Strategic Use of Mobile Telephony at the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Case of Mexico

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 26, 2009
Strategic Use of Mobile Telephony at the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Case of Mexico data sheet 2814 Views
Regina de Angoitia, Fernando Ramirez
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009

The growing importance of mobile telephony for users at the bottom of the pyramid is reflected in the high proportion of their incomes devoted to this service. Evidence from communities in the developing world, where low-income users have developed strategies to minimize costs while continuing to benefit from access to communication, has opened new lines of research. Based on a survey of 1,000 mobile telephony users carried out in 2007, the present study assesses the strategies practiced by mobile users in two metropolitan areas of Mexico.

The results show that the main short-term strategies to minimize the costs of mobile telephony are 1) using the phone only to receive calls, and 2) the use of SMS. In both cases, the main determinant of whether users at the bottom of the pyramid use cost-reduction strategies is their low economic status.

Mexicans report votes (and nonvotes) with SMS

Posted by CorinneRamey on Jun 19, 2009

On July 5th, Mexicans will go to the polls to elect new members of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Congress. Two Mexican initiatives, Cuidemos El Voto and Anulo Mi Voto, are using SMS in different ways to make people's voices heard in what they fear will be a less-than-democratic election.

Cuidamos El Voto

By simply sending a text message, citizens will be able to report any voting irregularities or other problems.  But Oscar Salazar hopes that Cuidemos El Voto, the vote monitoring system, doesn't receive too many texts.

"We really hope that the number of incidents is low, this will mean Mexican democracy is for real," wrote Salazar in an email interview with MobileActive, who is coordinating the project. "However, if this is not the case, we want to provide NGOs and common citizens with the tools to enforce this process."

Mobiles for Fair Trade: Yael Schwartzman and DigitalICS - A MobileActive08 Interview

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Sep 09, 2008

Yael Schwartzmann is a social entrepreneur, a programmer, and a mobile innovator. She developed a mobile data collection application-- DigitalICS -- to monitor smallholder coffee farmers' compliance with organic, fair trade certifications and quality requirements at a rural coffee cooperative in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Yael will feature DigitalICS (pronounced Digitalix) at MobileActive08's SIMPlace.  In my interview with her, we discuss why mobile phones are so useful for agricultural data collection on compliance and certification, how the application works, where else it could be used, and why she is passionate about her work.

Here is the audio of my interview with Yael; an edited transcript follows. 

Mobile Projects at the International AIDS Conference: A Report from Guest Blogger Kate Jongbloed

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Aug 14, 2008

 Technology-based interventions for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS took a small but important place on the agenda at the recent 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, reports attendee Kate Jongbloed who runs an insightful blog on development issues.  She reports for MobileActive from Mexico.

In a session entitled, “Reaching Millions: Youth, AIDS and the Digital Age,” a number of private and non-profit organizations presented their internet and mobile phone based approaches to the fight against AIDS.  A full audio and video version of the panel can be found here.