Hit Me with a Missed Call: The Use of Missed Calls at the Bottom of the Pyramid
3rd Communication Policy Research South Conference (CPRsouth3) Beijing, China
16 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2010
Date Written: December 6, 2008
‘Missed calling’ is an innovative way of communicating, growing in use among the 3 billion mobile users that exist today. Supported by caller identification facilities and built-in address books that most mobile phones come equipped with, the practice allows mobile users to pass on the cost of communication to others,. This has allowed many at the bottom of the economic pyramid (or BOP) to fulfill a variety of communication needs at virtually no cost. This paper explores the use of missed calling as a means of cost-minimization at the BOP in five emerging Asian countries. The paper draws on findings from a five-country, 8600 sample study conducted in 2006. Contradictory to much of the existing literature, this article finds that the practice is as popular among non-BOP mobile owners as with BOP mobile owners. What may have originated as a cost-minimizing strategy may in fact now have become a ‘strategy of convenience’ used at all levels of the economic pyramid.
Keywords: missed calls, beeping, Asia, mobile communication, bottom of the pyramid, telecommunication
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