Cost of Smartphones Continues the Digital Divide in Tanzania

The Tanzanian mobile market has been one of the most vibrant markets on the continent as a result of higher competition and an enabling wholesale cost environment. Consumers have been the beneficiaries of fierce pricing strategies yet this dynamism has now been stultified by operators’ continued efforts to extract revenues from traditional services where prices remain relatively high. Although competition in Tanzania’s prepaid mobile data market keeps the overall cost of communicating low, the country has slipped from first position in the last quarter to fourth out of 49 African countries in the RAMP Index. Although prices are lower than many other African countries, the prices are still unaffordable for many Tanzanians, limiting efforts at digital inclusivity and the associated dividends.