International Mobile Network Providers (MNPs) like Orange, Vodafone, Millicom etc do good mobile business in the West, but also operate in Africa and other Third World Regions, where by and large they charge prohibitive rates for both voice and data to very poor populations. For example, Mascom in Botswana and Econet in Zimbabwe typically charge US$ 250/gigabyte of 3G or even 2G wireless data. This compares with US$20-30/Gigabyte for bundles in Kenya, and US$ 8/gigabytes for prepaid bundles in UK. For voice they charge typically US$ 0.25/minute which compares to bundle prices of $0.08/minute in the UK market (and presumeably less in Germany).
Studies have shown that in poor countries like Uganda, many consumers will spend 20% of their total family income on mobile phone costs.
Of course in developed countries, the large market for data and voice means that great economies of scale are possible, but even then, some of these Third World Charges can be described only as pure and outright exploitation.
Since the National Governments, Presidents and Ruling Parties are usually hand in glove with these corrupt, corruptive and corrupting MNPs, then there is effectively no control over their prices.
What we need is a Western-consumer-led campaign against operators who do not exploit in the West, but who DO exploit in Africa and other Third World Regions. Of course, these Western MNPs will then try to pretend that the Third World operations are in fact affiliates with sovereign power over their own pricing – such falsehoods will also have to be combatted.
I personally do not have the time to handle this kind of campaign, being too busy with Fraud Proof Voting (which is of much greater and massive consequence for the whole world), and therefore invite someone, anyone who is genuine, to take up these cudgels and fight.
The cause is just. The campaign should be relatively easy (?).
The weapons used could be as simple as a move or a threat for mobile phone users to switch from an exploitative MNP to a non-exploitative MNP or to a less-exploitative MNP. With inter-network number transfer systems in place, changing network is relatively painless.
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