DIRSI’s study on mobile price and affordability also adapts the OECD price baskets to compare the monthly costs of using mobiles in six Latin American countries. The Latin American baskets take into consideration call and SMS volumes and usage data as specified in the OECD methodology, but excludes initial connection charges. The DIRSI study also does not report data on postpaid or indicate whether different MoUs have been applied to prepaid and postpaid.
Despite differences in methodology, it is interesting to note the rather large differences in the monthly costs between users in South Asia and Latin America; even though the former takes into account a broader set of costs. Table 1 shows that a low user in Afghanistan (who pays the most in South Asia) is still paying approximately half that paid by a low user in the cheapest of the Latin American countries studied (Argentina) when comparing the findings in straight USD. In Purchasing Power Parity terms (which reflect affordability), the differences are still dramatic.