Mobile Phones: Pricing Structures and Trends

Mobile communications is one of the tremendous success stories of the telecommunications industry. By June 1999, there were 293 million mobile subscribers in the OECD area, or around one mobile phone for every four inhabitants. Current growth continues to exceed most past projections. The benefits wrought by mobility in communications are increasingly evident in terms of both economic and social development.

If there is a caveat, amidst such a tremendous success story, it is that the very rapid growth of mobile communications has tended to conceal large performance differences across the OECD area. There is an ongoing need to examine performance against fast moving international benchmarks. Without such analysis the challenges to mobile communications meeting wider policy goals, in relation to electronic commerce and local infrastructure competition, will remain impervious to critical review. In addition, high growth rates have tended to mask some problem areas where there has been insufficient price competition.

In many countries, the mobile communications sector has been successfully used to pioneer liberalisation. Nevertheless, it is incumbent on policy makers to continually review regulatory frameworks. This book highlights a number of areas for policy review and decision.

English French