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 Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guy Collender looks at how mobile technology is benefiting some of the world's poorest

At first glance it is a peculiar and nonsensical idea: owning a mobile phone number, but not a mobile phone. Yet this novel concept could transform mobile phone services in the developing world by greatly reducing the cost of joining the mobile generation.

This new idea would enable people who are unable to afford a handset to enjoy the benefits associated with a mobile phone number, such as receiving messages and remittances.

It is based on using a mobile phone number via a shared mobile phone, just like web-based email accounts can be accessed from any computer. This approach, according to estimates, could add 1 billion people earning less than $2 a day to the mobile networks. There are now more than 4 billion mobile phone connections worldwide.

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Source: The Guardian.