MobileActive News

MobileActive News for Civic Action and Social Change
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-03-19 02:17.

Vodafone Kenya has 175,000 mobile payment users

What started out as a mobile microfinance project has taken off phenomenally well as a mobile payments service. Nice one Vodafone.

Link: Cellphones may take banking to the rural poor in the third world - International Herald Tribune

When Vodafone began a pilot microfinance project in Kenya in 2003 using mobile phones, said Nick Hughes, head of international payment services for Vodafone, “the idea was to reduce the cost of loan disbursal and recovery.”

“But what we found was that customers were using it for person-to-person transfers” of money in addition to making loan payments.

As a result, three months ago, the company introduced a commercial program in Kenya to make payments possible by cellphone. Customer use has grown. “We’ve passed the 175,000 mark,” Hughes said, “and they’re signing up at about 2,500 a day.”

If it’s working well in Kenya, I’d imagine it would work really, really well in the UK too. I’d like to be able to do this along the lines of how Anam’s service works.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-07-09 09:30.

Mobile payments will reach $22bn by 2011

P2P fund transfers and mobile payments will generate transactions worth $22bn by 2011, predicts Juniper Research. In addition, they reckon 204m mobile phone users will be paying for services with their handsets by then. Interestingly this figure includes payments made using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology - already in daily use with London’s Oyster Card and the Octopus service in Hong Kong.

Greater availability of NFC devices, for physical mobile payments, coupled with secure and easy-to-use applications, backed by the large credit card organisations and financial institutions, will create the foundation for a healthy alternative to cash and other mainstream payment applications.

Report author Alan Goode said: “The technology is available now to enable secure and fast payments to be initiated on the mobile phone. The business model stills needs some work but there are positive signals emanating  from the industry  that will create considerable revenue for all parts of the ecosystem. I am cautiously optimistic for the future success of mPayments.”

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-07-09 09:21.

In Poorer Nations, Cellphones Help Open Up Microfinancing

In many developing countries, where bank branches and A.T.M.’s are few or nonexistent in rural areas, cellphones may finally make financial services practical such places, fitting in the palm of one’s hand. The New York Times reports.

"Mobile devices have the potential to take financial markets outside urban areas, allowing banks to provide services like loans and savings accounts in rural regions, according to a report by Vodafone and Nokia, published last week."

Add this this entry to your bookmarks.
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-07-09 08:21.

Mobile Knowledge for Social Change

The above phrase is the subtitle for a project called The project website offers “how to’s” and themes. It also has a growing collection of case studies — which may be a very clear glimpse of the very near future. There are lots of ideas already in the case studies. is a way for these ideas to be spread. Who could have imagined a farmer on a distant continent making a suggestion that could reach very far? Yet six may seem a lot of degrees of separation soon. Here is the About for the project: is an online community and a wiki for sharing ideas on how to use mobile communications for social and environmental benefits. was created with support from Nokia and Vodafone, but belongs to the growing global network of individuals and organizations that use this virtual gathering place to communicate - and collaborate.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Fri, 2007-07-06 19:34.

Text Messaging a major communication tool for Teens

If you want to talk to Teens - make sure they can send you a text message.

A recent Harris Interactive survey completed for Disney Mobile Cell and Tell Service found that text messaging is the "primary form of communication" for 44 percent of cell-phone users age 10 to 17. Fifty-eight percent said they have used text messaging in school during class. They also use it:

• At movies (52 percent);
• At the dinner table (28 percent);
• To ask someone out on a date (14 percent);
• To break up with someone (7 percent);
• Within 10 minutes of waking up in the morning (26 percent).

This same group is also the most likely to own mobile  phones that can browse the internet.  If you are targeting this age group, your communication should definitely include a way for your audience to text you AND to browse your information via a mobile phone. Setting up a teen-friendly program is easy with qtags text - lease a keyword by the month and add dot-mobi pages to embed inside your keyword's text-replies.  You can also build a permission-based group using qtags keywords.   

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-07-05 19:35.

Citizen Mobile Videos to save the Earth

story9faba8bbec80e11bc34c7acef7af2e33_240x180.jpg Friends of the Earth is asking members of the public to record videos with their mobile phones to pledge support for a new campaign, The Big Ask, to help push for tough new climate change laws.

Friends of the Earth will send a copy of each video message to each sender’s local MP. The campaign has attracted celebrity support from the likes of Jude Law, James Blunt, Johnny Borrel and KT Tunstall.

[From Pocket-Picks]

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-07-05 16:25.

M-banking could help millions in developing countries

Rating: the best of luck By Annie Turner A new regulatory framework is needed to encourage financial transactions via mobile phones and transform access to financial services in developing countries,...

Get Edgy...
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-07-04 09:29.

Clean Air Messages

Mobile phone users in the USA can find out about the quality of the air around them by SMS.
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 2007-07-03 15:28.

LG to develop mobile for YouTube

Rating: turn the binoculars round South Korea's LG Electronics has signed an agreement with YouTube, the world's biggest video-sharing website, to develop a mobile phone optimised for YouTube freaks....

Get Edgy...
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 2007-07-03 10:26.

Kenya. Wind Powered Cell Phone Base Stations


Spotted on Afrigadget, winafrique's hybrid wind and diesel turbine systems for powering cell phone base stations.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 2007-07-03 06:52.

Mobile Phones as Channels for the 7th Mass Media

With a fluid and wisely ironic style, the mobile strategies expert Alan Moore shares with us a collection of personal opinions that link together towards supporting more strongly the Connected Age theory that he and Tomi T. Ahonen assembled in 2005 in Communities Dominate Brands.

Paraphrasing an analogy in Communities Dominate Brands, while the fixed Internet steamed “the pulleys and the belts” of the Network Age’s engine, the private, always-on, and reachable mobile technology turned into the warp drive of modern communities in the Connected Age. Ferdinand Tonnies’ organic and personal Gemeinschaft is presently pulled to the edge of deep critical metamorphosis by the always connected mobile technology that dissolves old distances and disparities between people, like space, time, race, and ethnicity, in order to re-blend once isolated individuals into smart mobs, homogenized around common interests. Sharing information via mobiles becomes the main tool for enlightening and empowering masses and for building a new meaning for their “unity of will.” The phenomenon of “connectedness” inverses the terms in the famous equation of "information equals power" by taking the information's flow from the closed-doors monopolizing elites and pouring it into the veins and tissues of a young social body formed by the increasingly aware and active grassroots. The new economics and social dynamics in the digital era are based on sharing, not holding information.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-07-02 04:23.

“Text-Friendly Hopefuls . . .”

Washington Post writer Jose Antonio Vargas has touched a lot of bases in preparing a round-up story about the state of the political art of using mobile phones. He writes, in part:

"The way I think about it is, if we can support our 'American Idol' contestants by texting, why not our presidential candidates?" said Tim Chambers, co-founder of Media 50 Group, a start-up that focuses on the mobile political space. He is the co-author of a study called "Mobile Media in 21st Century Politics" for the New Politics Institute, a progressive think tank, and until last year was a senior vice president for Sony Pictures Digital and Sony Corporation of America. "The changes that we've seen and are seeing in the private sector have yet to truly catch fire in the political space," Chambers said.

There are already a handful of examples of American politicians using the technology: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), both Republicans, used text messaging in their reelection campaigns. But the better examples are found overseas, in presidential elections in the Philippines, South Korea and Spain.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Sat, 2007-06-30 18:59.

Iran shuts down Text Messaging Services

Iran security authorities have switched off the mobile text messaging system in Tehran overnight to prevent motorists from organising more protests. Angry motorists have reacted violently to a new petrol rationing, a day after its surprise introduction. [via BBC]

Other governments that cut off cell phone networks:

-- Nepal. Phones cut off as police arrest activists

-- Frequency blocking devices installed in North Korea

-- Cell phones jammed at Bush inauguration?

-- Indian government orders SMS jam to avoid outbreak during religious festival

-- Cellphone networks in Mumbai disabled their SMS service

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-06-28 16:42.

Music festival saves trees with mobile ticketing

Ethical music festival Two Thousand Trees has become one of the first festivals in the UK to introduce mobile ticketing, thanks to a tie-up with tixmob.

The festival, to be held near Cheltenham on 13th & 14th July, is giving fans the ability to receive the tickets direct to their mobile phone - or for those buying multiple tickets, to have them delivered direct to their friends mobiles.

James Scarlett, organisers, Two Thousand Tress Festival said, “The ethos of the festival is very much one of sustainability and laid back consideration. That stretches to the ticket too. Using tixmob we are happy that we are helping reduce our environmental impact by reducing the need for paper based tickets as well as giving festival goers a convenient, hassle free way to buy tickets.”

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 2007-06-26 11:26.

How Vodafone helps disaster relief

Rating: peace up by Ken Young UK Mobile Report Editors note: Ken Young another one of Britain's finest bloggers and veteran journalist is blogging on GoMo News. GoMo readers meet Ken; Ken lovely to...

Get Edgy...
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Sun, 2007-06-24 07:08.

M-Payment Future Looks Bright

With the recent announcement of Verizon Wireless about its partnership with Obopay, analysts are seeing a bright future for mobile payments and for mobile commerce as a whole. Even research firm Strategy Analytics Wireless Media Strategies has reaffirmed its forecast...


Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-06-21 07:59.

Ideen, wie soziale und Umwelt-Projekte von Handys profitieren

Im Mobile Marketing Magazine gelesen. Sehr feine Sache! Handys sind nämlich gar nicht nur schlecht. ;-)
Handset maker Nokia and mobile network operator Vodafone have launched a website designed to help share ideas on how to use mobile communications for social and environmental benefits. The site,, was created in direct response to NGO (non-governmental organisation) calls for better tools and information on how to use mobile technology more effectively in their work.Although initially created with support from Nokia and Vodafone, the site will be developed by a wide range of individuals and organisations interested in using mobile services for social change. The wiki format means people can edit, update or comment on case studies and stories on the site, and add their own from wherever they are around the world.Case studies are grouped into seven key areas - Civic Engagement, Economic Empowerment, Education, Environment, Health and Safety, and Humanitarian Relief Projects – topics chosen after consultation with many NGOs.Stories already shared on the site include how the development of an SMS alert system has made it possible for one organisation to mobilise hundreds of volunteers to carry out emergency clean up efforts in the event of an oil spill in the Baltic Sea. Other examples include how mobile games have been created in Africa and India to educate the public about HIV/AIDS and prevention measures, and how teachers in remote areas in the Philippines are receiving training and state-of-the-art learning materials via SMS.Tips and advice to help NGOs use mobile devices to help manage their work and communication between their teams and to their supporters are also available on the site. “The positive contribution mobile technology can make to societies is without doubt, but to realise its full potential we need to share our experiences and learnings more effectively” says Ndidi Nwuneli, Founder and CEO of LEAP Africa, a Nigerian NGO dedicated to nurturing a new generation of African leaders. “The partnership between Nokia and Vodafone has created something which is simple and practical to use, and will give us access to information which will help make a real difference to people’s lives."

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  • Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-06-20 14:30.

    Kurzinfos zum Mobile Payment und Mobile Banking

    Damit diese Infos der letzten Tage nicht verloren gehen, fasse ich sie hier einfach mal zusammen:Mastercard PayPass trials new mobile Tap N Go system in NYCT-Online bietet mobiles BankingIn an article titled "The Bank of PayPal", Catherine Holahan writes for Business Week reporting that "To compete with banks, PayPal is becoming more like a bank itself. For the past year, PayPal has tested a virtual debit card enabling users to make purchases with PayPal on Web sites that do not offer it as a payment option." QuelleMotorola signed on to participate in the GSMA Pay-Buy-Mobile Initiative in Europe. EDS Fellow Randy Mears explores the use of voice biometrics for payment authentication - and VoicePay in particular. He notes the tradeoff between benefit to merchants vs. inconvenience to the buyer saying that "consumer is expected to do all the work but appears to receive little in return." Quelle
    Copyright © 2007
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  • Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-06-20 14:17.

    Google to Bring SMS Search to China

    china_flag.jpgSearching for anything in China can be a long and somewhat complicated process, but we’re hearing that mobile searches might just a bit easier, as Google has announced plans to add mobile messaging functions to its online search in China. The message service will likely be free, especially as Google is interested in building marketshare. With a billion people that could be a huge market to own!

    [Via TMCnet]

    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-06-20 11:54.

    Ubuntu betritt die mobile Bühne

    Ubuntu Linux wird am 18. Oktober dieses Jahres in der Version 7.10, auch als "Gutsy Gibbon" bekannt, veröffentlicht werden.
    It will be the first one ever to include new Mobile and Embedded editions that will target "hand-held devices and other mobile/embedded form factors."
    Bei intomobile gibt es mehr Infos dazu.
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  • Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-06-20 10:01.

    Yahoo in global expansion of mobile phone services

    Yahoo Inc. said on Tuesday it would introduce later this week a faster, enhanced version of its Internet services for U.S. mobile phone users, while expanding into key markets in Asia, Canada and Europe, reports Reuters

    "We believe more people are going to access the Internet on their mobile devices in 10 years time than on the PC, so we have really been concentrating on this area," said Geraldine Wilson, the European head of Yahoo's Connected Life unit."

    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-06-20 07:00.

    Global Launch of SMS Money Transfer Service

    Two Irish companies have teamed up to offer a straight forward way to transfer money using SMS that an be used by operators worldwide.
    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-06-18 16:00.

    Text messaging could soon be the new way to call police in Britain

    txtmsg.jpg In Britain, texting on the mobile could soon be the quickest way to call for police help. The Government has given the go-ahead for a new 999 text-messaging emergency line which will work in tandem with the traditional call centre.

    ... "For the first time the system will allow everyone to contact the emergency operator on their mobile phone without speaking.

    It will also allow 999 operators to pinpoint the caller's location from the signals sent by people's mobile phones - potentially cutting bogus calls."

    [via Spluch]

    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-06-18 06:47.

    Greek Police Torture Video Published on Athens Indymedia

    egyptbeatingvideo.gif At least four policemen torture two migrants inside the police station of Omonia in central Athens. They force them to beat each other while one of the policemen repeatedly instructs them to "hit harder" and beats both. Indybay reprots.

    "For nearly a year, the above footage was circulated amongst policemen via mobile phones.

    On the early hours of the 16th of June 2007 the video was uploaded to a commercial video sharing service and from there, to Athens Indymedia. A few hours later it featured as breaking news in all of the country's major media outlets, forcing prime minister Karamanlis to issue a statement condemning the incident.

    Related torture/abuse incidents from Egypt:

    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-06-18 06:16.

    Webseiten mobil machen mit Baresite

    Bei MobileCrunch habe ich über Baresite gelesen. Eine kleine, feine Lösung, um Webseiten auf mobilen Endgeräten verfügbar zu machen.
    The company has developed a Web based browser that “strips” Web sites of what they call all “unneeded content,” and create an extremely light mobile version that can be displayed on mobile devices, and on average according to the company sites are crunched over 90 percent.This is a Web based, rather than browser based solution, and no downloads are required. Users retain full control over appearance and browsing settings, and users can enter URLs, feeds or even choose from a directory that holds 100 of the most popular Web sites. Registration is not needed and no ads are displayed.
    Ich brauche das für mein Blog nicht, da ich das WordPress Plug-In Andy Moore dafür habe. Aber für alle Nicht-Wordpress-Nutzer könnte Baresite ganz interessant sein. Um seine Webseiten oder auch seinen RSS Feed zu mobilisieren, braucht man einfach nur einen Codeschnipsel auf der eigenen Seite zu setzen und schon geht es los. Ich habe es nicht ausprobiert, kann aber zur Kontrolle, wie es denn auf einem Handy aussehen würde, den Emulator von .mobi empfehlen.
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  • Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Sun, 2007-06-17 10:05.

    YouTube Mobile Launched

    youtube1.jpgSpotted on Mashable Twitter channel, checked it and works fine! The site has now gone live, providing easy browsing access to YouTube from mobile devices. The mobile homepage carries a warning message: “YouTube Mobile is a data intensive application. We highly recommend that you upgrade to an unlimited data plan with your mobile service provider to avoid additional charges.”

    I haven’t tried the upload clips from my mobile phone option to YouTube by following these instructions for this simple reason: users need to upload videos from their mobile phones (or cellphones) to YouTube by sending an MMS message to an email address. Depending on your connection, this can take some time, even to upload short video clips, so be sure to check your dataplan first and/or your MMS pricings before to try this out to avoid surprises. BTW: to all PARENTS: whatch your teenage kids dataplans :-D

    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Sat, 2007-06-16 13:09.

    Orange launches wind-powered phone charger

    Rating: blow at Glastonbury By Annie Turner Orange is launching a wind-powered mobile phone charger at the Glastonbury music festival in the UK. The Orange Mobile Wind Charger was developed with...

    Get Edgy...
    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Fri, 2007-06-15 09:23.

    India loves to talk on mobile phones

    The Economic Times reports that Indian talk-time on mobile phones has reached a high of 461 minutes per month per subscriber. Indians are the most talkative nationality in the Asia-Pacific region out chatting the largest mobile market, China with 450 million subscribers, by 150 to 240 minutes.

    The world’s four largest mobile markets are China, US, India and Russia. When it comes to usage, India with 166 million subscribers is second only to the US where the average American spends 838 minutes per month talking on their mobile phones. Russia with the fourth largest subscriber base logged a mere 88 minutes per month. China falls in the middle with China Mobile reporting usage of 303 mintues per month and China Unicom at 220 mintues.

    [via mobile jones]

    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Fri, 2007-06-15 07:03.

    Yemen Bans SMS News

    The government in Yemen has banned news sent to mobile phones by SMS.
    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-06-14 11:45.

    Indian SMS voting problems: an experts view

    Following on from the blog entry about riots over SMS voting problems in India, Rajive Chandra, the Regional Director for Asia Pacific at Airwide Solutions, has put pen to paper and written an interesting article about what mobile operators can do to restore public confidence.

    Here’s what he had to say:

    - - -

    “While mobile messaging has been seeing explosive growth worldwide, no region has seen greater growth than Asia. One reason for this is because consumers in Asia are highly price sensitive and use text messaging as an alternative to voice due to it being more economical, particularly when roaming. In this region, text messages have become a part of everyday life, with billions being sent each day. They are easy and offer consumers a powerful medium with which to interact with brands and traditional media such as TV. However, with 80 per cent of handsets permanently switched on, consumers expect that their messages are delivered instantly and reliably - a challenge for operators whose infrastructures sometimes struggle to keep up with explosive messaging growth, particularly with applications that can generate tremendous bursts of traffic.

    Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-06-13 15:34.