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Monday, November 28, 2005

Mobile phones to beat poverty

It is clear that access to technology, applied correctly, assists a vast majority of poorer population to gain entry to markets, establish presence and heave themselves out of poverty. Mobile phones are a simple tool to assist the population to communicate and communication is the first step to enter markets.

"The mobile phone has spread throughout much of the developing world more quickly and deeply than any previous technology-based product – not least traditional fixed-line phones. This has been helped by the fact that rolling out a mobile phone network is far cheaper than building a fixed-line system. In Morocco in 1995, for example, after decades of investing in the telephone infrastructure, there were only four fixed lines per 100 inhabitants. In 2003, there were still four fixed line subscribers per 100 Moroccans, but there were also 24 mobile phone subscribers per 100 – up from zero in 1995, according to a recent study by the London Business School for Vodafone, the British global mobile phone giant. In the same period, mobile phone penetration has risen from 0 to 36 per cent in Albania, 0 to 30 per cent in Paraguay, 0 to 21 per cent in China and 0 to 9 per cent in India."

And, to show more numbers: "Already, these mobile phones seem to be generating big economic benefits, according to the London Business School study, which looked at 92 countries, rich and poor, between 1980 and 2003. Overall, says the study, in a typical developing country, a rise of 10 mobile phones per 100 people boosts the rate of growth of GDP by 0.6 percentage points a year. That may not seem much, but compounded over a few years it can add up to a big increase in living standards. Those developing countries that have higher levels of mobile phone penetration may become the success stories of the coming decade. For instance, notes the study, the Philippines had 27 mobile phones per 100 people in 2003, compared with Indonesia’s nine. If that gap remains, the Philippines could expect its GDP to grow by one percentage point a year faster than that of Indonesia."

This is dramatic and worthwhile the support from all over the world!

(By Asia Business Consulting)