Kenyans are spending on average one hundred shillings to buy internet bundles but 30 shillings of that goes to waste because of background usage by applications, according to the latest State of the Mobile Web Africa Report by tech giant Opera Inc.

Kenyans and Ghanaians are the highest data users in Africa with an average usage of more than 160 megabytes monthly, the 2016 report says. Data remains very expensive in Africa, costing three times more than in Europe and America.

With the implosion of the information superhighway, the Internet is becoming a critical need in the lives of many Kenyans and in this age of social media, data is key.

Every month, Kenyans spend an average of 4.5 billion shillings (about 45 million US dollars) on data and almost sixty billion shillings to browse the Internet.

This explains why telecommunication service operators are investing significantly on data since this is the next frontier for growth in the industry.

The report says in Africa, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria account for almost half of all data used by Africans every year. South Africa leads in mobile application usage with about a third of the population using mobile apps, against 31 per cent in Ghana, 28 per cent in Nigeria, 19 per cent in Kenya and 18 per cent in Uganda.

Kenyans use the Internet heavily to read news while Nigerians use the Internet to chat on social media. The report says 89 per cent of all smart phones shipped to Africa in 2015 were powered by Android and 45.1 per cent of those were priced below 10,000 shillings (100 USD) each.

Data remains prohibitively expensive for many mobile users in Africa, according to the report. This means that even if smart phone penetration is increasing, many people do not use their devices to their full benefit.

The report calls on African governments to give more incentives to telecom operators in a bid to lower the cost of Internet.