Inconvenience cost of mobile communication failure: The case of South Korea

Juyong Lee, Youngsang Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Mobile communication failure can occur when mobile traffic exceeds the manageable level. This depends on frequency bandwidth. Mobile communication failure causes inconveniences in a user's daily life that lead to social and economic damage. To address this issue, mobile telecommunications companies deploy additional bandwidths and develop new technologies, but these are costly strategies. This study applies a spike model based on a contingent valuation method (CVM) to measure the inconvenience cost resulting from mobile communication failure. The mean monthly willingness-to-pay (WTP) to avoid communication failure per user is estimated to be KRW 898.14 (USD 0.80) over a period of five years in our study. The inconvenience cost borne by the population is estimated to be KRW 2.97 trillion (USD 2.61 billion). Users experiencing greater frequency of communication failure are found to be willing to pay more to avoid the inconvenience. When excluding respondents citing zero-WTP, the mean WTP per user was calculated to be KRW 3426.41 (USD 3.01). Data traffic usage and frequency at which communication failure is experienced are variables that exhibit statistically significant effects on WTP to avoid mobile communication failure. Overall, estimation results show that a price discrimination based on data traffic usage or quality can be considered by mobile telecommunications companies and regulators to address the issue of data traffic inducing mobile communication failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-252
Number of pages12
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Information Systems
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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