Can the poor afford mobile telephony? Evidence from Latin America
This study analyses the cost of a low-volume basket of mobile services across a sample of Latin American countries, and contrasts these results with standard income and poverty indicators. The main goal is to establish how affordable mobile services are for the poor. Three general findings emerge. First, the poor generally pay a cost premium for using prepaid subscriptions that allow better expenditure control, though in many cases this premium is much lower than expected. Second, affordability is an important predictor of mobile penetration. Overall, while affordable handsets and the calling-party-pays system allow a significant number of low-income Latin Americans to become mobile subscribers, the results reveal that the current tariff structure has an inhibiting effect on service consumption by the poor. Third, since affordability is the most significant barrier to extending the reach of mobile services, as well as the range of services used by the poor, priority should be placed on policies aimed at reducing tariffs and stimulating the introduction of commercial innovations for low-income groups.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
Issue (Month): 8 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/30471/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/30471/bibliographic|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:32:y:2008:i:8:p:521-530. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.