One expects the Economist to give weight to economic explanations. But not in fluff pieces written over the holiday break. According to the Economist, heavy mobile use is explained by latitude, not the ultra-low prices that are the result of the Budget Telecom Network Model.
Yet these global trends hide starkly different national and regional stories. Vittorio Colao, the boss of Vodafone, which operates or partially owns networks in 31 countries, argues that the farther south you go, the more people use their phones, even past the equator: where life is less organised people need a tool, for example to rejig appointments. “Culture influences the lifestyle, and the lifestyle influences the way we communicate,” he says. “If you don’t leave your phone on in a meeting in Italy, you are likely to miss the next one.”
But that aside, not a bad overview of what Northern researchers have to say about how mobiles are used.
Note to Economist: most of the world’s mobile users live in Asia. Might be useful to talk to people who research teleuse here.