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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Mobile calling and data plans in Egypt are less affordable than in wealthier Arab countries in GNI per capita terms

Mobile calling and data plans in Egypt are less affordable than in wealthier Arab countries when measured in terms of gross national income per capita (GNI pc), according to an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report (pdf). The report looks at mobile bundles that cover voice calls and data services, bundles that only cover voice calls, and fixed-broadband packages across 180 countries.

Egypt ranks 48th globally in terms of affordability of high-consumption mobile data and voice baskets, which include a monthly allowance of 330 minutes of voice calls, 70 SMS messages, and 1.5 GB of data. The baskets can be purchased in Egypt at an average rate of USD 3.22 — around 1.4% of GNI pc. That makes Egypt more expensive in GNI pc terms than Qatar (the third-most affordable globally), Kuwait (#21), the UAE(#32), Saudi Arabia (#41) and Bahrain (#43). The most affordable basket is available in Macau, China (0.2% of GNI pc) and the least affordable basket is sold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (112.2% of GNI pc).

High-consumption packages are more affordable in Egypt than in Oman (#57), Morocco (#77), Algeria (#78), Jordan (#101), Libya (#104), Lebanon (#129), Iraq (#134), Palestine (#136), and Yemen (#168) in terms of affordability for this category.

We’re slightly more competitive when it comes to low-consumption baskets (which include a monthly allowance of 280 voice call minutes, 20 SMS messages, and 500 MB of data), ranking #42 globally. These baskets are sold at an average of USD 2.01 (0.9% of GNI pc). Luxembourg has the most affordable basket in this category, but the breakdown among Arab countries varies from the high-consumption baskets. Qatar is the Arab country with the most affordable basket, followed by the UAE (#12), Tunisia (#23), Kuwait (#27), and Oman (#36). Egypt again provides a more affordable service in this category than many other Arab peers, including Bahrain (#50), Saudi Arabia (#52), Morocco (#69), Algeria (#98), Lebanon (#100), Libya (#104), Jordan (#110), Palestine (#133), and Yemen (#162).

Fixed-broadband packages are considerably less affordable in Egypt, averaging at 3.0% of GNI pc or USD 7.06 per month. Mobile-voice baskets are the most affordable ICT services available in the country at 0.4% of GNI for an entry-level basket, according to the report.

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