January 6, 2013
Paul Lee, Senior Product Manager from Google.org shares on his trip to Africa the key to understanding barriers to Mobile Internet adoption in Kenya and Ghana
From the Google Africa Blog:
Paul Lee, Senior Product Manager from Google.org shares on his trip to Africa (Ghana and Kenya). Google.org partnered with iHub Research to carry out field research on mobile internet and other areas.
Below are key highlights from their research in Ghana from August 2012:
- Mobile data users spend more money to make calls and send SMS messages than to use mobile Internet. Most users of mobile Internet (48%) spend less than GHc 5 (USD 2.50) per week on mobile data, while 28% spend less than GHc 5 on voice calls per week.
- Approximately half of the users top up their mobile accounts daily in order to make calls and send SMS messages, compared to 37% of users who top up daily to use mobile Internet.
- Users and non-users do not have an accurate understanding of mobile Internet costs and many believe they are billed by time. Only 19% of users were able to correctly identify which mobile Internet activities were most expensive.
- Fewer users monitor mobile Internet spend, compared to voice/SMS balances. Nearly 75% of users keep track of their voice/SMS balances, compared to 38% who track their mobile Internet balance. Thirty-seven per cent of users have accidentally spent more money than they intended on mobile Internet.
- If mobile Internet costs were more transparent, it might encourage non-users to become mobile Internet users. Of the non-users who are already tracking voice/SMS balances, 28% responded that better knowledge of mobile Internet costs could convert them to mobile Internet users.
- Among users, 42% stated that they would increase their usage if they could monitor their mobile Internet expenses more easily.
See also #GhanaElections: How To Access Social Media During Internet Blockades with VPNs
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Summary report of their research can be downloaded from here — iHub Research on Ghana (pdf. file)