Asia Pacific Mobile Observatory 2011: Driving Economic and Social Development through Mobile Broadband

Posted by ccarlon on Nov 22, 2011
Asia Pacific Mobile Observatory 2011: Driving Economic and Social Development through Mobile Broadband data sheet 392 Views
Menon, Naveen and Christopher Firth
Publication Date: 
Jan 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Asia Pacific is the largest mobile market in the world, and is continuing to show strong growth. Asia Pacific accounts for half of the total mobile connections in the world, with 3 billion lines. Looking ahead, the region is expected to continue its strong growth, adding a further 1.5 billion connections between 2010 and 2015 – similar in scale to the achievements of the last five years when 1.7 billion new connections were added. This growth and scale is encouraging for consumers and investors alike, as the industry has shown resilience through the global economic crisis by continuing to invest funds to improve the quality of mobile services across the region.

The 2011 Asia Pacific Mobile Observatory updates and expands on the first Asia Pacific Mobile Observatory carried out in 2009. With new data, analysis and insight it provides a comprehensive reference point for participants in the mobile industry, policy makers and other interested stakeholders.

This year’s report focuses especially on the positive economic and social impact of mobile broadband, which is having a transformative effect across Asia Pacific. The innovative Mobile Broadband Readiness Index aims to show how the AP17 countries compare against one another from a ‘readiness’ perspective and identify the means to sustain growth from a market, regulatory policy and corporate strategy perspective.


Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Mar 09, 2011
Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation data sheet 1449 Views
Fredriksson, Torbjörn, Cécile Barayre, Scarlett Fondeur Gil, Diana Korka, Rémi Lang, Anvar Nigmatov, Malorie Schaus, Mongi Hamdi, and Anne Miroux
ISSN/ISBN Number: 
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The world is witnessing a new dawn with regard to the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to contribute in the fight against poverty. For the first time, there are now realistic opportunities for inhabitants of remote locations in low-income countries to get connected via ICTs. Farmers, fishermen as well as entrepreneurs in urban areas are rapidly adopting mobile phones as a key tool to advance their commercial activities, and some poor people are finding new livelihoods on the back of this trend. Against this background, the Information Economy Report 2010 focuses on the nexus of ICTs, enterprises and poverty alleviation. Whereas the knowledge base needs to grow considerably, the evidence presented in this Report suggests that more attention should be given by policymakers and other stakeholders to this new set of opportunities.

The Report is organized into five chapters. Chapter I introduces a conceptual framework for the analysis that follows. Chapter II reviews recent connectivity and affordability trends to gauge the degree of access and uptake of different ICTs among the poor. Chapter III turns to the role of the poor in the production of ICT goods and services (the ICT sector). In chapter IV, the focus shifts to the use of ICT by enterprises, with emphasis on those that matter most for poor people, namely small and micro-enterprises in urban and rural areas. Finally, chapter V presents the main policy implications from the analysis.

Dreams of Increasing Connectivity: Virtual SIMs in the Cloud

Posted by PrabhasPokharel on Oct 27, 2009

People in the developed world consider the phone a very personal object, something that is always on and always with us. In many developing countries, that's not always the case. People share phones, and many don't own handsets because they are too expensive.

A new company, Movirtu (with a catchy tag line: "Mobile for the next Billion"), wants to extend coverage to so-called bottom-of-the-pyramid customers  by using a handset-independent way to connect to the mobile network.  The company's goal is to "expand the use of mobile communication by the rural poor communities in Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia living on less than $2 a day" - in order to improve their livelihoods.  The method for doing this is to detach owning a phone number from owning a handset--and to allow users to own numbers without owning handsets. And its gaining attention: CEO Nigel Waller was awarded a PopTech Social Innovation fellowship this year, and Movirtu has been shortlisted for Africom's Changing Lives Award.

The idea

Mobile Learning in Developing Countries

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 20, 2009
Mobile Learning in Developing Countries data sheet 2806 Views
Traxler, John; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes
Publication Type: 
Journal article
Mobile learning, or m-learning, is a personal, unobtrusive, spontaneous, “anytime, anywhere” way to learn and to access educational tools and material that enlarges access to education for all. It reinforces learners’ sense of ownership of the learning experience, offering them flexibility in how, when and where they learn. In developing countries, mobile technologies potentially deliver educa- tion without dependence on an extensive traditional communications infra- structure, leapfrogging some of the intervening development phases encoun- tered in developed countries such as installing extensive electricity power grids, and building multiple computer rooms in educational institutions. Although m-learning experience remains limited, it is becoming a credible, cost-effective component of blended open and distance learning (ODL) provisions, adaptable to an institution’s needs and situation. M-learning devices are lightweight and handheld, including: • Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), and palmtop or handheld computers. • Mobile phones, also called cell phones or handphones. Consider mobile phones, which are cheap and widely available, alongside other wireless communication devices; and handhelds, which are more expensive and scarce, alongside desktop and laptop comput- ers. Mobile devices are educationally interesting because they offer: • Several communications channels on one device, for example, email, voice, and text messaging. • Cheaper, comparable functionality with desktops or laptops. • Wireless access to educational materials, other students and Internet resources. Handhelds are currently the dominant mobile devices, apart from basic mobile phones. These technologies are converging, creating power- ful all-in-one tools such as “smartphones,” mobile phones with the func- tionality of a handheld; and handhelds with mobile phone capability. This guide focuses on the use of handheld computers or smartphones in m-learning.

The Humanitarian Technology Challenge: In Search of Innovative Solutions

Posted by sharakarasic on Nov 01, 2008

On day two of the MobileActive ’08 conference, I attended The Humanitarian Technology Challenge: In Search of Innovative Solutions presented by Claire Thwaites, who heads the technology partnership between Vodaphone and the UN Foundation.

Thwaites said that their goal is to find technology solutions to humanitarian challenges. The IEEE lists five key challenges which Thwaites presented:

Reliable Electricity

Needs: Power availability for electronic devices, including low power stationary facilities, rugged mobile power supplies for emergency settings, mechanical transducers, passive generation devices that charge as you walk. Renewable energy hubs are preferred, as well as the use of intermediate field offices as data relay points.

Data Connectivity of Rural Health District Offices

Needs: Exchange data between central health facilities and remote field offices. Two-way transmission – upload/download, data could be batched for daily transfer, also useful for emergency alerts and outbreak alerts, less expensive service and higher bandwidth needed, maps of existing connectivity