This paper looks at the question of universal access to telecommunications in emerging Asia. It looks at how universal access is defined, and compares this to access levels as found in a recent five country study of the use of telecommunication services at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ in India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Very high levels of access, but low levels of ownership are found. The paper then looks at the potential benefits that these non-owner users are missing out on, and then goes on to look at the key barriers to ownership that are faced by them. The paper estimates that there could be close to 150 million new subscribers at the BOP in these five countries by mid-2008. However, a distinct affordability gap is found. Possible ways to deal with this affordability gap are proposed in the final section with emphasis on multiple stakeholder efforts.
de Silva, H.; Zainudeen, A. Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Beyond Universal Access. Telektronikk (2008) 2.2008 25-38