Time to update Jipp’s “Law”?

Posted on August 18, 2013  /  0 Comments

Sitting in Yangon, preparing for a regulatory training event in Nay Pi Taw, my mind went to the hoary Jipp’s Law. Even with questionable 2012 data as reported by the ITU, Myanmar had around 5 SIMs/100 end of 2012. World Bank does not report GNI per capita data for Myanmar. Is it realistic for Myanmar to reach the level of penetration Thailand achieved in 2007, starting with the new investments and energy created by the 2013 licenses? Jipp suggests economic growth would have to reach the level Thailand had in 2007. Is this necessary, now in light of work such as that of Christine Qiang?

Is it time to give Jipp a serious reexamination?

Jipp curve is a term for a graph plotting the number (density) of telephones against wealth as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. The Jipp curve shows across countries that teledensity increases with an increase in wealth or economic development (positive correlation), especially beyond a certain income. In other words, a country’s telephone penetration is proportional to its population’s buying power.[1] The relationship is sometimes also termed Jipp Law or Jipp’s Law.

The Jipp curve has been called “[p]robably the most familiar diagram in the economics of telecommunications”.[2] The curve is named after A. Jipp, who was one of the first researchers to publish about the relationship in 1963.[3]

The number of telephones was traditionally measured by the number of landlines, but more recently, mobile phones have been used for the graphs as well. It has even been argued that the Jipp curve (or rather its measures) should be adjusted for countries where mobile phones are more common that landlines, namely for developing countries in Africa.[2]

From the wiki stub.

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