Demographic analysis for consumer spend in communications

Ossi Pöllänen (Based at Nokia Siemens Networks, Espoo, Finland)
Lauri Eloranta (Based at the University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)


ISSN: 1463-6697

Publication date: 8 May 2009



The purpose of this paper is to create a global view of consumer spending, taking into account income and rural population density in countries where mobile communications is still in the growth phase.


To gain a view of the applicable demographic conditions, information in four different databases was analyzed. Gross domestic product (GDP) formation was studied per geographic area within rural population. A short case study on South Africa is also included to provide detail on how communications penetration can increase rapidly in a favorable environment.


Communications seems to be a necessity once relative spending increases towards the lower income segments of world population. It is assumed that where people live in arable land the population densities in many low income countries are very high. When different spending patterns were analyzed it became clear that mobile communications gain most notably from travel‐related expenditure.

Research limitations/implications

The findings in this study are general, which opens a large field for further studies in each country; to analyze how social, economic and political development occur when mobile communications become more popular.

Practical implications

This study should help operators in different countries plan their investments better. It may also well be that future innovations for mobile communication and information access emerge from growth countries.


Only few public papers have approached this topic in the past. More detailed studies and analysis will remain to be performed for scientists and practitioners.



Pöllänen, O. and Eloranta, L. (2009), "Demographic analysis for consumer spend in communications", info, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 97-106.

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