Kenyan farmers reap the benefits of technology

“A number of apps and cellphone-based programmes are being developed to help small-scale Kenyan farmers increase their agricultural skills and yields.”

Innovation in agricultural IT is concentrated in two areas. The first is delivering via mobile phones information such as market prices and tips to improve crop and animal husbandry. The second is extension of financial services, such as M-Pesa’s mobile money system. While these innovations have greatly improved access to market information and financial services, there remains a massive gap in improving access to markets once the crops are harvested read more

Mobile Internet Survey reveals heavy usage, high expectations

Analysys Mason recently conducted primary research with mobile Internet users in six countries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA): Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the UAE. They were asked about their Internet access, decision criteria for selecting operators and handsets, and their usage of over-the-top (OTT) services and other apps. The survey was conducted during November 2012–January 2013, in association with On Device Research. read more

Mobile phone data redraws bus routes in Africa

Researchers at IBM have redrawn the bus routes of Ivory Coast’s largest city using mobile phone data.

The research was completed as part of the Data for Development competition run by Orange which released 2.5 billion call records from five million mobile phone users in Ivory Coast.

The anonymised data is the largest of its kind ever released. read more

There will be more mobile phones than people by 2014: ITU

New Delhi: As global mobile-cellular penetration approaches 100 percent, by 2014, there will be more mobile phones than people on earth, says the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In 2013, there are almost as many mobile-cellular subscriptions as people in the world, with more than half in the Asia-Pacific region, says the UN agency, the official source for global ICT statistics. The cell phone subscriptions will pass a whopping seven billion early in 2014. Mobile-cellular penetration rates stand at 96 percent globally; 128 percent in developed countries; and 89 percent in the developing world. read more