LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific


Mobile 2.0 is a term used to describe the use of mobiles for “more-than-voice”. Mobiles are increasingly becoming payment devices which can also send/process/receive voice, text and images; it is envisaged that in the next few years, they will also be capable of information-retrieval and publishing functions, normally associated with the internet.

Whilst the dominant narrative in developed economies with regard to telefutures is of a “fat pipe” (coaxial cable, fiber or even wireless) coming into each household carrying entertainment and data (including Voice over IP), a different path is being followed in less developed economies, where everyone may not necessarily own a phone but many have not even heard of the Internet.

People at the BOP, especially in countries that are exhibiting rapid economic growth (like India) are coming out of poverty. As their economic constraints lessen, it is likely that they will gradually increase their communication-related spending, absolutely and as a proportion of their income. Will this go to paying for fat pipes to connect their homes to a host of entertainment and data services (quadruple play) or for incrementally increasing the amounts paid for the communication services they currently consume or for investing in new terminal devices that would improve their communicative interactions (Mobile 2.0)?

The BOP (and therefore, the majority of people in the developing world) are likely to enter the world of knowledge and convenience promised by the Internet through the path opened by the rapid evolution of the mobile, rather than an evolutionary path centered on a fat pipe connecting houses.

One of LIRNEasia’s main research themes for 2008-2010 interrogates this premise, exploring in-depth micro-payments and remittances, agriculture applications, voting applications, e-government services etc., in addition to the fundamental policy and regulatory issues affect the evolution of mobile technology along this path. Mobile 2.0@BOP is researched from two aspects: vertical and horizontal issues.

Horizontal issues are the basic competitive and regulatory conditions that affect the emergence of Mobile 2.0@BOP. The vertical aspect of the study intends to explore and explain how a particular aspect such as in-depth micro-payments and remittances, agriculture applications, voting applications, e-government services etc is taking shape and form among countries in the developing world.
More information on individual components and reports/presentations for download are available below:

Horizontal aspects

Vertical aspects


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