Ghana has been ranked third on the list of countries with the cheapest data in Africa, but despite this, the country still has high cost of data.
According to Selorm Adadevoh, MTN Group CEO, the continuous consumption and reliance on foreign content, especially those from the United Kingdom and the United States, including the lack of infrastructure, are some of the factors fueling the high cost of data in the country.
Adadevoh explained that about 90 per cent of downloaded content in Ghana originates from the US, UK, and other parts of the world at an excessive 320 gigabits per second.
Under the hashtag ‘DataMustFall’, Ghanaian protesters complained that the cost of data remained high despite a reduction in Communication Service Tax on 15 September 2020.
The concerned Ghanaians shared their internet usage cost experience on various social media platforms and tagged their internet service providers.
Adadevoh further highlighted that “Most of our contents come from US, UK and amounts to over 90 per cent. And that is a lot of content. But if the content is not here, we have to go through undersea cables. Ghana is connected to various countries worldwide to bring content to the country, which is very expensive.”
“If Ghanaians consumed their own content, we won’t need to export content at 320 gigabits per second. This means we won’t pay for 320 gigabits, which will radically reduce the cost of data. When you have fibre network all over the country, you can transmit a lot of data very cheaply on that cable.” he said.
According to Adadevoh, the consumption of local content can help alleviate the cost of data in Ghana. In addition, content developers can tap into a broad spectrum of API products and services, ranging from telecommunications, e-health, e-government, fintech, and e-commerce, among others in Africa.