SMS

Gartner: mobile payment market is growing slower than expected

Title: Gartner: mobile payment market is growing slower than expected
Source: Gartner, Inc
Date (published): 21/07/2011
Date (accessed): 27/07/2011
Type of information: press release
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Worldwide mobile payment users will surpass 141.1 million in 2011, a 38.2 percent increase from 2010, when mobile payment users reached 102.1 million, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide mobile payment volume is forecast to total $86.1 billion, up 75.9 percent from 2010 volume of $48.9 billion.

Despite these strong growth projections, Gartner analysts said the mobile payment market is growing slower than expected.

“In developing markets, despite favorable conditions for mobile payment, growth is not as strong as was anticipated. Many service providers are yet to adapt their strategies to local requirements, and success models from Kenya and the Philippines are unlikely to be translated to other markets,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. While developing markets have favorable conditions for mobile payments, such as high penetration of mobile devices and low banking penetration, this is no guarantee of success, unless service providers adapt their strategies to local market requirements.”
...
Gartner expects Short Message Service (SMS) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) to remain the dominant access technologies in developing markets due to the constraints of mobile phones. Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) will remain the preferred mobile access technology in developed markets, where the mobile Internet is commonly available and activated on the phone. Mobile app downloads and mobile commerce are the main drivers of WAP payments, and WAP will account for almost 90 percent of all mobile transactions in North America and about 70 percent in Western Europe in 2011.

Money transfers and prepaid top-ups will drive transaction volumes in developing markets. These are seen as the "killer apps" in developing markets, where people value the convenience of sending money to relatives and topping up mobile accounts. This is most obvious in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where these two services will account for 54 percent and 32 percent of all transactions in 2011."

Research on FrontlineSMS:Radio in Kenya

Title: Research of FrontlineSMS:Radio in Kenya
Source: FrontlineSMS:Radio
Date (published): 18/07/2011
Date (accessed): 18/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"FrontlineSMS:Radio is being developed and deployed in collaboration with the Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) at the University of Cambridge. This partnership represents a unique opportunity to gather evidence about how audiences interact with radio stations via SMS and how these interactions can affect their participation in public affairs. CGHR are utilising this opportunity to research whether and how innovations in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are enriching citizen-led governance in Africa, in particular through the combination of radio and SMS.

Entitled, New Communications Technologies and Citizen-led Governance in Africa, the two-year CGHR research project is now well into its operative phase. Between July and September, CGHR’s research team will start conducting fieldwork in Kenya and Zambia to critically analyse how technology is being utilised on the ground. Working closely with local radio stations, the project will seek to capture how information flows through local networks and how new communication technologies, such as mobile phones, interact with older ones. It will also set out to analyse how the hybrid of mobile phones and the radio fit together in long term patterns of use of communication for political participation."

Smart Connect: a SMS communication appliance for rural healthcare

Title: Smart Connect: a SMS communication appliance for rural healthcare
Author: Eric Blantz
Source: ICTWorks
Date (published): 06/07/2011
Date (accessed): 14/07/2011
Type of information: blog post/article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"SMS’s reach and reliability, combined with its popularity among users, make it particularly attractive to those working on applications for the developing world, where Internet and smart phones are not yet widely available or affordable.
...
Enter Smart Connect, a “communication appliance” developed by PATH and Inveneo which uses SMS to improve the reliability and performance of one of the most important systems in all of global health: the medical “cold chain.”
...
We decided to make Smart Connect a facility based device. Even though it has many parts in common with a cell phone, it is constructed to be secured in place. We did this to improve security of the device, to ensure that the device was associated with the health facility, to allow it to connect with external sensors and to make it possible to connect to an external antenna for improved reception.

One of the first applications for Smart Connect is temperature monitoring of vaccine refrigerators. Refrigerators which regularly drop below freezing are quite common – so it is important to bring these to the attention of cold chain managers. Temporary power disruptions and breakdowns are also a problem since they lead to vaccines getting too hot.
...
Previously, refrigerator temperatures were tracked and recorded by hand with long delays in collecting the records. Now Smart Connect records the refrigerator temperature and sends out alert messages when there is a problem. Messages are sent to a web site and then automatically relayed to service technicians. A daily summary of refrigerator temperatures is also sent to the web site so that the manager can understand how well the equipment is functioning.

Beyond temperature monitoring, Smart Connect has the capacity to run a range of additional applications. For example, the Smart Connect deployment in Vietnam includes an application to track the use of vaccines so that that “stock outs” can be avoided. In the future, we plan for Smart Connect to be used with a bar code scanner to be able to read tags on vaccines when they arrive, and a printer to be able to provide receipts of test results to patients.

With Smart Connect we have seen that a small amount of communication delivered by SMS can have a big impact. By “thinking outside of the phone” we have created a custom communication device that meets the specific needs of rural health facilities and improves healthcare services in communities in Nicaragua, Vietnam and beyond."

Opportunities and challenges for use of mobile phones for learning

Title: Opportunities and challenges for use of mobile phones for learning
Author: Bas Hoefman
Source: Educational Technology Debate
Publisher: infoDev and UNESCO
Date (published): 11/07/2011
Date (accessed): 12/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The Mobile landscape in Africa has rapidly evolved over the past decade with 380 Million mobile subscribers and 1 million added every week. This growth has been fueled in a large part by the liberalization effort resulting in the formation of independent regulatory bodies and increased competition in the market. This has enhanced numerous grassroots efforts to empower the poor and marginalized by providing access to knowledge through technology, more so a platform for communication. SMS and voice is being used in innovative ways to share knowledge and improve learning among students in Africa.
...
Technology role out for learning is still stalled by a number of factors in Africa including:

* Poor ICT policy implementation especially in the areas of Health and Education. These two areas are complimentary – will you educate an unhealthy nation?
* Most schools in Africa still do not accept mobile phone possession in classroom or even at school. Aspects of high teacher absenteeism and quality of teachers are still apparent.
* Limited mobile coverage especially in the rural areas which has also led to poor internet connectivity. Mobile operators are always seeking a win-win market situation– how then should we package these programs to make them interesting to the operators?
* Africa is characterized by too many ICT pilots of which most have not materialized to ongoing impact generating programs.
* Technology is powered by Electricity, which is a challenge to most of rural Africa."

Africa’s First National Open Data Initiative: Kenya

Title: Africa’s First National Open Data Initiative: Kenya
Author: Erik Hersman
Source: WhiteAfrican
Date (published): 07/07/2011
Date (accessed): 10/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Today Kenya becomes the first country in Africa to launch a national open data initiative. There have been many people pushing for this, over many months, and it’s been an exciting process to watch unfold. Foremost amongst the drivers on this has been Dr. Bitange Ndemo, the Permanent Secretary of Information and Communications. This is indeed a very proud moment for Kenya, and a leading position to take on the continent.

The Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI) goes live this morning in a big event that includes President Kibaki, as well as many politicians, government officials and local technologists. The World Bank, who has been instrumental in organizing and helping publish the data is here as well, along with Google, Ushahidi, the iHub community and a large selection of youth.

The data is available online through the Socrata platform, which allows users to view different data at national, county and constituency levels. They can compare different data sets, create maps and other visualizations.

Data sets are categorized into 6 main categories: Education, Energy, Health, Population, Poverty and Water & Sanitation. It includes data from the national census, the ministry of education, ministry of health, CDF projects and many more."
(via https://twitter.com/#!/ajussis)

New media helped, but radio delivered for earthquake-struck Haiti

Title: New media helped, but radio delivered for earthquake-struck Haiti
Author: Matthew Lasar
Source:Ars Technica
Publisher:Condé Nast Digital
Date (published):12/01/2011
Date (accessed):14/01/2011
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"When Haiti's devastating earthquake hit last January, the world responded with a wave of humanitarian relief efforts. But unlike previous disasters, they also deployed new communications systems—text messaging, digital crowd sourcing, and social networking, among other platforms.

The Haiti earthquake "marked the beginning of a new culture in disaster relief," notes a report on the phenomenon just released by the Knight Foundation. "Occurring several years into a revolution in communications technology, the event attracted legions of media specialists bearing new digital tools to help."

Yet the electronic medium most successfully deployed was not the newest, but one of the oldest. "Although much of the attention has been paid to new media technologies, radio was the most effective tool for serving the needs of the public," Knight concludes."

Sudan's First SMS-Powered Voting Monitor Tracks "Violence," "Intimidation"

Title: Sudan's First SMS-Powered Voting Monitor Tracks "Violence," "Intimidation"
Author:Jenara Neremberg
Source:Fast Company
Date (published):10/12/2010
Date (accessed):11/12/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„While Sudanese vote about the fate of South Sudan's independence, one Sudan-born Texan supports the voting process from afar with a historic mobile-powered monitoring tool.
...
SVM is Sudan's first SMS-based voting monitor. The model is simple: People text a coded short message to SVM translating into either "violence," "intimidation," or any number of categories--and that information is then verified by SVM's team, published to their site and made public for the world to see in both English and Arabic. Based in the U.S., the group works with local civil society partners on the ground in Sudan who have certified observers able to verify whether the reports are true or not.”

No Victim Voiceless: Africa Uses Tech to Shine a Light on Genocide

Title: No Victim Voiceless: Africa Uses Tech to Shine a Light on Genocide
Author:Curt Hopkins
Source:ReadWriteWeb
Date (published):10/12/2010
Date (accessed):11/12/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„"Technology is the equalizer," Fareed Zein told Fast Company. Zein has built the Sudan Vote Monitor as a platform people can use to monitor and cover next month's independence vote in that northeastern African country.

To the south and east, another technological experiment has risen, that one to commemorate the fait accompli of the Rwandan genocide. The Genocide Archive of Rwanda, hosted by the Kigali Genocide Memorial, will document the 100 days and 800,000 lives lost in the brutality of 1994.”

Mobile Tech in Community Radio - Still Ad Hoc and One-Off: A State-of-Mobile Report

Title: Mobile Tech in Community Radio - Still Ad Hoc and One-Off: A State-of-Mobile Report
Author: Melissa Ulbricht
Publisher:MobilActive.org
Date (published):07/06/2010
Date (accessed):23/11/2010
Type of information:report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„In 2008, Bruce Girard concluded in a MobileActive.org guest post that the addition of text messaging technology into the community radio toolkit was still in its infancy. SMS use at radio stations was informal, he wrote, and the few cases of more complex use of SMS messages accompanied political crisis or natural disaster and were largely donor financed.

Two years later, we delve once again into the state of SMS and mobile technology at community radio stations, by way of an informal survey. While advances have been made and creative projects have emerged, integration remains an ad-hoc and individual enterprise.

This report summarizes existing projects and success stories, highlighting the most popular uses of mobile technology. It concludes with a discussion of the challenges that community radio stations face in adopting SMS and mobile technology.”
via http://www.comminit.com/ and https://twitter.com/#!/ictdev

What we can learn from farmers about ICT4D and trust

Title: What we can learn from farmers about ICT4D and trust
Author: Christian Kreutz
Source: crisscrossed
Date (published): 25/06/2010
Date (accessed): 27/06/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:"
There is often that notion that once you have access to the Internet or to other information and communication technologies (ICT), the whole world of information lies rights at your feet, so you only need to pick the best of it. But in contrary, it can become incredibly time consuming to verify information and to make yourself a trusted source. In the field of ICT4D, this issue is particularly important. In many cases people do not have years of experience working with ICTs and have actually learnt them just the auto-didactic way – using the Internet for their own benefit. Let’s take the case of farmers in rural areas of Africa.

Farmers in developing countries
The other day I had an interesting conversation with a colleague, who has been working already for decades in the rural development and agriculture field around the world. We talked about the potentials for ICT in agriculture and in specific farmers. One of the major challenges is neither access nor literacy, but simply trust. Why should a farmer trust an information coming from somewhere as an SMS? Farmers make careful elaborations, before they change certain practices. Information from a website can help, but at the end of the day what counts is the advice of trusted colleagues. So, we have to realize that information through ICTs often have only a small impact.

Syndicate content