Mobile Momentum

Jan 02, 2011 (LBO) – Household access to telephones is on par with electricity, television, and radio in Sri Lanka mainly because of the boom in mobile phones, and are set to overtake TV and radio, a new study said. “The key economic benefit of phones is reducing travel,” it said, noting that there was little use of mobiles for productive purposes.

About 71 percent of poor consumers, in a segment known as BOP or bottom-of-the-pyramid, own a mobile with many on a second handset, the study found.

“Multiple-SIM ownership is high in the north and east. The main reason is because of lower call rates.

Cheaper ‘on-net’ or the same network calls were the main reason for multiple ownership of SIMs or subscriber identity modules used to identify and authenticate subscribers. Access to household phones is greater than to transport in the island, the study of Asian countries by the LIRNEasia think tank said.

SMS (short message service) use, gaming and balance checking has decreased but camera and radio use increased in Sri Lanka from 2008 to 2011, said the study on use of information communications technology, mostly phones, among poor people in emerging Asian economies.

It covered Bangladesh, Pakistan