The cost of data hampers the growth of Internet penetration in Kenya and Ghana, a new study shows.
The report, titled “Mobile Internet Usage Field Survey: Kenya/Ghana”, was published by Google and iHub research
It notes that a lack of clear information on the prices of Internet connectivity also makes users shun using services such as mobile data.
“Fewer users monitor mobile Internet spend, compared to voice/SMS balances. Nearly 75 percent of users keep track of their voice/SMS balances, compared to 38 percent who track their mobile Internet balance. Thirty-seven percent of users have accidentally spent more money than they intended on mobile Internet,” the report said.
It indicates that if mobile data prices were more transparent, users would engage more with mobile Internet. According to the report, lack of Web-enabled devices and their high costs hindered access to the Internet for most people surveyed.
“Using these findings, we are leading experiments in Sub-Saharan Africa to learn more about how users interact with the mobile Internet and how to provide a better user experience,” Paul Lee, Senior Product Manager at Google, said.
“We hope these findings will also encourage industry, nonprofit, and government entities to collaborate on research and solutions to make the Internet more readily available to everyone, regardless of geography or income,” he added.
An earlier report byInforma and Telecoms showed that mobile data would make up a huge percentage of mobile firms’ income, contributing up to 22 percent by 2016.
In Africa, mobile devices have fueled Internet penetration with capability of connecting to the Net. In the increase of voice competition, most Kenyan mobile telecommunication companies have switched to offer more data services to keep profits intact.