Corruption in telecommunications: problems and remedies

Ewan Sutherland (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and CRIDS, University of Namur, Namur, Belgium)


ISSN: 1463-6697

Publication date: 20 January 2012



This paper aims to identify the nature of the problem of corruption in the telecommunications sector and to identify possible actions to limit it.


A review of instances of corruption, showing the scope of its various forms, with particular emphasis on the Arab states, in the light of recent events.


Policies were advocated for telecommunications that greatly increased the risks of corruption without corresponding measures to ensure integrity, transparency and the investigation and prosecution of those paying and, especially, those accepting bribes.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for much more raw data and detailing of specific cases, in particular there are no plausible estimates of the overall scale of bribery in the sector.

Practical implications

By repressing bribery in telecommunications it will increase competition in markets, reduce prices and remove the social grievance of “crony capitalism”.


There are, as yet, very few articles analysing the effects of corruption in telecommunications or identifying possible courses of action.



Sutherland, E. (2012), "Corruption in telecommunications: problems and remedies", info, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 4-19.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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