Jul 17, 2012
Mobile phone subscriptions reach over 6bn – World BankBack
Africa|Sustainable|Training|Africa|Armenia|Finland|Kenya|Pakistan|South Africa|Vietnam|Locally-relevant Mobile Applications|Service|Technology Entrepreneurship|Rachel Kyte|Tim Kelly|Cellular Telephone|Mobile App Technology|Mobile Devices|Mobile Phones
© Reuse this
Around three-quarters of the world’s inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone, with subscriptions growing from fewer than one-billion in 2000 to over six-billion, the World Bank and its technology entrepreneurship and innovation programme, infoDev, said in a new report on Tuesday.
Nearly five-billion of the mobile subscriptions were in developing countries, the ‘Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximising Mobile’ report stated.
Ownership of multiple subscriptions was becoming increasingly common, suggesting that their number would soon exceed that of the human population.
“More than 30-billion mobile applications, or apps, were downloaded in 2011. 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 stated.
"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,” commented World Bank sustainable development VP 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.”
World Bank lead information communication technology policy specialist and report co-author Tim Kelly said the mobile revolution was still at the start of its growth curve. “Mobile devices are becoming cheaper and more powerful while networks are doubling in bandwidth roughly every 18 months and expanding into rural areas.”
The report further emphasised the role of governments in enabling mobile application development. It also highlighted how mobile innovation labs – shared spaces for training developers and incubating start-ups – could help bring new apps to market.
For instance, infoDev, in collaboration with the government of Finland and Nokia, had established five regional mobile innovation labs in Armenia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and Vietnam.
infoDev is also using mobile social networking to bring grassroots entrepreneurs together with other stakeholders in mobile hubs.
“Most businesses based around mobile app technology are at an early stage of development, but may hold enormous employment and economic potential, similar to that of the software industry in the 1980s and 1990s. Supporting the networking and incubation of entrepreneurs is essential to ensure that such potential is tapped,” said infoDev programme manager Valerie D’Costa.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other ICT News
Updated 7 hours ago The Department of Energy (DoE) announced on Tuesday that the pre-procurement phase for South Africa’s proposed roll-out of a nuclear new build programme had been completed, following the latest in a series of workshops with vendor countries and their companies....
Updated 7 hours ago The Competition Commission has appointed Bukhosibakhe Majenge legal services divisional manager, effective April 1. The commission advised on Tuesday that Majenge would take over from Wendy Ndlovu, appointed manager in the office of the Commissioner. Majenge had...
Updated 7 hours ago Aim-listed energy provider Ncondezi Energy has been granted an extension for meeting certain conditions relating to the conditional commercial deal signed between it and Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) for its 300 MW power plant. Ncondezi was establishing an...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...