September 14, 2012

Seven ways mobile phones have changed lives in Africa

2009_0710_cellular_africa_m.jpeg During the early years of mobile in Africa, the Short Messaging Service (SMS) was at the heart of the revolution. Today the next frontier for mobile use in Africa is the internet. CNN reports as part of their special month-long series, "Our Mobile Society."

quotemarksright.jpg"Mobile is fast becoming the PC of Africa," says Osibo Imhoitsike, market coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa at Norwegian firm Opera, whose mobile browser is enjoying an impressive uptake on the continent. "In fact there isn't really anything more personal than a mobile phone nowadays."

Last October, for the first time ever, the number of Nigerians accessing the internet via their mobiles surpassed the number of desktop internet users., figures from Statcounter show.

The trend has continued since then. Most of those devices will be low-end Nokia phones, tens of millions of which have already been sold on the continent. The more expensive "smartphones" are however also increasing in popularity, as prices drop. Blackberry's market share has been rising in the developing world, bucking the trend in Europe and North America. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Below are seven ways that mobile phones have transformed the continent:

-- Banking

-- Activism

-- Education

-- Entertainment

-- Disaster Management

-- Agriculture

-- Health

Read full report.

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