LIRNEasia’s Teleuse at the BOP Study in Businessline

Posted on April 2, 2007  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia‘s Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid study has been widely cited in an excellent piece by Thomas K. Thomas of the Hindu Businessline on Indian telecom operators push to go to rural areas where they were reluctant to do so before. Currently, a village with as little as 1000 persons is considered commercially viable for connecting to the network.

Call of the Village Thomas K. Thomas, Hindu Businessline, April 2, 2007
[..] Affordability is key

According to a new study done by LIRNEasia and AC Nielson, close to 100 million new cellular subscribers are expected to come from the rural areas over the next two years and the prospective subscribers are reasonably heavy users, making an average of 40 calls a month.

However, analysts caution that while operators are rolling out networks to the remote and poor areas, they also need to bring down the cost of owning a phone if they want to penetrate a highly budget-conscious rural market.

Says Prof Rohan Samarjiva, LIRNEasia, “Our study revealed that 82 per cent of the respondents did not own a phone because they could not afford it. While the current entry cost of owning a phone is perceived to be higher than $25, the rural population is not willing to pay more than $10. Also more than 95 per cent of the rural population, who do not yet own a phone, are willing to pay less than $5 per month for phone usage.”[..]

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