Can we afford to let mobile network big data lie fallow?

Posted on December 7, 2014  /  2 Comments

As I move from several productive conversations about big data for development in London to Doha where we will be exploring the potential of mobile network big data in the context of three presentations on research insights that have been drawn from big data, the question that preoccupies me is whether we can afford to let these data go waste, or be only used for narrow commercial ends.

In economies with high consumer spending power there will be enough incentive to extract value from the data. But in our countries, where the dominant business model does not leave a lot of room for R&D, will we be left to mercy of off-the-shelf data analytics packages, if any?


  1. As connectivity provider, MNO’s gain loads of insight on citizens – coupled with network related data. These, connected with user information, can come up with valuable insights not only on network connectivity related performance, but also on peoples’ behaviors deep, deep inside. When connected with National Identity system, e-governance can be a breeze! Ask me! I have seen it! The ability to tailor highly customized and personalized government services enhances what government actually needed to deliver in years to come.

    That being said, I’m not getting close to that Nineteen Eighty-Four story by George Orwell. This can actually help counties to run health care systems efficiently, public services and traffic systems to get better overnight. The early warning systems to coastal belt can save million lives with proper and customized reach.

    It’s not a rocket science, any ‘enlightened’ government can do it. I was even close to implement it! You are right. we can’t afford to let these data go waste, or for some small commercial gains. It requires greater partnership.