When one talks of a ‘shoestring’ budget, it is understood that reference is being made to constrained finances, where individuals make attempts to cut costs through various methods without harming utility. This paper looks at the use of ‘strategies’ by such ‘shoestring’ users to reduce their communication costs. While the use of ‘long-term’ strategies, relating to the investment in a phone, is evident, that of ‘short-term’ strategies, relating to everyday use are looked at is found to be low. It is concluded that this is a result of a series of constraints on users, rather than a lack of a concern for controlling spending on telecoms.
Also in this series is a Powerpoint presentation on Telecom Use on a Shoestring: a Study of the Financially Constrained in South Asia and a paper Telecom Use on a Shoestring: The Case of Bangladesh.
Comments are welcome on the LIRNEasia website at http://www.lirneasia.net/2006/02/strategic-use-of-telecom-services-on-a-shoestring/