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A note on the availability (and importance) of pre-paid mobile data in Africa

Kevin Donovan and Jonathan Donner

Abstract

We argue that clear and easy access to prepay data will be as essential to the widespread adoption and use of the mobile internet in developing countries as access to prepay airtime was to the adoption of the mobile telephone. In late 2009, we conducted a desk assessment of the availability of pre-pay (pay-as-you-go) data from major operators in 53 African countries. We identified at least one operator in 38 countries which offered pre-pay data, and in 3 cases we could determine that no prepay data was available. Information available from many operators was vague, incomplete, and hard to obtain, suggesting that a threshold of mainstream promotion of the service by operators may not yet have been crossed. We suggest topics for further research, both on the demand and supply sides of the prepaid data equation

Details

Publication typeProceedings
Published inProceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Mobile Communication Technology for Development
URLhttp://jonathandonner.com/prepaydata_M4D.pdf
Pages263-267
PublisherKarlstad University Studies
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