In Japan, the mobile phone has become an increasingly popular medium of accessing the Internet and email, especially among those who may not have affordable access to a computer. The lower startup costs and the easier overall accessibility of mobile phones relative to personal computers suggest that the mobile phone may be a possible alternative for overcoming unequal access to information communication technology in Japan and elsewhere. Using microdata from 2001, we compare and contrast the determinants of mobile versus computer-based Internet in Japan. Our findings show that mobile Internet access, as compared to computer access, is determined less by demographics, socio-economic status and technological readiness, suggesting that barriers to Internet access are lower for mobile phones than is the case for computers.
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