthly)||1560||3GB (monthly)||669|
|2.5GB (monthly social)||67||2GB (monthly high speed)||669|
|2GB (night pack)||67||6GB (monthly high speed)||1114|
|Data Bundles||MTN (Kshs)||Data Bundles||Airtel (Kshs)||Data Bundles||Africell (Kshs)||Data Bundles||UTL (Kshs)|
|15MB (daily)||7||15MB (daily)||7||20MB (daily)||7||10MB (daily)||5|
|40MB (daily)||14||40MB (daily)||14||50MB (daily)||14||25MB (daily)||10|
|100MB (daily)||27||100MB (daily)||27||120MB (daily)||27||50MB (daily)||16|
|300MB (daily)||55||300MB (daily)||55||320MB (daily)||55||100MB (dialy)||27|
|1GB (daily)||137||400MB daily (3 days)||82||600MB (daily)||88||100MB (weekly)||55|
|500B (weekly)||137||1GB daily (3 days)||137||900MB (daily)||123||500MB (monthly)||398|
|1.5GB (weekly)||274||100MB (weekly)||55||1.2GB (daily)||137||1GB (monthly)||768|
|5GB (weekly)||549||350MB (weekly)||96||1.5GB (daily)||178||3GB (monthly)||1784|
|25MB (monthly)||41||850MB (weekly)||274||2GB (daily)||239||5GB (monthly)||2744|
|300MB (monthly)||151||1GB (weekly)||192||3GB (daily)||329||10GB (monthly)||3156|
|600MB (monthly)||274||3GB (weekly)||412||50MB (weekly)||48|
|2GB (monthly)||549||5GB (weekly)||549||80MB (weekly)||69|
|10GB (monthly)||2058||25MB (monthly)||41||200MB (weekly)||151|
|30GB (monthly)||4116||300MB (monthly)||137||800MB (weekly)||600|
|Unlimited Internet (monthly)||9,056||1GB (monthly)||274||25MB (monthly)||40|
|Unlimited Internet Basic (monthly)||4912||1.25GB (monthly)||411||100MB (monthly)||120|
|Social Bundle (daily)||7/14||1.75GB (monthly)||549||125MB (monthly)||134|
|Social bundle (weekly)||69||5GB (monthly)||823||250MB (monthly)||268|
|Social bundle (monthly)||137||7GB (monthly)||1646||350MB (monthly)||370|
|15GB (monthly)||2881||500MB (monthly)||535|
|20GB (monthly)||2058||1GB (monthly)||947|
|25GB (monthly)||2469||1.5Gb (monthly)||1221|
|35GB (monthly)||6174||2GB (monthly)||1368|
|51GB (monthly)||4116||3GB (monthly)||1633|
|100GB (monthly)||15090||3.5GB (monthly)||2058|
|4GB (quarterly)||1070||5GB (monthly)||2442|
|10GB (quarterly)||2140||7GB (monthly)||2853|
|20GB (quarterly)||3567||10GB (monthly)||3426|
|85GB (quarterly)||12347||15GB (monthly)||5460|
|300GB (annually)||41157||20GB (monthly)||5762|
|1GB (1 hour for a day)||137|
|Data Package||MTN (Kshs)||Data Package||Airtel-Tigo (Kshs)|
|15MB (daily)||11||9.8MB (daily)||12|
|50MB (daily)||23||24.5MB (daily)||23|
|100MB (daily)||41||29.5MB (daily)||17|
|200MB (daily)||58||400MB (daily)||52|
|1GB (daily)||116||1.2GB (daily)||93|
|500MB (weekly)||116||300MB (weekly)||116|
|1.5GB (weekly)||232||5GB (weekly)||580|
|1GB daily for a week||580||3GB (monthly)||348|
|300MB (monthly)||116||30GB (monthly)||2436|
|1GB daily (monthly)||2436|
|2GB daily (monthly)||2900|
|3GB daily (monthly)||3480|
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.