Making internet-enabled phones more affordable in low- and middle-income countries

Tuesday 5 Apr 2022 | Connected Society | English | Mobile access and use | Report | Research |

Making internet-enabled phones more affordable in low- and middle-income countries image

Join us on 6 July to explore innovative solutions for making handsets more affordable in LMICs. We’ll share the key findings of this report and will also hear from expert guest speakers on ways mobile operators, policymakers and any actor working on digital inclusion in LMICs can make handsets more affordable and accessible.

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Around the word, 3.4 billion people are not using mobile internet despite living in areas with mobile broadband coverage. The affordability of internet-enabled handsets is a key barrier to using mobile internet and is of growing concern. Indeed, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disposable household income to drop, making handsets less affordable for many. This report provides an overview of approaches, business models and technological innovations that are improving the affordability of internet-enabled handsets in low- and middle-income countries, particularly for underserved populations.

The report is structured into four chapters. The first one aims at defining handset affordability. The second and third chapters discuss the two key supply-side levers to deliver more affordable handsets: reducing the price of a handset through efficiency gains and cost savings in the value chain and improving customer access to financing. In the final chapter, we provide eight policy considerations, highlighting the importance of strengthening the enabling environment to improve handset affordability.

Throughout the report we explore some of the nuances among different underserved groups, and variations between markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. We also provide considerations for stakeholders along the value chain for making handsets more affordable and meeting people’s needs.

You might also be interested in:

M-KOPA: Applying the pay-as-you-go model to smartphones in Africa

Document

Tuesday 3 May 2022 | Case study | Connected Society | English | Mobile access and use | Report | Research |

In Africa, handset affordability is a key barrier to accessing & using mobile internet. This case study highlights how M-KOPA, a connected asset financing company, is making smartphones more affordable to underserved customers in Kenya, Nigeria & Ghana.

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