The Mobile Minute: 4G Networks in Africa, Mobile Marketing in Europe, and Rigged Bandwidth Auctions in India

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 18, 2010

Today's Mobile Minute brings you news about the six organizations that won social networking grants from infoDev, the way mobile advertising is used in Europe, the launch of 4G networks in Africa, accusations of rigging in India's bandwidth auctions, and a CGAP series that de-hypes mobile banking with actual data.

  • InfoDev announced the winners of its social networking grants for organizations working in Africa and Asia. The winners were Akirachix (Kenya), MoMo Kampala (Uganda), COSTECH (Tanzania), Mobile Monday (Mozambique), CRC Topica (Vietnam), and Young Innovations Pvt. Ltd. (Nepal). The winners received $35,000 U.S. as part of the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy program.
  • Cellular-News examined a recent study by comScore on how mobile users in EU5 countries were reached by and responded to mobile advertising. The study found that mobile marketing via SMS ads reached 100 million users, while more than 57 million smartphone users were reached via  ads on the mobile web or apps. The study then examined the ads' effectiveness based on response rates.
  • After a nine-month investigation, authorities have found that auctions for telecommunications licenses in India were rigged. The New York Times reports, "The comptroller and auditor general of India say in a 96-page report that the agency in charge of cellular licenses, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, arbitrarily moved up deadlines in a 2008 auction of new bandwidth for phone operators. The Communications Ministry also rejected calls from the prime minister and the Ministry of Law for greater scrutiny and awarded licenses to operators in a way that “lacked transparency and fairness,” the report says."
  • CGAP recently published part three of its multi-part series, based on data gathered from 16,000 people using branchless banking services around the world, that looks at the hype around mobile phones. Part one questions if branchless banking really reaches the bottom of the pyramid, part two investigates if branchless banking is a better value for users than traditional banking, and the third part looks at how to meet the demand for services such as savings accounts and insurance via branchless banking.

[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 postswhite papers and researchhow-tos, and case studies.]

Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei

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