Investments in Telecommunications Infrastructure Are Not the Panacea for Least Developed Countries Leapfrogging Growth of Teledensity

Over the last decade, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have sustained the lowest number of main telephone lines for every one hundred inhabitants (teledensity). LDCs also lag greatly behind other regions of the world in utilizing information and telecommunication technologies. This regression study examines the 48 LDCs worldwide with teledensity of less than one. The problems and strategic actions for growth of teledensity are discussed. Also, the opportunities for utilizing telecommunications technologies to solve priority problems and to realize sustainable development of teledensity in LDCs are examined. Specifically, the framework and findings suggest that increased investment in telecommunication technologies is not a major determinant for growth of teledensity. Higher GDP per capita and higher contributions of the service sector share to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of LDCs are major determinants for growth of teledensity.


Mbarika, V., Byrd, T. A., Raymond, J., and McMullen, P. (2001). Investments in Telecommunications Infrastructure Are Not the Panacea for Least Developed Countries Leapfrogging Growth of Teledensity. International Journal on Media Management, Vol. 2, #1, pp. 133-142.

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