The strong pattern of inequality that marks Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is repeated, although with different characteristics, in access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). Although it is not currently possible to demonstrate empirically, in great detail, that mobile telephony is making a substantive contribution to poverty reduction in LAC, we aim to shed light on certain areas. First, we argue that mobile telephony penetration has been significantly higher than that of other ICTs among the poorest sectors of the population. Second, by constructing Gini indexes of phone access, data show that the distribution of mobile telephony is consistently more equitable than that of landlines in LAC. Third, the high degree of mobile telephone penetration in poor sectors sparks new implications about possible strategies and tools for promoting other ICTs, which have had comparatively less impact so far. We seek then to contribute to the discussion on design –or redesign- of public policies that focus on development through the use of ICTs in the region.
Bonina, Carla Marisa and Illa, Martin Rivero, "Mobile Telephony in Latin America: New Opportunities to Reduce Poverty?" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. 188.