Monday, March 23, 2009

How Mobiles have Changed the World

More than half the global population now pays to use a mobile phone, according to a new UN report. With this surge in users has come a huge expansion in the mobile services available, from instant money transfers to public health advice to internet access. The fastest growth has been in Africa, in places like the Congo where the country has only about 20,000 land lines after the system collapsed under a ruinous dictatorship. Now, traders shipping imports to distant towns, farmers sending produce to the main cities, and those involved in the thriving gold and diamond smuggling trade use their phones to check prices, text quotes and arrange deliveries. Says Deograsias Mukeba of the Democratic Republic of Congo: "Everyone but the very poor has a cell phone, even the guy who only makes a few dollars a day picking up passengers on his bike. Even the woman selling things by the roadside. Almost everyone finds the money."
Source: The Guardian