Mobile telephony and pro-poor growth
Ethan Zuckerman of the WorldChanging blog writes eloquentlyabout the importance of mobile phones in low-income communities. He identifies three factors critical to thespread of mobile telephony: new versus replacement infrastructure,pay-as-you-go pricing, and used phones.
Zuckerman is right on. By leapfrogginglandline infrastructure, developing communities have been able to adopt moderntechnology faster and cheaper than we have in the
However, it’s only towards the end of his post where Zuckerman hits the nail onthe head: ?More fundamental than these three factors is the fact that very poorpeople are willing to pay money to communicate.? He cites Grameen Phone as an example–read thecase study here. (PDF)Mobile telephony is already profitable for the telecoms. Now the question is: how do we incorporatethis leapfrog innovation into a range of pro-poor business models? Stay tuned.