27th June 2011, www.lankabusinessonline.com
Sri Lanka is among the top three countries in the world to see a sharp increase in telecom services affordability, a study by the International Telecommunications Union, a UN affiliated body has shown.
ITU's 2010 ICT Price Basket, measures the change in costs of mobile, fixed and fixed broadband services relative to per person gross national product, from 2008.
South Asian countries of Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were among countries to see the sharpest rise in affordability. Relative costs fell 67.4 percent in 2010 from two years ago in Sri Lanka, behind 75.4 percent for Bhutan and ahead of Bangladesh's 65.2 percent.
Azerbaijan saw the steepest price fall measured by the basket at 81.7 percent.
Consumers worldwide were paying on average 18 percent less for ICT services than two years ago, with broadband prices falling 50 percent. Mobile costs have fallen 22 percent and fixed telephony 7 percent.
As a region, the largest price drops were in Africa, but the countries had high prices to begin with, ITU said. In Africa fixed broadband prices had fallen 55 percent and cellular prices 25 percent.
But in Africa fixed broadband was still three times the monthly average per person GNP and was "prohibitively high", the ITU said.
In developing countries fixed broadband service costs had dropped 52 percent, compared to 35 percent in developed countries.
Small economies with high per person gross national income, such as Monaco, Macao, Liechtenstein, Hong Kong (China) and Singapore topped the ICT Price Basket.
In many developed nations ICT costs were one percent of per person national product, compared to 17 percent from developing countries.
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