Three-quarters of world now has phone access
TELECOMSBy BiztechAfrica - July 17, 2012, 2:21 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
A new World Bank report indicates that around three-quarters of the world's inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone.
The report, Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile, says the number of mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, both pre-paid and post-paid, has grown from fewer than 1 billion in 2000 to over 6 billion now, of which nearly 5 billion in developing countries.
“Ownership of multiple subscriptions is becoming increasingly common, suggesting that their number will soon exceed that of the human population…the mobile communications story is moving to a new level, which is not so much about the phone but how it is used,” says the report by the World Bank and infoDev, its technology entrepreneurship and innovation program.
The report says more than 30 billion mobile applications were downloaded in 2011 - extending the capabilities of phones, for instance to become mobile wallets, navigational aids or price comparison tools.
In developing countries, citizens are increasingly using mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles, while governments are using them to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms.
The report, the third in the World Bank's series on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development, analyzes the growth and evolution of mobile telephony, and the rise of databased services, including apps, delivered to handheld devices.
"Mobile communications offer major opportunities to advance human and economic development - from providing basic access to health information to making cash payments, spurring job creation, and stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes," said World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte.
"The challenge now is to enable people, businesses, and governments in developing countries to develop their own locally-relevant mobile applications so they can take full advantage of these opportunities."
The report also explores the consequences for development of the emerging "app economy", especially in agriculture, health, financial services and government, and how it is changing approaches to entrepreneurship and employment.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
World Bank to help rehabilitate DRC telecomsDilapidated, outdated and unreliable telecommunications infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will be rehabilitated, rebuilt and modernised. Read More
30 phone brands registered with SONThe Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association (PAPDA) at Computer Village, Lagos says it has registered 30 brands of mobile phones with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria. Read More
TNM dishes out K2.5m in Independence promotionPremier mobile telecom operator TNM has dished out K2.5m worth of Mpamba value during the first draw of its commemorative promotion as Malawi celebrates 50 years of self rule. Read More
Airtel chief explains Touching Lives initiativeAirtel Nigeria says its launch of Touching Lives, a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, is meant to raise hope and inspire people. Read More
Vodacom Mozambique partners with FlytxtFlytxt, a Big Data analytics solution provider for Communication Service Providers, has announced a strategic tie up with Vodacom, Mozambique’s leading mobile network. Read More
CEC Liquid Telecom Zambia appoints new MDThe Liquid Telecom Group and Copperbelt Energy Corporation PLC have announced the appointment of Andrew Kapula as Managing Director of CEC Liquid Telecom in Zambia. Read More
MTN enhances data communications in Western and Central regionsMTN now has over 2275 2G sites and 1090 3G sites in as well as over 4000km of fibre in place in Ghana, to empower customers to do more with voice and data. Read More
NCA lifts ban on VodafoneThe National Communications Authority (NCA) has lifted the ban imposed on Vodafone Ghana. Read More
Samsung Ghana bemoans influx of fake phonesSamsung Ghana has bemoaned the influx of fake Samsung products on the Ghanaian market and called for collaboration to combat it. Read More
Tigo Ghana sales team scoops 2013 Millicommander AwardsTigo Ghana's sales team has been voted the best within the Millicom Group. Read More
FEATURED STORYWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern
Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric introduces Smart-UPS fifth generation range to Southern Africa
Schneider Electric has announced that two next-generation models of its Smart-UPS uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units are now available locally.VMware reports second quarter 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced financial results for the second quarter of 2014.New Sage ERP X3 version puts business information at your fingertips
Sage ERP Africa has announced the availability of Sage ERP X3 version 7, the latest version of its global business management solution for midsized companies.