Opera celebrates 15 years of connecting Africa to the internet with a massive data giveaway

This story is sponsored

This week Opera celebrates its 15th year of accelerating digital adoption in Africa. With over 150-million monthly active users across the continent, the company is providing better connectivity through the data-light Opera Mini web-browser. Yet 800-million Africans still don’t use the internet, and 1GB of data costs up to 16% of the average monthly income in some parts of the continent. 

To celebrate their 15th anniversary, Opera is launching a data giveaway. Opera is asking its users to share experiences of how Opera Mini has helped them to reach new levels of connection. Over 50% of consumers have used free data sponsored by Opera and in 2021, users spent 2.5-billion hours using Opera Mini.

Whether setting up a business, speaking with loved ones or embarking on an educational journey, Opera will award the 150 winners with the most memorable entries with 150GB of free data — that’s more than 8 000 free hours of browsing, more than 200 hours of streaming your favourite videos and more than 1 500 free hours of streaming your favourite tunes.

The competition opens on 15 December and closes on 15 January. To enter, simply like and comment Opera’s post on Facebook or Instagram, using #CelebrateWithOpera and explain why Opera is important to you. The terms & conditions for participation are available here. 

In South Africa alone: 

  • An individual can expect to pay R114 per GB: over four times as much as in Ghana, over twice as much as in Kenya and 3.5 times more than in Nigeria.
  • Eighty-seven percent of people are familiar with Opera Mini, and four in five people (80%) say it is easy to use.
  • So far in 2021, Opera Mini has been downloaded 17-million times from Google Play, showing over 17% growth year-on-year in South Africa. 

Today, millions across Africa use the Opera Mini browser, citing lower costs, faster connection and ease of use. Opera’s long-term local infrastructural investment enables up to 90% of data saving for users. In 2018, using Opera products equated to savings of up to $100-million across the top 20 African countries. 

Opera has been partnering with leading telecom providers across the continent to offer free internet access via Opera Mini. As part of Opera’s commitment to help people get online, it is sponsoring up to 3GB of monthly data via Opera Mini for its millions of users. 

The data giveaway comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare deep-seated regional inequalities in internet access. Currently, only 39% of Africa has internet access, compared with 60% globally. High data costs are a primary constraint. The price of mobile data in sub-Saharan Africa is the most expensive in the world, with an average cost of $6.44 per 1GB of mobile data. This is in stark contrast to Western Europe, where the same amount of mobile data is a third of the cost ($2.47).

For some African families, data takes up a significant share of household income, with 1GB costing up to 16% of a monthly salary. 

Jørgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile at Opera said: “At Opera, we know the power that connection can bring. From sharing ideas, art and culture to kick-starting businesses or bringing loved ones closer together, data is essential to connecting people. Our mobile browser Opera Mini uses only one-tenth of the data that others do, and we’re proud to continue helping millions of people overcome connectivity barriers with our solutions.”

About Opera: 

Opera is a global web innovator with an engaged and growing base of hundreds of millions of monthly active users who seek a better internet experience. Building on over 25 years of innovation that started with browser products, Opera is now leveraging its brand and highly engaged user base in order to expand its business into new segments. Today, Opera offers users around the world a range of products and services that include PC and mobile browsers, the newsreader Opera News, and apps dedicated to gaming, e-commerce and classifieds. Opera is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange (OPRA). 

Media assets: 

Please visit this link for video content featuring Opera Mini users telling the stories of how digital connectivity transformed their lives. 

About the competition: 

Opera is asking users to simply like and comment on Opera’s post on Facebook or Instagram, using #CelebrateWithOpera and tell why Opera is important to them. It could be setting up a business, chatting with loved ones, educating yourself, finding your favourite movie — whatever you like!

The competition opened on 16 December and closes 15 January. To enter, simply like and comment on Opera’s post on Facebook or Instagram, using #CelebrateWithOpera and explain why Opera is important to you. The terms and conditions for participation are available here

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