Mobile Telephony in Emerging Markets: The Importance of Dual-SIM Phones
20 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2015 Last revised: 17 Jul 2018
Date Written: April 13, 2015
A substantial share of customers in emerging markets use dual-SIM phones and subscribe to two mobile networks. A primary motive for so called multi-simming is to take advantage of cheap on-net services from both networks. In our modelling effort, we augment the seminal model of competing telephone networks a la Laffont, Rey and Tirole (1998b) by a segment of flexible price hunters that may choose to multi-sim. According to our findings, in equilibrium, the networks set a high off-net price in the linear tariffs to achieve segmentation. This induces the price hunters to multi-sim. We show that increased deployment of dual-SIM phones may induce a mixing equilibrium with high expected on-net prices. Thus, somewhat paradoxically, deployment of a technology that increases substitutability, and thereby competition, may end up raising prices.
Keywords: Mobile networks, multihoming, dual-SIM phones, termination rates
JEL Classification: D43, L13, L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation