Teleuse on a shoestring

Harsha de Silva and Ayesha Zainudeen
LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka

Shaheen Cader
ACNielsen Lanka Pvt. Ltd., Sri Lanka


This paper looks at perceived impacts of telecommunication at the 'Bottom of the Pyramid' in India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Strong positive impacts are seen in terms of emergency communication, maintaining relationships, and efficiency gains; impacts on income and social recognition are not as strong. The paper also explores the use of future phone owners. A review of the methodology employed to conduct a study of this nature and the methodological innovations that were undertaken are included.


The enormous potential at the 'Bottom of the Pyramid' (or BOP; Prahalad, 2004) has been much talked about. In the telecommunications sector, companies are beginning to understand this burgeoning market, adapting products and business models to better serve its needs. As such, many predict that the low income, developing markets will be where new telecom growth will come from.