25 August 2009

Phones and farmers

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Abdul Bayes, professor of economics at Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh, has written a nice article in the Daily Star newspaper where he condenses some recent research on mobile phones, farmers and the rural poor.

“Coming back to the Bangladesh context, out of 150 million people, about 47 million people have access to mobile phones. The market is still dominated by Grameen phone, with roughly half of the market share, and the rest is distributed among 6 other companies. The tariff rates are gradually going down to a competitive level. The price of mobile sets has come down to an affordable level. It appears that mobile phones are effective not only in terms of reducing marketing costs and price dispersions but also in terms of managing disasters, searching for jobs and improving the quality of life.

The “luxury” item of the early 1990s transformed into a “necessity” within the span of just one decade. Mobile phone is now an essential instrument for reducing “rural penalty,” not only in Bangladesh but also in other backward areas. But surely Bangladesh can boast about the dawn of an unimaginable era of communication for the farmers and the rural poor. “

Read full story (alternate link)

(via @movirtu)

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