There are around 485 million mobile phone users in emerging markets who don’t have access to the electricity grid, according to a new report from the GSMA. That’s over 10% of all global subscribers and represents a $2.3 billion opportunity, they reckon, because customers who can’t easily recharge their phones are reluctant to use them.
The report looks at a number of solutions, including solar and wind-up chargers, disposable batteries, charging docks on base stations and solar charging stations in villages. This ‘off-grid’ charging could boost average revenues per user by 10% to 14% if implemented effectively, the GSMA says. Currently, most off-grid customers ‘pay per charge’ for electricity, with a third of their total mobile spending going on power. [Report (pdf)]