Mobile Internet Access Reduces Inequality Says Study

 Vodafone building (image credit: newscrest.co.nz)Access to mobile internet presents revolutionary opportunities for addressing issues of inequality. This is according to a study by Vodafone published via TelecomPaper.

The mobile operator has commissioned independent experts to explore the ways in which smartphones could reduce inequalities for women, micro entrepreneurs and small farmers. The report highlights the benefits of smartphones for disadvantaged groups and recommends the policy steps that governments can take to tackle inequality.

Mobile internet access has enormous potential to boost income and socioeconomic opportunities in developing markets, but failing to make it accessible to disadvantaged groups could further deepen inequalities, the report shows. The study, according to TelecomPapaer also found that education affects how people use their devices and the value they derive from mobile internet access. Mobile internet access is pivotal in reducing information asymmetries and equalising access to wider social networks and opportunities, but digital literacy is also important in ensuring that potential is realised.

socioeconomic opportunities in developing markets, but failing to make it accessible to disadvantaged groups could further deepen inequalities, the report shows. Read more

5G mobile technology to boost best era for virtual reality

Huawei Technologies and ZTE, China’s two biggest telecommunications equipment manufacturers, are predicting a boom in the global virtual and augmented reality market when 5G mobile infrastructure starts to get widely deployed from 2020.

These Shenzhen-based companies are among the world’s leading proponents of 5G, the next-generation mobile communications technology that is touted to deliver wireless transmission speeds 100 times faster than what current 4G networks provide.

According to the GSM Association, 5G will provide 1 to 10-gigabit per second connection speeds as well as less than a millisecond in latency — the amount of time it takes data to get from one point to another.

  “The virtual reality ecosystem is not mature enough now, in terms of content and bandwidth,” Huawei vice-president of international media affairs Roland Sladek said. “If you want to stream 3D content, it’s very slow. Latency is not great. That will drastically change with 5G.”

The promise 5G holds is what the GSMA has said would lead to a “hyper-connected society” in which mobile will play an ever more important role to both consumers and industries.

The association represents nearly 800 wireless network operators and about 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, which includes network equipment and handset suppliers like Huawei and ZTE. Read more

Facebook says 360 video will be “commonplace” and VR will grow

Facebook is continuing to promote video content on its primary platform at the expense of the written word.

Quartz reports Facebook’s Nicola Mendelsohn, who heads up its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, telling a conference in London yesterday that in five years’ Facebook will “probably” be “all video”.

She also apparently suggested 360 video will be “commonplace” and VR is set to grow. (Albeit Facebook owns the virtual reality outfit Oculus Rift so the company would say that.)

“The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video,” she is quoted as saying. “It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information.”

“We’re seeing a year-on-year decline of text… If I was having a bet I’d say: video, video, video,” Mendelsohn added. Read more

CISCO, Africa a renowned mobile centric hub

Africa’s internet traffic will grow six-fold by 2020, when the Middle East and Africa internet traffic will be equivalent to 527 times the volume of the region’s in 2005.

People accessing the internet like these people using Ushahidi, will drive Africa’s internet traffic to grown six-fold in next four years.

People accessing the internet like these people using Ushahidi, will drive Africa’s internet traffic to grown six-fold in next four years.

Africa will also be the fastest growing region, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, which covers the years 2015-2020.

Calling Africa “a renowned mobile centric hub”, Cisco says there will be about 1,.5 networked devices per capita in 2020, of which 77% will be mobile. The average mobile connection will be 5Mbps, while fixed broadband speed will increase 2.4 fold, it predicts.

“The digital transformation is happening now for billions of consumers and businesses users across the globe,” says Cathy Smith, general manager for Cisco South Africa. “Increased connectivity and internet usage will positively impact South Africa’s digital migration journey.”

Globally, mobile data traffic will grow 15-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 71%, or twice as much as wired usage. Mobile will grow to 40% of total IP traffic in 2020, up from 15% in 2015.

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