QCell, a leading GSM company in The Gambia, has reacted to a report which indicates that Gambia is among the top African countries with the most expensive data prices from June to September. In its rejoinder QCell indicated in its rejoinder that the prices they charge are less than what the report indicated. The full text of the rejoinder is as follows:
Rejoinder: Gambia among top 10 African countries with the most expensive data prices from June to September
Reference is made to your publication on October 3rd 2023 with the subject above. We would like to bring to your attention that the statements made by cable.co.uk is not reflective of our data charges.
In Gambia, over the years despite the increase in forex rates, data charges have been steadily coming down. In 2023 when we launched the Only 5G Network in The Gambia, QCell reduced its data tariffs up to 40% as well as its on-net & off-net tariffs.
As per industry standard, when one is to determine the average data cost in a county 1GB is mostly used as a baseline. The article stated that “the average cost of a 1GB plan is approximately $3.56 which is about D225”. QCell’s data tariff for 1GB is D130 which is approximately $2 and well under what the article stated. If you consider all our regular data bundles, the average retail price for a 1GB plan is approximately D100. And on other platforms within the QCell network, 1GB is as low as D75 which is about $1.2 and none of this is reflective in this article. In order to determine prices there are various elements one has to look into. At QCell, our main objective is to provide the most Innovate Technological Services at the most affordable cost therefore, cost is quite sensitive to us and something we thoroughly look into.
When such a comparison is made, the underlying factors deriving the price have to be equally looked at as well. The Gambia with a population of approximately 2.64 million people and 4 players in the market has operational costs that are much higher than other (large) African countries as well, high electricity costs, fluctuation forex rates as well as gateway maintenance fees. Regardless of all these factors, we have been able to reduce and maintain the lower data prices.
In conclusion, when such articles are done by foreign consultants, it is vital that they get access to the right information and consult key players as well as the regulator otherwise some of the data they use might be stale.
Senior Manager, QCell