Discussion Papers

Björn Frank

Internationale Entwicklungsmuster zellularen Mobilfunks
Nr. 83 / März 1992


The starting-point of this paper are conjectures about the reasons for the international differences in the penetration of cellular mobile telephones. In a cross-sectional analysis, using data from 17 European countries, the gross national product per capita, the age of the mobile telephone service in the respective country and the cost of using it show significant impact on the penetration rate. The density of population did not prove to be an explanatory variable with significant impact.

In section 3 we pool cross-section and time series data from 16 countries, thereby obtaining 109 observations per variable altogether. These are used to estimate a new variant of the logarithmic-reciprocal curve (penetration rate on the vertical and time on the horizontal axis) which has no predetermined point of inflection. We demonstrate how this function can generally be used for forecasting the penetration rate of mobile telephone service.

However, the forecast obtained for Germany in 1995 has to be considered to be a lower boundary only. This is due mainly to the new technique introduced in 1991/92 (GSM) and the new competitive environment.

Only German language version available.

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