The world is digitizing, quickly – and recent surveys have shown that Malawi has the highest data costs in the world – $27.41 per GB at PAYG rate. Join the #ReduceDataCost #AffordableData campaign, and share your experiences on how the high data charges have affected you personally, or professionally.
The world is digitizing, quickly – and in that quest, recent surveys have shown that Malawi has the highest data costs in the world – costing $27.41 per GB at PAYG rate.
Being one of the poorest countries in the world – this evidently puts Malawi at a disadvantage where catching up on digital is concerned.
Civil society is playing an active role by taking formal action and bringing the issue to the attention of relevant stakeholders, but also informal action. One of the informal routes is by starting a #ReduceDataCost campaign via social media. Civil society is appealing to the public to use their voices and express their concerns regards the ridiculously high data charges.
1gb of data from @AirtelMlw does not last me a day. When I travel to Kenya, 1gb of data from @AIRTEL_KE lasts me more than a week (roughly same usage). Airtel Malawi, your 1gb is NOT 1gb. Stop robbing us!#ReduceDataCost #DataMustFall— #FreeHopewell (@WChivhanga) July 21, 2020
The main objective of this campaign is:
to bring about a reduction in data costs in Malawi.
One of the ways to do this is by:
raising awareness on the issue of high prices of internet in Malawi.
Malawi's high internet cost make is a privilege and a luxury to access internet. Imagine in this COVID season only being able to continue getting an education because you can afford it. The govt and ISPs need to do better for it's people. #ReduceDataCost #AffordableInternet— Diana 🇲🇼 (@iamnotagoddess) July 21, 2020
These are the two main issues of concern:
1. The data charges are too high, particularly for a developing nation. A bundle costs MK15-MK25 per MB, meaning you spend up MK25,000 to access 1GB of data in Malawi. This then leaves Malawians constantly trying to access bundles.
2. Data bundles expire – which does not make any sense from a user perspective.
Back when I travelled to Tanzania,I was shocked that the 1gb @Tz_Airtel bundle lasted for a couple of days. I would watch videos online with no fear of data depleting. Can’t say the same about @alwayswithyoumw and @AirtelMlw#ReduceDataCost #AffordableData #AffordableInternet— Timothy Dalitso Mizaya (@DaliMizaya) July 21, 2020
TNM and Airtel (the two main internt service providers in Malawi) recently declared their profits after tax.
AIRTEL made MK16,000,000,000
in the past year, while
TNM made MK15,000,000,000
The two companies profits alone could make up for 10% of Malawi’s annual budget; and 43% of these profits comes from data.A digital analyst, Malawi
Malawi has two mobile operators. Both hold approximately 50% market share. Recently there have been reports showing Malawi as having the highest mobile data prices in the world. Are your bundles being “eaten”?#ReduceDataCost#AffordableData pic.twitter.com/YMCMf7YXE4— 🇰🇪Brian Munyao Longwe🇲🇼 (@blongwe) July 21, 2020
Digital experts have conducted an analysis, and say that in order for Malawi to compare favourably with other countries in terms of internet costs per Mb at PAYG, the price should be MK2.00 per MB – meaning that 1GB of data will cost MK2,000; eliminating the need to purchase bundles.
It is our duty as society to take an active part in bringing about change – and you can do you part by expression how the high data charges in Malawi have affected you as an individual personally, or professional.
It is extremely difficult to start and maintain an online business in Malawi because of the high cost of data. How do we create jobs when internet access hinders us and our audience ? #ReduceDataCost #AffordableData@AirtelMlw @DaliMizaya @alwayswithyoumw @BobPhondo— junior (@rjaycheleuka) July 21, 2020
Join the campaign via social media, and use the hashtags #ReduceDataCost #AffordableInternet