mobile phones


We have three press releases on the Myanmar teleuse baseline survey pointing out three particular stories. Press releases are available in both English and Myanmar as follow ; Fewer women own phones compared to men.  But due to shared use, the usage of phones is not very different between men and women. 99% of Ward/Village Leaders carry Mobile Phones. Only 89.
Dr. Gordon Gow is Associate Professor in Communication and Technology, University of Alberta delivered a speech “Stewarding Technology for Inclusive Innovation,” at the SSHRC Success Stories 2014 event
“In a recent article on BBC Future, Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet Law at Harvard University, promotes the need for a network that works independently of the ones owned and controlled by the network operators and only in an emergency – something called a mesh network.” – FULL STORY
Yesterday, I was in an FAO panel at the Global South-South Development Expo 2011, speaking on the role of mobiles in rural development using case studies from Sri Lanka and India. When I mentioned that one should have some concerns about the quality of information and the lack of accountability in the plethora of mobile based agriculture crop advisory services, I was asked a pertinent question by an official from the Ministry of Agriculture in China: Does this mean a greater role for government? What we think is that the basic information collection (for example market prices) should be collected by government or an agent of government and made available as a public good. The private sector can then be free to process it, add value and disseminate, potentially for a few to ensure sustainability. But the heart of the problem that we are concerned with is whether a one way transmission of generic crop “advice” to Farmer X will solve his problems or aggravate them.
A LIRNEasia research paper examining the potential demand and use of mobile phones  for remitting money between migrant workers and their beneficiaries has been published in the latest issue of Info (Vol 13, Issue 3). The paper is authored by Nirmali Sivapragasam, Aileen Aguero (DIRSI) and Dr. Harsha de Silva.  The paper is based on findings from LIRNEasia‘s Teleuse@BOP3 study. The paper can be downloaded here.
Fidelity of digitized data in the Real-Time Biosurveillance Program (RTBP) was not promising; especially with the personnel in Sri Lanka with no medical knowledge but technically capable were producing up to 45% noisy data (second stacked graph). On the contrary the medically trained but less fluent in mobile phone usage Indian nurses were less prone to producing noisy data. The Indian health workers had an incentive because the erroneous data would produce false alarms, and they would need to respond to these false alarms or it would portray a bad image of the health situation in their area; while the Sri Lanka data digitizing personnel had no incentive besides picking up a paycheck for the data entry work they did. The data was submitted through the mHealthSurvey mobile software that works on less expensive Java-enabled hand-helds. The RTBP envisions that hospital data is submitted each day; thus, the real-time expectations.
The key take home from the workshop were: the Regional Epidemiologist – Dr. P. Hemachandra – stressing the need for Syndromic surveillance; especially, the ability to monitor escalating fever like disease and geographic clusters of increase in common symptoms. Dr. Lakshman Edirisinghe (Deputy Director Planning) emphasized the need for comprehensive patient clinical data for becoming a data driven organization that can optimize the resources opposed to speculative expert opinion.
The closest we got to location-based marketing was when we looked at commercial applications of cell broadcasting in the course of the public early warning work in the Maldives. Our constituents do not have fancy phones, but no harm keeping an eye: For retailers, these games and apps offer a new form of mobile marketing that goes well beyond a minibanner ad by rewarding consumers, individually, for their loyalty. And unlike paper cards, stores can use the data they collect from people’s cellphones to learn more about who their customers are and how they behave. No one in advertising has ever been able to figure out how to do “one-to-one, real-time marketing,” said Drew Sievers, a former advertising executive who is now co-founder and chief executive of mFoundry. “The mobile phone is where that will actually probably happen.
 We continue to receive media coverage for the Islamabad Mobile 2.0 Applications and Conditions Expert Forum Meeting. M. Somasekhar’s piece on Hindu Business Line on mobile payments says: Experts from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kenya, Thailand, the Philippines, Bhutan and Bangladesh among other nations met in Islamabad recently to discuss their experiences in providing mobile phone services for the BoP segment in their respective countries. They agreed that a beginning has been made and the road ahead appeared daunting, but technological progress promised quick results.
‘Mobile phone calls death’. The ominous title, in Lankadeepa online, is not too uncommon in Sri Lankan media. The story is about the latest victim, who apparently met his death by lighting when talking to his mobile on the bund of a tank. According to Daily Mirror, deaths by lightning in Sri Lanka has increased with 18 people been killed since March 1, 2010, against ten such deaths for entire 2009. Daily Mirror also advices against, inter alia, the use of mobile phones even indoors.
The colloquium was conducted by Harsha de Silva, PhD. Harsha began by explaining that the paper focus both on trains and buses, but in this colloquium will focus on the Bus transport. 75% of passenger transport is via public transport and of that 93% by bus and 7% by train. Roughly 5500 SLCTB and 18000 private buses. The fare is regulated by National Transport Commission (NTC).
Makes eminent sense for a telco operating in the Gulf and in Sri Lanka to offer mpayment services. Also makes eminent sense to abolish excessive roaming charges within countries they operate in, like Zain (in the process of becoming part of Bharti). And even selling Etisalat SIMs to our workers before they go to Dubai. Etisalat’s new Sri Lankan mobile subsidiary is in talks with banks to offer financial services on mobile phones, such as money transfers for migrant workers in the Middle East, a senior company official said. Riyaaz Rasheed deputy chief executive of Etisalat Lanka said the mobile operator is seeking to tie-up with banks to offer the financial services.
I guess that means newspapers in hardcopy. Because many who read the news on the web, actually read news that originates in documents prepared by journalists, like the one below. But still, this is a significant shift. With more people at the bottom of the pyramid in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh owning mobile phones than radios, one wonders who the Internet will beat in our part of of the world: just newspapers or newspapers and radio? The Internet has become the third most popular news platform for American adults, trailing only local and national television stations, according to a survey released on Monday.
Early warning does not happen every day. So when hazards occur, it is important that the experience is analyzed so that future responses can be enhanced. Here is a report on how warnings worked (or did not) on the Pacific Coast of Australia in relation to the tsunami generated by the Chilean earthquake of Saturday. It is a pity that the potential of cell broadcasting that can be targeted to low-lying areas that are in danger, without knowing any of the numbers of the mobile phones belonging to the people physically present and without congestion. The Gold Coast authorities used SMS for 10,000 people.
Now with smartphones ascendant in the developed market economies, retailers are beginning to think about how use the multiple capabilities of the handsets to enhance the shopping experience. The main way they plan to do it is by turning people’s mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices. Can’t find the flour at the grocery store? Grocers will offer phone applications that tell shoppers exactly where to go. Is the department store out of size 8 jeans?
This is definitely not the appropriate set of new features that we need at the Bottom of the Pyramid in emerging Asia and elsewhere. Voice commands, greater convenience in reading/viewing, more location-sensitivity, etc. would be among mine. Of course we could also consider what the surveys say about flashlights and radios. But the most important thing is the discussion.