Strategic Use of Mobile Telephony at the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Case of Mexico

Regina de Angoitia, Fernando Ramirez


The growing importance of mobile telephony for users at the bottom of the pyramid is reflected in the high proportion of their incomes devoted to this service. Evidence from communities in the developing world, where low-income users have developed strategies to minimize costs while continuing to benefit from access to communication, has opened new lines of research. Based on a survey of 1,000 mobile telephony users carried out in 2007, the present study assesses the strategies practiced by mobile users in two metropolitan areas of Mexico. The results show that the main short-term strategies to minimize the costs of mobile telephony are 1) using the phone only to receive calls, and 2) the use of SMS. In both cases, the main determinant of whether users at the bottom of the pyramid use cost-reduction strategies is their low economic status.


mobile telephony; Mexico; SMS; economic status; bottom of pyramid

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