Modes of communication are changing, new business ventures are emerging, and mobile phones are becoming a part of everyday life. That’s according to a research report by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy (PiPP); the first in a series of studies on telecommunications use, benefits, and constraints in Vanuatu.

PiPP in collaboration with AusAID/Government of Vanuatu Governance for Growth Programme and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities have been mapping developments and changes in this area since 2008.

The key messages from the 2008 study included:

  • There is increasing use of and access to mobile telecommunications throughout Vanuatu and in rural areas in particular.
  • The main reason for non-use remains the high cost of using telephony.
  • Telecommunications is positive for social and financial capital.
  • Users generally consider telecommunications as critical for economic activity and would find it difficult to continue if they no longer had access.
  • The the benefits of mobile telephony also comes with social and economic costs.
  • Gender and geography were important in determining ownership and use of mobile telephony.
  • Mobile phone use will become more sophisticated as users become more experienced.
  • The telcos have introduced commendable marketing strategies to increase the affordability to their customers.
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