“Info lady” starts where the “Phone lady” stopped

Posted on August 3, 2009  /  2 Comments

The eroding viability of Village Phone in Bangladesh was reported two years back. Grameen Telecom of Muhammad Yunus never looked beyond voice. And the micro-credit scheme using mobile phone succumbed to financial injuries from the wildfire of competition. Thanks to the exploding growth and coverage of mobile without regulatory intervention or USF injection in Bangladesh.

Now D.Net (Development Research Network) is exploiting the so-called 2.75G (GPRS/EDGE) data coverage of mobile networks. Its “Info ladies” are equipped with “Classmate PC” fitted with data cards (modem). They travel door-to-door riding bicycles to connect the villagers with Internet.

This is how the Phone ladies started delivering “dial tone” twelve years back. The picture shows one rural housewife is using a laptop for telephony. Is she using Skype or Google Talk? Who knows and who cares! She has got exactly what everyone needs – cyber connectivity. Read more.