Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Leapfrogging the digital divide

I was reading information about developing nations and how some nations, specifically African nations are ignoring the need for established broadband infrastructure and leapfrogging to mobile technologies. These nations have skipped establishing infrastructure such as telephone lines and getting private investors to establish mobile networks.

Why is this a problem? From a business perspective, this seems logical, as the problem for access is resolved and the new technology can be readily adopted.

However, after reading last weeks readings on the Digital Divide, getting another more powerful “core” nation to establish mobile technology infrastructure in a developing nation creates reliance, both through financing and education. In fact, it often disadvantages countries because although they may have mobile access, they still may not have access to basic necessities such as safe drinking water and shelter. Why would a country opt in for mobile technology infrastructure when basic infrastructure is needed? Clearly this appears to be a concern for national interests.

The UN run African Information Society Initiative outlines their involvement in actioning framework for communication and research, with technology being apart of this.

I thought this video provided a good insight into these mobile technologies:

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