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May 19, 2011

The Evolution of Cheaper Talktime

DEVELOPING countries still pay far more for communications than developed countries as a proportion of overall income. But over the past two years these services have become more affordable worldwide, according to the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). The ITU’s ICT price basket combines the average cost of fixed-line telephones, mobile phones and fixed-line broadband internet services, calculated as a proportion of gross national income per person. (Broadband is not shown on the chart because in countries where it is still rare, its high cost swamps the chart and makes it difficult to read.) Africa made the biggest gains. Of the countries covered, seven countries had overall price-basket declines greater than 50%, mainly because of declines in fixed broadband. Mobile-phone charges are higher in developing countries in part because many customers pay for calls using pre-paid scratch cards rather than via monthly contracts which include large "buckets" of calling time for which the effective cost per minute is much lower.(source: )