An inevitable outcome of mobile phone penetration among BOP is longer average life time of a unit. At that level replacing cost is significant. The only alternative is to repair and use the same for a longer period. This explains the mushrooming of mobile repair centers in many developing countries. Internet has loads of technical information about repairing, but in English.
Chief ministerial candidate Rauff Hakeem told ‘Lanka Dissent’ that the Ministry of Defence has ordered service providers to interrupt mobile phone services in the Eastern Province, which goes to polls tomorrow (May 10th). He also said that the government was preparing to stage a massive vote rigging on election day and the move seems to prevent the outside world from getting information on those violations in the East. As a former Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Mr. Hakeem said the Defence Ministry could give such orders only on matters pertaining to national security. The chief ministerial candidate added that he would initiate legal action against any service provider and other responsible officials if such undue interruptions are effected tomorrow.
After two decades of mobile voice services through mobile phones, and nearly a decade of mobile data usage through SMS services, mobile data services (MDS) of a more traditional Internet style is finally on the up in a big way. The m.Net and University of Adelaide study notes that: “It has taken a while, but mobile data services (MDS) use is now disseminating beyond a small number of high level users to the wider market, according to the Wireless data services study 2007.” The study is done on an annual, international basis, and “investigates mobile phone user engagement beyond voice and looks at the current type and levels of MDS, the influencing factors and barriers to the use of MDS, and the use of MDS across global markets.” Read the full story here.
The world’s largest mobile phone company makes roughly two out of every five mobiles sold globally. It said it expected the number of phones sold to increase by 10%, from the 1.14bn phones sold last year. But the Finnish group explained that the overall value of the market would be lower than in 2007 thanks to the weak dollar, the economic slowdown in the US, and “some economic slowdown in Europe”. Shares in the company dropped 10%.
Do mobile phones pollute the environment? Sri Lanka’s Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka thinks so. That was why he wants to impose a so called ‘environment tax’ on mobiles, (in fact all phones, but the above newspaper article focuses on mobiles) at two points, when you purchase it and use it. This is on top of the rest of the tax components the mobile users already have to pay. No information to that mobile usage is a serious threat to Sri Lanka’s environment.
EU Allows Mobile Phones on Airplanes, ABC News The European Union on Monday opened the way for air travelers to use mobile phones to talk, text or send e-mails on planes throughout Europe’s airspace. Under the plan approved Monday, cell phone users could make and receive calls through an onboard base station. They will be allowed to turn their phones on after the plane reaches 10,000 feet, when other electronic devices such as portable music players and laptops are permitted. But a host of issues remain, from the cost of mid-flight phone service, to backlash from those who dread the thought of being trapped for hours listening to one-sided conversations.
Unserved by Banks, Poor Kenyans Now Just Use a Cellphone, The Christian Science Moniter One of the world’s first cellphone-to-cellphone cash-transfer systems has been launched in Kenya. The system, called M-PESA, allows customers to transfer cash via their mobile phone, through an agent or store which supplies the cash. Launched by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile service provider, the numbers of customers using this system has exceeded previous expectations, with over 450, 000 customers making use of this service, as of October 2007. However, despite its promising outlook, there are concerns regarding the regulation in place – or rather lack thereof – which could serve as a hindrance to future growth of this system.
China Telecom, China’s largest fixed-line phone provider, has announced plans to buy regional phone operator Beijing Telecom for $793m. The government-controlled former monopoly, which still owns about 70 per cent of China’s fixed telephone lines, has struggled to cope with a rapidly evolving market and competition from mobile phone operators. “Due to intensifying mobile substitution, China Telecom experienced negative growth in access lines in service for the first time [in 2007], and voice business revenue decreased by 7.9 per cent from 2006,” the company said in a statement. Charice Wang, an analyst at research firm Ovum, explained that China Telecom has been facing strong competition from China Mobile as customers switch to mobile services under increasing fixed-mobile substitution.
Cubans are to be allowed unrestricted access to mobile phones for the first time, in the latest reform announced under new President Raul Castro. In a statement in official newspaper Granma, state telecom monopoly ETECSA said it would offer mobile services to the public in the next few days. Some Cubans already own mobile phones, but they have had to acquire them via a third party, often foreigners. Cuba’s rate of cell phone usage remains among the lowest in Latin America. Now Cubans will be able to subscribe to pre-paid mobile services under their own names, instead of going through foreigners or in some cases their work places.
23/03/08: Mobile phone service costs in Sri Lanka are cheap, even for the poor (Sinhala), Ravaya, Sri Lanka 25/03/08: Mobile is cheaper in Sri Lanka, even for the poor, The Daily News, Sri Lanka Two recent studies have found that Sri Lanka is among four countries that offer the most affordable mobile services to the poor in emerging Asia and the world. The first study conducted the LIRNEasia, a regional policy and regulation think tank, has found that the costs of using mobile telecom services are among the lowest in South Asia for all types of users. For the low user, essentially the poorer user, the average monthly cost of using a mobile in Sri Lanka is as low as US$ 3.83 per month if using prepaid. Sri Lanka came in fourth place in the affordability rankings for low users, not too far behind Bangladesh (USD2.
Vodafone to launch mobile phone money transfer service in Afghanistan – Yahoo! News “This is really the early days, but when you see the low banking penetration in emerging markets, compared to rapidly growing mobile penetration, the potential is very big,” said James Moberly, senior manager for payment solutions at Vodafone on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress here. The GSM Association, the global mobile phone industry body, estimates that about a dozen such schemes involving money transfer services are in operation throughout the world, with 10 million users. Vodafone plans to launch cash transfer services soon in India and other African countries. “You can send money, withdraw cash, pay your bills or your loan, and all this is within seconds,” said Aleeda Fazal, head of product development at Afghan group Roshan, which is the partner for Vodafone in the troubled country.
Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, which had announced its entry into the Sri Lankan mobile phone sector with much fanfare last year, is experiencing delays and may well be re-drawing its investment plans for the island country, says a Sri Lankan telecommunication expert. Rohan Samarajeewa, former head of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), told IANS that while there was no doubt that Bharti Airtel was committed to operating in Sri Lanka, it had altered its timetable and could well be scaling down its original investment plans. The reasons for the delay in starting the operations were in the realm of speculation, Samarajeewa said. But he did point to a possibility of difficulties in getting frequencies from the TRC, as it is generally recognized that the allotment of frequencies tends to be “highly politicised” in Sri Lanka. The parent company in India could also be changing its priorities as regards capital allocations, in the context of the growing challenges in the more lucrative Indian domestic market, Samarajeewa said.
LIRNEasia has come up with startling evidence on how transaction costs in agriculture could be reduced by simple mobile phone applications. The organization’s Lead Economist, Dr. Harsha de Silva called for a multi-stakeholder action plan to implement a series of actions that would help poor farmers as well as consumers by reducing information costs in agricultural markets and value chains. He was speaking at a panel following a public lecture by Indian Institute of Management Professor, Subhash C. Bhatnagar, who spoke on the benefits of ICT applications to farmers, taking India as an example.
We have been quoted by Director Marketing of Nokia India as saying 100 million new mobile users will come from the rural areas. What we said was that 100 million new users will come from the bottom of the pyramid, many of whom could be from rural areas. But it is worth reading what the people in the marketing trenches have to say. And thanks for quote, Mr Kishore. Mobile phone companies doing a Nano And so feels Devinder Kishore, Director Marketing, Nokia India, �according to a study done by LIRNEasia and AC Nielson, close to 100 million new cellular subscribers are expected to come from the rural areas over the next two years.
A new research study published by the Center for Global Development has looked at the impact of mobile phones on the prices of farm produce in the African country of Niger – which faced serious food shortages in 2005. In theory, the increasing use of mobile phones should have improved distribution efficiency and hence lower the variations in prices around the country. The study set out to see if that was the case.
This past Saturday at a conference organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing Harsha de Silva chaired a session with Hans Wijayasuriya of Dialog Telekom, Rohan Samarajiva of LIRNEasia and Keith Modder of Virtusa that addressed issues such as this. One point that ran through the discussion was the need for companies to develop self-regulation to safeguard the trust of their customers. China’s mobile network: a big brother surveillance tool? – LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE “We know who you are, but also where you are,” said the CEO of China Mobile Communications Corporation, Wang Jianzhou, whose company adds six million new customers to its network each month and is already the biggest mobile group in the world by users. He was explaining how the company could use the personal data of its customers to sell advertising and services to them based on knowledge of where they were and what they were doing.