Are the Poor Stuck in Voice? Conditions for Adoption of More-Than-Voice Mobile Services

Ayesha Zainudeen, Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara


Mobile phone access is widespread in Asia; voice connectivity has been achieved for the most part through intense competition, with prices being driven down to almost unsustainable levels. Against the backdrop of intense competition, new services and applications, such as price information alerts, news alerts, mobile money applications, and mobile Internet services, may provide new revenue sources, allowing operators to expand services. More important, from a development perspective, they also offer a way to get information and services with lower transaction costs to customers at the “bottom of the pyramid.” This article examines the use of such “more-than-voice” services among telecom users at the bottom of the pyramid in emerging Asia. Through a logistical regression model, it attempts to understand what factors can predict their use in order to inform operators on how they can better serve these markets, and to educate policymakers on how they can assist with policies that will favor greater access.


mobile money applications, more-than-voice, mobile services

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