Cell phones help increase income of rural families – report

Families living in rural Peru that own a cell phone are on average able to increase their income by 900 soles ($321) per year, or a 12 percent increase, according to a report by Lima-based firm Apoyo Consultoria.

Agricultural producers with a cell phone are able to better obtain market prices for their products and increase their sales volume, daily Peru.21 reported Apoyo’s Geoffrey Cannock as saying.

Six percent of people with cell phones in rural zones end up starting their own small business, he added.

Between 2001 and 2008, the percentage of homes in rural zones with cell phones increased from 1.1 percent to 29.4 percent, according to the report which was conducted in Cajamarca, Cuzco, Huanuco, Loreto and Piura departments.

Despite this increase, there are still geographical and infrastructure challenges, such as the lack of electricity, in order to provide mobile coverage for the most isolated and poorest communities in Peru.

The expansion of telecommunications technologies is recognized as an important tool for development in Peru.

Peru’s mobile market is currently served by Claro, a unit of Mexico’s América Móvil, Movistar Perú of Spain’s Telefónica, and Nextel, a subsidiary of Virginia-based NII Holdings.

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