Mobile Internet


Posted by on Sep 22, 2011
biNu data sheet 3133 Views
biNu mobile internet platform
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
Mark Shoebridge
Problem or Need: 

biNu’s mission is to deliver mobile web services that are fast and easy to use. For most people, using their mobile browser is not a pleasant experience. The HTML browser architecture of the web works well on PCs but does not work well over mobile wireless networks and small handheld mobile devices.

biNu is designed from the ground-up to work within these limitations and deliver a superior and more efficient mobile data experience by providing access to internet services such as search, wikipedia, education, religion, messaging (chat,SMS).

 77% of the world’s population, or 5.3 billion people, are mobile subscribers. However:  

  • feature phones outnumber smart phones 4 to 1
  • 3.9 billion mobile subscriptions are in the developing world
  • many mobile-web users are mobile-only
  • soon more people will access the web from their phones than PCs




Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

biNu  enhances the feature phone user experience by improving Internet access speeds, social media and app availability. biNu delivers content in any language to any phone, irrespective of the installed language capabilities of a mobile device.

biNu offers Google Search & Translate, Wordnik English Dictionary, Wikipedia, news and blogs, weather, live sports scores, exchange rates, job listings, health information, the Bible and Quran in multiple languages, SMS services and more.

Tool Category: 
App resides and runs on a mobile phone
Key Features : 

 biNu is a cloud-based software platform that delivers mobile internet services:

  • in any language
  • to mass-market and smart phones
  • with ultra-fast (10x) response times,
  • a simple, minimum key-click interface
  • and low data bandwidth.




Main Services: 
Mobile Payments
Mobile Social Network/Peer-to-peer
Information Resources/Information Databases
Stand-alone Application
Display tool in profile: 
Tool Maturity: 
Currently deployed
Release Date: 
Java ME
Current Version: 
Program/Code Language: 
Organizations Using the Tool: 

 biNu is used by consumers.

Number of Current End Users: 
Over 100,000
Support Forums:
Languages supported: 
English, Arabic, Hindi, Spanish, French and 150 others.
Handsets/devices supported: 
All feature phones 2500 + devices and models Andriod Black Berry
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: 

A Note on the Availability (and Importance) of Pre-Paid Mobile Data in Africa

Posted by VivianOnano on Jul 12, 2011
A Note on the Availability (and Importance) of Pre-Paid Mobile Data in Africa data sheet 2161 Views
Donovan, Kevin; Donner, Jonathan.
Publication Date: 
Jun 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

We argue that access to prepay data will be as essential to the widespread adoption and use of the mobile internet in developing countries as access to prepay airtime is/was to the adoption of the mobile telephone.  In late 2009, we conducted a desk assessment of the availability of pre-pay (payas-you-go) data from the major operators in 53 African countries. In 36 cases we were able to identify at least one operator in each country which offered pre-pay data, and in 3 cases we could determine that no prepay data was available.  

Information available from operators was vague, incomplete, and hard to obtain, suggesting a threshold in general awareness and enthusiasm on the part of operators may not yet have been crossed. We describe an ongoing follow-up “crowdsourcing” activity underway to fill in information from the remaining 14 countries, and suggest topics for further research, both on the demand and supply sides of the prepaid data equation. 

Going Mobile: Technology and Policy Issues in the Mobile Internet

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Feb 21, 2011
Going Mobile: Technology and Policy Issues in the Mobile Internet data sheet 1470 Views
Bennet, Richard
Publication Date: 
Mar 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This report examines changes that must be made to the Internet and to the mobile network to make the Mobile Internet a pervasive and universal reality in the United States and the rest of the world. Some of these changes are purely technical, but their scope affects Internet engineering as well as mobile network, device, and application engineering. The rest of the changes will take place in the policy sphere, affecting notions of network neutrality and spectrum policy. The examination of technology is quite extensive, and is illustrated with specific examples of emerging devices and applications.

Can Mobile Internet Help Alleviate Social Exclusion in Developing Countries

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Sep 28, 2010
Can Mobile Internet Help Alleviate Social Exclusion in Developing Countries data sheet 2093 Views
Chigona, W., Valley, J., Beukes, D. and Tanner, M
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Journal article

Research has shown that traditional Internet has not been successful in alleviating social exclusion in developing country. Since a significant number of the population in developing countries use mobile phones, others have suggested that mobile internet may be the solution to the problem. However, to date there has not been empirical studies in developing countries to explore that possibility. This study aims therefore to explore whether the mobile Internet may be a viable option for addressing social exclusion in a developing country context. Data for the study was gathered using semi-structured interviews with socially excluded individuals and the data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings of the study show that usage of mobile internet amongst the socially excluded is low mainly because internet-capable cell phones are still beyond the reach of the socially excluded and because of limited awareness of what mobile internet is and what it can achieve. The study also shows that while mobile internet has significant impact in addressing exclusion from social participation, its impact on economic as well political dimensions of exclusions is still limited.

Open Data Kit: Implications for the Use of Smartphone Software Technology for Questionnaire Studies in International Development

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Aug 18, 2010
Open Data Kit: Implications for the Use of Smartphone Software Technology for Questionnaire Studies in International Development data sheet 2097 Views
Frances Jeffrey‐Coker, Matt Basinger and Vijay Modi
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

During a study conducted in January 2010 by researchers of the Columbia University Mechanical Engineering Department in New York City, approximately 300 farmers were surveyed in rural Mali. Farmers were randomly sampled via standard proportional, stratified, cluster techniques. Data collection took place through the use of HTC G1 smartphones running Google’s Android operating system. The phones were equipped with Open Data Kit (ODK) software; a system that immediately digitizes data for analysis, allows for remote monitoring of the collection progress, and facilitates the gathering of data, eliminating the need for paper surveys and therefore significantly reducing survey times. ODK has the potential for a profound impact on the future of data gathering, particularly in development applications where locations may be remote and budgets tight, yet where mobile phone use is rapidly increasing with the expansion of service

Mobile Research at Your Desk - No RSVP required!

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Jul 25, 2010

At MobileActive, we’ve held a bi-weekly Research Ignite series to keep up with the latest in research related to mobiles for development. For the past few weeks, our team has been learning and discussing new research and reports. We invite you to put on your learning caps and plug into our screencasts, where we will feature some exciting developments in the world of m4d.

For this Ignite, we’re featuring three studies that were presented at the 28th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The research covers mobile games in rural India and China that address literacy, and a study on mobile Internet use in South Africa.


mGames for Literacy and Mobile Internet - Research Ignite #1 from on Vimeo.

Practice Chinese Strokes and Learn Characters

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of California, Carnegie Mellon University and Nokia Research Palo Alto developed two mobile games, Multimedia Word and Drumming Stroke, which aim to help young children in rural China recognize Chinese characters and practice strokes. It is the first known m-game that leverages a mobile learning tool for the Chinese language.

A Mobile Marakothi, a Traditional Children’s Game in India, that Teaches English

In rural India, empirical studies show that children often miss school largely due to family labor, assisting in domestic work at home or in the farm without wages or as hired labor. The authors believe that “Mobile learning can empower poor children to balance their educational and income earning goals,” and so, pursued the development of a mobile game to teach English vocabulary. Mobile phones with the m-game were deployed to children living in rural Uttar Pradesh, India for 26 weeks. The pilot identified opportunities for out-of-school learning, revealed gender influences on m-game usage and surprisingly, showed that m-games traversed caste and village boundaries and facilitated social interaction.

Presentation starts at 4:03 min.

Challenging Assumptions of Mobile Internet Access: The Experience of Women in A Township in South Africa

More and more mobile users are surfing the internet on their phones. For most people in developing countries, there is no plan B – in other words, no PC-based internet access. This study reports the experience of a group of women in Khayelitsha, in Cape Town, South Africa who connected to a mobile-based internet for the first time. In this article, six challenges facing mobile-only internet users in developing countries are identified. The authors propose how to the mobile industry can move forward by keeping the end-users in mind and introduce the concept of “digital divide” that is secondary to mobile access – it’s “after-access”.

Presentation starts at 9:59 min.

Thank you to the authors for providing permission to use images, screenshots and data as well as helpful feedback for the screencast. For more research, reports, and white papers about mobile technology for social change visit our mdirectory.

Mobile Research at Your Desk - No RSVP required! data sheet 4769 Views
Countries: China India South Africa

After Access - Challenges Facing Mobile-only Internet Users in the Developing World

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Jul 06, 2010
After Access - Challenges Facing Mobile-only Internet Users in the Developing World data sheet 2416 Views
Gitau, Shikoh, Marsden, Gary, & Donner, Jonathan
Publication Date: 
Apr 2010
Publication Type: 
Journal article

This study reports results of an ethnographic action research study, exploring mobile-centric internet use. Over the course of 13 weeks, eight women, each a member of a livelihoods collective in urban Cape Town, South Africa, received training to make use of the data (internet) features on the phones they already owned. None of the women had previous exposure to PCs or the internet. Activities focused on social networking, entertainment, information search, and, in particular, job searches. Results of the exercise reveal both the promise of, and barriers to, mobile internet use by a potentially large community of first-time, mobilecentric users. Discussion focuses on the importance of selfexpression and identity management in the refinement of online and offline presences, and considers these forces relative to issues of gender and socioeconomic status.