Information technology

Mobile Telephony Access and Usage in Africa

Posted by VivianOnano on Jul 12, 2011
Mobile Telephony Access and Usage in Africa data sheet 1656 Views
Chabossou, A., Stork, C., Stork, M., Zahonogo. Z.
Publication Date: 
Apr 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This paper uses data from nationally representative household survey conducted in 17 African countries to analyse mobile adoption and usage. This paper shows that countries differ in their levels of ICT adoption and usage and also in  factors that influence adoption and  usage. Income and education vastly enhances mobile adoption but gender, age and membership in social networks have little impact. Income is the main explanatory variable for usage. In terms of mobile expenditure the study also finds linkages to fixed-line, work and public phone usages. These linkages need however be explored in more detail in future. Mobile expenditure is inelastic with respect to income, ie the share of mobile expenditure of individual income increases less than 1% for each 1% increase in income. This indicates that people with higher income spend  a smaller proportion of their income on mobile expenditure compared to those with less income. 

The study provides tools to identify policy intervention to improve ICT take up and usage and define universal service obligations based on income and monthly usage costs. It help to put a number to what can be expected from lower access and usage costs in terms of market volume and number of new subscribers. Linking this to other economic data such as national household income and expenditure surveys and GDP calculation would allow to forecast the economic and social impact of policy interventions. Concrete recommendations are being made for policy interventions and regulatory measures to decrease access and usage costs.