Regulation and the Digital Divide

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 02, 2009

Publication Type:
Report/White paper
Publication Date:

This report was commissioned by the GSMA and undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to examine the link between regulation and the digital divide. The emphasis has been on Sub-Saharan Africa because of the region’s relatively low level of penetration and significant, unfulfilled demand. Mobile has clearly emerged as the main solution to providing communications for the world’s unconnected. Mobile has already brought significant benefits to economies and societies across much of the developing world, but much potential still exists in Africa, where fixed-line communication alternatives are extremely limited.

This report investigates how a move towards best-practice regulation would promote an increase in mobile investment and help to realise this potential. Specifically, the analysis explores the impact of regulatory policy and government intervention on the level of risk associated with operator investment decisions. In light of this, we examine how reduced regulatory risk could improve investment levels and reduce the cost of mobile ownership. We then consider the impact this could have on penetration levels, and the corresponding knock-on effect for GDP.