Mobile Services in a Wireless World: The CTA 2009 ICT Observatory Meeting

Author's name: 
Pete Cranston, Kevin Painting

The use of mobile phones currently dominates discussion among communities working with e-agriculture and ICTs for Development (ICT4D). Mobile telephony is a catalyst for social inclusion. It offers a wide range of services that support social networking and knowledge transfer. It enables small businesses to participate in the local economy more effectively by providing them with a channel of access to information on prices and useful marketing contacts. The runaway success of mobile banking (including microfinance and credit transactions) is shaking up the economic landscape in many countries. Mobile phones can also be used for social and political ends. Consequently, many organizations in developing countries now use mobile phones to support their activities in the fields of health, governance, agriculture and fisheries.

Mobile services were the focus for the 2009 CTA Observatory on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This paper reports on the discussions held during the Observatory meeting where participants reviewed current technological trends, the wide range of channels through which content providers, ‘infomediaries’ and communities interact, examples of sustainable e-services which are already, or have the potential to deliver benefit over the medium to long term, and policy and strategy implications.
The use of mobile phones currently dominates discussion among communities working with e-agriculture and ICTs for Development (ICT4D). Mobile telephony is a catalyst for social inclusion. It offers a wide range of services that support social networking and knowledge transfer. It enables small businesses to participate in the local economy more effectively by providing them with a channel of access to information on prices and useful marketing contacts. The runaway success of mobile banking (including microfinance and credit transactions) is shaking up the economic landscape in many countries. Mobile phones can also be used for social and political ends. Consequently, many organizations in developing countries now use mobile phones to support their activities in the fields of health, governance, agriculture and fisheries.

Mobile services were the focus for the 2009 CTA Observatory on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This paper reports on the discussions held during the Observatory meeting where participants reviewed current technological trends, the wide range of channels through which content providers, ‘infomediaries’ and communities interact, examples of sustainable e-services which are already, or have the potential to deliver benefit over the medium to long term, and policy and strategy implications.

Also read the full report (attached).

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