How The Future of Mobile Lies in the Developing World

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Erica Kochi, the co-lead of Tech Innovation at UNICEF. Her team started UNICEF’s open source RapidSMS platform which has been adopted in developing countries worldwide. She co-teaches a class ”Design for Unicef” in NYU’s ITP Program, and has lectured at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia University on leveraging technology and design to improve international development. All these views are her own.

In less than three decades, the mobile phone has gone from being a status symbol to being a ubiquitous technology that facilitates almost every interaction in our daily lives. One month after the world’s population topped 7 billion in October 2011, the GSM Association announced that mobile SIM cards had reached 6 billion. A 2009 study in India illustrated that every 10 percent increase in mobile penetration leads to a 1.2 percent increase in GDP.

Yet patterns of mobile phone use…

View original post 1,336 more words

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