June 2008

Riding the mobile bandwagon

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Out and away, mobiles have been revolutionising the ways of community living. Mobiles have become the most ubiquitous gadget that are used by almost all kinds of people representing the socio-economic hierarchy. These electronic devices have become the most viable tools of communication and information interchange in many countries including the least developed ones. In the last couple of years, the number of mobile phone users has increased exponentially throughout the globe. According to Wikipedia, the number of mobile phone subscribers by the end of November 2007 stood at a staggering 3.3 billion which is nearly half the world population.

Mobiles are no longer mere cellphones, they are rather potentially gigantic platforms that integrate content, technology and embeded telecom applications. While in many rich and developed countries, mobiles are still a mark of status and luxury, in developing countries, mobiles play an instrumental role in information dissemination, social networking and knowledge transfer. In many African countries, for example, mobile telephony is used to disseminate vital content on public health and agriculture. Even in least developed countries, mobile platforms are used to create mass awareness and foster inclusion of the underserved sections of the society. Mobile technology is also used in certain important sectors such as agriculture, finance, banking

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