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Toward universal telephone access: Market progress and progress beyond the market


  • Kenny, Charles
  • Keremane, Rym


The last 10 years have seen an explosion in access to telephone services worldwide based on rapid technology advance in increasingly competitive markets. The mobile phone has driven expansion in subscribers and access, especially in the developing world. This paper estimates global mobile footprint coverage based on 2002 data and calculates that as much as 77 percent of the world's population may live in an area covered by a mobile signal. Nonetheless, many people remain without access to telephony. The paper estimates the maximum likely cost in terms of cross subsidy within the industry and outside financing for achieving universal access using competitively awarded subsidies to private providers in a reformed market. This upper-end cost is estimated at $5.7 billion, with costs that could not be supplied by a reasonable tax on existing providers (and so required from outside the sector) estimated at $1.8 billion.

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  • Kenny, Charles & Keremane, Rym, 0. "Toward universal telephone access: Market progress and progress beyond the market," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 155-163, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:31:y::i:3-4:p:155-163

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2010. "Services Trade and Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 642-692, September.
    2. Hoekman, Bernard & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2008. "Services trade and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4461, The World Bank.
    3. Hoekman, Bernard & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2007. "Regulatory cooperation, aid for trade and the general agreement on trade in services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4451, The World Bank.


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