Enabling rural coverage
Regulatory and policy regulations to foster mobile broadband coverage in developing countries
The lack of coverage in rural areas is the consequence of a basic economic challenge: deploying infrastructure in remote areas can be twice as expensive, while revenue opportunities are as much as ten times lower, a combination that deeply affects the business case for MNOs to deploy infrastructure. In other words, high prices of deploying infrastructure in rural areas, combined with a weak demand for mobile internet services in rural populations, result in a supply-demand equilibrium with low population coverage.
This report examines how deployment in rural areas can be made sustainable, with a special focus on the function of governments in creating a favourable regulatory environment to improve the range of services and close the coverage gap.
The coverage gap in Latin America is 10%
GSMA Intelligence study “Closing the coverage gap: Digital inclusion in Latin America” indicates that in Latin America only 10% of the population still has no access to a mobile broadband network. This means 64 million people are digitally excluded and unable to enjoy the socioeconomic benefits that mobile broadband can bring. Although this a relatively small number compared to other developing regions, the coverage gap will not close without a significant rethink in approach, regulation and policy.