FACTORS INFLUENCE THE ADOPTION OF MOBILE PHONES AMONG HOUSEHOLDS IN THE RURAL AREAS IN KENYA.

Sylvanah Karimi Mwabu, Edward Mburugu

Abstract


Mobile and wireless markets have both recorded exponential rise emerging as the fastest growing markets in the world. Just like any other innovation and development there are underlying factors that influence its adoption. The study was motivated to identify factors influencing the adoption of mobile phone technology in rural areas in Kenya. The main units of study were the households in Kiagu locations of Abothuguchi Sub- County in Meru County. One member of every household who owned a mobile phone and used the M-pesa money transfer service was interviewed. A total of 50 households were interviewed including 4 key informants. Data was collected through questionnaire and analyzed with aid of SPSS. The findings indicated that price, additional features, opinion of friends, appearance of handset and availability of low cost handset influenced the purchase decision. The study concludes the mobile phone is crucial for rural development though income level has a great role to play in the adoption. The study therefore recommends that the stakeholders in communication sector should come up with low cost technology that would lead to higher adoption of mobile technology in rural areas and also raise the standard of living.

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