Multiple SIM ownership has been a topic we have given much thought to over the years. Unlike the ITU, we never thought it was a good thing in and of itself. We tried to understand why people bothered to juggle multiple SIMs. We found it had many causes, not just high interconnection charges as suggested by Telegeography below. Gaps in coverage and discounts for calling friends and family were among the factors identified.
Is it that the Top of the Pyramid is more into multi-SIM use than the BOP? It appears from the report that multi-SIM use may be higher than was reported by Teleuse@BOP4. Or, it could be indicating that multi-SIM use is on the increase, with greater availability of multi-SIM handsets. CyberMedia Research (CMR), a computer and electronic market research firm said 35 of percent of handsets sold in 2011 could have more than one network connected (multi-subscriber identity module). Around 5.
Ericsson has released results of a representative sample survey (3,000 sample) of teleuse in Bangladesh. This is a rare quantitative study for the region. We hope to make a few more posts on it, hopefully after getting a hold of the full report. The Daily Star provides a summary worth reading. The trend towards internet use for social networking in urban areas of the country is growing remarkably, keeping pace with the global trend, he said.
Because of excellent performance on many indexes such as the AT Kearney Service Location Index, I have made a habit of checking on Vietnam’s performance on comparative rankings. True enough, the ITU’s ICT Development Index showed Vietnam advancing from 91st place to 81st place, a dramatic 10 place advance from 2008 to 2010. This prompted me to probe deeper to find out what good things were happening in Vietnam that others could emulate. Instead of finding lessons to emulate, I ended up with deep disquiet about the IDI methodology. Vietnam’s score and ranking on the Skills subindex remained unchanged (value of 5.
One problem with our Teleuse@BOP research is that people who use the findings tend to shed the nuances. We do not know the percentage of Pakistanis with multiple SIMs, only the percentage of those at the BOP. But I am confident the general claim being made is not erroneous. Pakistan has been ranked top among the regional countries in 2010 with the highest number of cellular phone subscribers having more than one connection of different operators, Lirneasia study reported recently. As per the estimates, the subscribers possessing multiple SIMs are estimated to mark 23 percent share in the overall stated base of the country.