Growth of Teledensity in Least Developed Countries: Need for a Mitigated Euphoria

Growth of Teledensity in Least Developed Countries: Need for a Mitigated Euphoria

Victor W. Mbarika (Louisiana University, USA), Terry A. Byrd (Auburn University, USA) and Jennifer Raymond (Auburn University, USA)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.2002040102
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Abstract

While having the lowest number of main telephone lines for every 100 inhabitants (teledensity) over the last decade, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), have the highest average pre-tax operator profitability in the world. Many LDCs have already opened their terminal equipment markets to competition and some have also done this with data and value-added services. LDCs are greatly behind other regions of the world in terms of their levels of teledensity. This paper combines research from academic and major international organizational literature to examine and synthesize the current understanding of teledensity development in LDCs. The obstacles to growth of teledensity are discussed, and the importance and opportunities for growth of teledensity to solve priority problems and to realize sustainable development in LDCs are examined. Specifically, the framework and findings suggest that various policy, economical, financial, managerial, organizational, technological, political and geographical factors are important determinants for growth of teledensity in LDCs. While it is time for a mitigated euphoria vis-à-vis the poor state of teledensity in these countries, this study suggests a variety of strategies to advance teledensity in LDCs.

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