Wires Versus Wireless: The Case for Wireless Broadband Technology in Emerging Markets

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Executive Summary

The mobile communications revolution has been a well-documented phenomenon in emerging or lower-income markets. Since the turn of the millennium, one emerging country after the other has seen mobile penetration exceed fixed-line rates several fold. It was not unusual for many of these markets to experience record mobile subscription growth while traditional wired telephone subscriptions fell. Availability, rapid provisioning, and declining costs combined to create a mobile service proposition that proved much more compelling than what the traditional wired telephone service could offer. The impact on these economies has been profound. Widespread access to mobile communications has enabled the improved flow of information, helping emerging economies function more efficiently. It has also helped close the communications gap with the developed world.

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