High cost of smartphones a barrier to digital inclusion, report says
Retail costs for smartphones are excessive in growing nations relative to common revenue, stopping folks from proudly owning a cell phone, in accordance to a global report. The report mentioned the excessive cost of cellular and web are vital obstacles to digital inclusion.
According to the report titled Strategies Towards Universal Smartphones Access, the cost of smartphones within the US and Europe has fallen under 5 p.c of common month-to-month revenue, whereas in low-income nations it has exceeded 70 p.c.
As a outcome, smartphones are usually not reasonably priced for almost all of folks in most low- and middle-income nations, the report mentioned.
Access is expounded to affordability required for each web and smartphones, mentioned Santosh Sigdel, founding chairman of Digital Rights Nepal, an advocacy group to strengthen civic area and digital rights. “A lack of one of these causes a digital divide.
As more information is distributed online, the government has a responsibility to ensure the accessibility of phones and the Internet to reduce the digital divide, according to Sigdel.
The price of smartphones in Nepal has increased due to increased freight costs, the appreciation of the US dollar and the ban on the import of mobile phones.
Sanjay Agrawal, vice president of the Mobile Importers Association, said that smartphone prices have increased by 10 percent in recent months.
Despite new innovations, the retail cost of mobile phones is still affected by hardware and operating system costs, the report said.
“The disruption to global and local logistics caused smartphone prices to rise during the early days of the pandemic, only to see them fall again in response to oversupply in the face of softening demand,” the report said.
Affordability of mobile phones appears to affect women more than men in many low- and middle-income countries and is cited as the biggest barrier preventing women from owning a mobile phone, the report said.
The report showed that women in low- and middle-income countries are 18 percent less likely than men to own a smartphone. This exclusion is worse in the least developed countries, especially in the most rural areas, and it reinforces and worsens their marginalization.
In Nepal, the government levies an 18 percent tax on smartphones and a 15.5 percent tax on bar phones.
Markets with high levies tend to be very inefficient as the levies significantly reduce legal imports, and illegal imports then increase, the report said.
In countries where local industry does not exist, taxes and duties on mobile phones are introduced to boost government revenue.
“Most devices bought from parallel markets are manufactured from copied parts that often fail after a short time in use. Furthermore, these devices are sold without warranties or repair options,” the report mentioned.
As retail costs for cellphones are influenced by the options of a gadget, there are strategies that rethinking the design of units, and mixing options from smartphones and have telephones can ship reasonably priced cellphones with ample capabilities.
According to the report, an estimated 2.7 billion folks worldwide stay offline. Most of these persons are in low and center revenue nations and most of them reside with good web protection.
However, the cost of a smartphone to entry the Internet can exceed 70 p.c of the typical month-to-month revenue in low- and middle-income nations, presenting a vital barrier to digital inclusion.
The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has set the goal of decreasing the value of entry-level fastened or cellular broadband providers in low- and middle-income nations to lower than 2 p.c of month-to-month gross nationwide revenue per capita by 2025.
More than 99 p.c of folks in high-income nations have entry to cellular protection, whereas solely 86 p.c of residents of low-income nations do.