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Determinants of a Digital Divide in Sub-Saharan Africa : A Spatial Econometric Analysis of Cell Phone Coverage

AREA ATTRIBUTES BACKBONE BASIC BEST PRACTICES BLUE BUSINESS MODELS BUSINESSES CELL PHONE CELL PHONES CELL-PHONE CELLPHONE CENTER CENTRE CITY POPULATION CLUSTER ANALYSIS COMMERCE COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES COMMUNITIES COMPETITION POLICY COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT COMPETITIVENESS COMPUTER MEMORY CONNECTIVITY DATA ANALYSIS DATA SOURCES DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DIGITAL DIGITAL DIVIDE E-DEVELOPMENT E-MAIL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC GROWTH EFFECTIVE POLICIES ELECTRONIC MARKETS EXTRAPOLATION GEOGRAPHIC FACTORS GIS GLOBAL COVERAGE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT ICT INDUSTRIAL ECONOMICS INFORMATICS INFORMATION NETWORK INFORMATION SOCIETY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INSPECTION INSTALLATION INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS LICENSE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS LOCAL POPULATION MAINTENANCE COST MAINTENANCE COSTS MANDATES MARKET DEMAND MATERIAL MOBILE COMMERCE MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS MOBILE PHONES NETWORK SERVICES NETWORK TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS OPERATING SYSTEM OVERLAY PDF PENETRATION RATES PHONE SHOPS POLICY IMPLICATIONS POLICY RESEARCH POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER PRIVATE SECTOR PROGRAMS PROGRESS PUBLIC ACCESS PUBLIC POLICY PUBLISHING RADIO RADIO SPECTRUM REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT REGULATORY FRAMEWORK REGULATORY REFORM RESULTS RURAL ACCESS RURAL AREAS RURAL CONNECTIVITY RURAL POPULATIONS RURAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS RURAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENT RURAL TELEPHONY SCARCE RESOURCES SEA LEVEL SERVICE QUALITY SIMULATION SIMULATION METHODS SITES SLOPE SPATIAL AUTOCORRELATION SPATIAL POPULATION DISTRIBUTION SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA TELECOM TELECOMMUNICATION TELECOMMUNICATION REFORM TELECOMMUNICATION SECTOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY TELECOMMUNICATIONS REFORM TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATION TELECOMS TELEPHONE TELEPHONE CONNECTIVITY TELEPHONE SYSTEMS TELEPHONY THE GAMBIA TRANSMISSION UNIVERSAL ACCESS UNIVERSAL SERVICE UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUNDS URBAN DEVELOPMENT USES WEB WIRELESS WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa
2012-05-25T17:48:17Z | 2012-05-25T17:48:17Z | 2008-02

Most discussions of the digital divide treat it as a "North-South" issue, but the conventional dichotomy doesn't apply to cell phones in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although almost all Sub-Saharan countries are poor by international standards, they exhibit great disparities in coverage by cell telephone systems. Buys, Dasgupta, Thomas and Wheeler investigate the determinants of these disparities with a spatially-disaggregated model that employs locational information for cell-phone towers across over 990,000 4.6-km grid squares in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using probit techniques, a probability model with adjustments for spatial autocorrelation has been estimated that relates the likelihood of cell-tower location within a grid square to potential market size (proximate population); installation and maintenance cost factors related to accessibility (elevation, slope, distance from a main road, distance from the nearest large city); and national competition policy. Probit estimates indicate strong, significant results for the supply-demand variables, and very strong results for the competition policy index. Simulations based on the econometric results suggest that a generalized improvement in competition policy to a level that currently characterizes the best-performing states in Sub-Saharan Africa could lead to huge improvements in cell-phone area coverage for many states currently with poor policy performance, and an overall coverage increase of nearly 100 percent.

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