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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | Organization and Management | 2011
Thesis number: 14466
Review of benefits of mobility in the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) markets
Author: Haapkylä, Heli
Title: Review of benefits of mobility in the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) markets
Year: 2011  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: Organization and Management
Index terms: organisaatio; organization; johtaminen; management; liiketalous; business economics; mobiilitekniikka; mobile technology; bottom of the pyramid; bottom of the pyramid; markkinat; markets
Pages: 105
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14466.pdf pdf  size:6 MB (5842755)
Key terms: Base of the pyramid; BOP; emerging markets; mobile technology; mobile phone; affordability; accessibility; reverse innovation; impact
Abstract Mobile phones have become the primary form of communication in both developed and developing countries. The spread has been fast and mobile phones have made a bigger difference to the lives of more people and quicker than any previous technology. The world has crossed the 5 billion in mobile connections mark. At the end of 1990 there were just 11 million mobile subscribers. Mobiles provide a unique way of reaching the masses of people, which have been hard or impossible to reach otherwise, especially in the remote places of the world.

Mobile phones are one of the only devices reaching nearly all consumers at the Base of the Pyramid (BOP). This group of people is the largest, but the poorest socio-economic group in the world. These approximately 4 billion people have been ignored by the multinational companies until very recently. Being connected is one of the main building blocks of the digital societies and mobile phones are bridging the digital divide. Being connected virtually seems to be all the time more important part of development and functioning of the modern societies both in the developed and developing world.

Objective of the study The purpose of this thesis was to build a framework of key impact areas and dimensions of mobility and present a holistic picture of this wide phenomenon by answering the question: What types of benefits can mobile technology provide at the BOP markets?

As the whole phenomenon of benefits and impacts of mobility is abstract and the impacts are wide reaching, a simplified framework of the phenomenon was needed. The aim was to widen the theoretical discussion and theory formulation concerning the benefits of mobility. The purpose was also to examine the affordability and accessibility restrictions in the field of mobile communications at the BOP.

Data and methodology The primary data of the study consist of 43 discussions with experts from Nokia as well as researchers and active players in the field of Information and Communication technology (ICT). This thesis has journalistic properties as discussions with experts have been combined with wide amount of other content, such as, surveys, researches and blogs.

Findings This thesis widened understanding of how people use mobile phones at the BOP. Mobile phones have impacted on how people live, work, communicate and socialise locally and globally. The wide reach and sheer magnitude of mobile communications change the functioning of societies. Thesis demonstrated multiple benefits of mobile phones: from decreasing negative aspects (e.g., corruption and high prices because of information asymmetry etc.) to highlighting benefits (e.g., education and health reach, energy efficiency, electoral oversight). All these impacts can be achieved only if the right levels of access and pricing are achieved. Accessibility and affordability aspects are very crucial for low income consumers in the BOP markets.
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