The poor and the mobile phone related spending
Chepken, Christopher C.
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In this paper, we present work done to find out the challenges poor people in Kakamega east district in western Kenya face to maintain their mobile phones. It reports on findings from a study conducted to find out how the poor use their mobile phones, their means of acquisition, air time top up, battery recharge dynamics, and repair costs. Mobile phone maintenance costs visa-vi their earnings and spending were also analyzed. Results show that over 80% of the population own mobile phones and 61 % of all those who own and use mobile phones spend at least 10% of their disposable income on mobile phone. Some people at the bottom of the pyramid forego other important basic needs at the expense of maintaining their mobile phone. We conclude that, unless positive policy or interventions are put in place, economic leapfrogging is not likely to happen among the poor in developing countries even with the high uptake of ICTs, especially mobile phones.