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Alternatives for Affordable Communications in rural South Africa: Social Purpose GSM Licenses

Type of Resource:
Policy brief

Year of Publication:

- Challenges
- Trends

- Internet Access, Affordability And Use

Author(s): ResearchICTAfrica

Trends: Access to communications is widespread in rural communities. Despite limited income levels (~R400/month), mainly coming from social grants, people expend 22% of disposable income for a limited a basket of communications services.on average, 22% of disposable income is dedicated to a very limited basket of services (including only 7 SMS and 77 minutes of calling time a month - a week). Challenges: Moreover,40% of their time their SIM cards do not have airtime making it impossible to use those services, mainly due to the cost to communicate. The effects of a reduction of the Mobile Termination Rates (MTR) are not reaching rural communities, who are reluctant to change to cheaper products or providers due to long distance and cost to reach urban centres where portability can be done


Region of Study:

Country of Study:
South Africa,

Study Quality