Choices: Is the Sri Lankan preference for fixed phones irrational?

Posted on March 28, 2007  /  0 Comments

Rohan Samarajiva  | LankaBusinessOnline

Fixed or Mobile     

March 28, 2007 (LBO) – It seems like a no-brainer: A mobile phone is better than a fixed phone, especially in Sri Lanka. The costs of getting a connection are lower: a new phone and SIM can cost as little as LKR 4,000, while SLTL charges around LKR 20,000 for a fixed connection and its competitors charge around LKR 10,000.
Mobile phones are easy to use. They have built in directories and allow texting, though now these features are now available on the fixed CDMA phones as well.

Calling people instead of places that people are associated with seems obviously better, unless you don’t want to be reached. The whole world seems to think so, with mobile outstripping fixed all over the world, except in North Korea, Myammar and a few other bastions of self-sufficiency and juche.

Yet, our people think differently. A recent survey of teleuse at the bottom of the pyramid (teleuse@BOP) by LIRNEasia showed that a significant number of Sri Lankans in SEC D&E groups (and possibly all Sri Lankans) who plan to get connected in the next two years prefer fixed phones:

In fact, even those in higher SEC groups (A, B and C), what could be termed the ‘top and middle’ of the pyramid, prefer fixed phone.

Read full story at LBO.


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