Africa's New Communications Users - Household Survey Findings
Monday, 03 October 2011 14:41
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One of the key issues in promoting access for telephony and internet in Africa is the need for information about how new services are likely to be used by consumers - both citizens and small businesses. This research - based on a statistically valid sample of households in Botswana, Ghana and Uganda in 2002, applied across the whole country – takes the first step in providing this information.

The results show that;

  • Surprising numbers of African households use phones regularly, 70% + even where there is limited coverage
  • Email and Internet aren't money makers (yet), less than 3% of households are using them
  • Universal Access strategies should be undertaken with an understanding of low-income markets
  • There are financial benefits when public access providers are supported
  • Development agencies need to offer support and further research

Such research should seek to understand how low income groups are using phones Regulators, telecoms operating companies and internet service providers (ISPs) all need to predict how quickly and extensively services are likely to develop if they are to establish viable access targets and network or service delivery schedules. Whilst some companies conduct their own market research, regulators and others have limited resources and expertise with which to generate this type of information.

The research aimed to help address the dearth of information by: identifying the patterns of use of telephony, particularly public access telephony, in low-income communities in three African countries and assessing the implications of these research findings for major stakeholders in thenational ICT sectors studied.

Sector specific summary reports are available here

Innovative Demand Models For Telecommunications Services - RecommendationsNGOs 

Innovative Demand Models For Telecommunications Services - RecommendationsOperators 

Innovative Demand Models For Telecommunications Services - RecommendationsPolicy 

The full report and other project documents are available on the project website