The Mobile Minute: 90% of the World Has Access to Mobile Networks, Mobile Banking in the Philippines, and more

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 28, 2010

The Mobile Minute has info on social networking via mobiles, interactive mobile lesson plans in South Africa, a new ITU study that estimates more than 90% of the world's population has access to mobile networks, the Red Cross' work to battle a cholera outbreak in Haiti with SMS health updates, and the launch of a mobile money transfer pilot in the Philippines. 

  • Star Schools in South Africa is implementing a new mobile learning aspect to their curriculum. According to Gadget, "Star Schools developed a tagging solution that allows them to build into the illustrations a paper tag which, when read with a mobile phone camera, activates a wide range of functional mobile phone-based options. For example, a teacher ‘Avatar’ can be streamed to the phone and execute a lesson as it would be taught in a classroom.  An assessment is then activated to test the learner, and support is supplied through technologies such as MixIt."
  • ITU, the UN's agency for ICTs, released new statistics on worldwide Internet accessibility and mobile network accessibility. Some of the findings were that worldwide Internet users will surpass two billion in 2010, that access to mobile technology will be available to 90% of the world's population in 2010, that mobile penetration has reached 68% in developing countries, and that 3G mobile web access is available in 143 countries. 
  • In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, the Red Cross has been working to prevent large-scale cholera outbreaks. As part of their work (which includes bringing in clean water and building access to adequate sanitation), the organization has been running an SMS campaign to inform people of preventative strategies.
  • A pilot program in Manilla uses mobile banking to reach users living in slums. Participants in the World Food Programme's pilot project can redeem text messages at local stores for payment, even in slum areas that don't have traditional banking systems. 

[Mobile Minute Disclaimer: The Mobile Minute is a quick round-up of interesting stories that have come across our RSS and Twitter feeds to keep you informed of the rapid pace of innovation. Read them and enjoy them, but know that we have not deeply investigated these news items. For more in-depth information about the ever-growing field of mobile tech for social change, check out our blog posts, white papers and research, how-tos, and case studies.]

Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei

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