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2014- the year of one phone per person



Special to Times of Oman

According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Global body for Telecommunication industry, mobile subscription could match the global population mark of  7 billion by the end of 2014.

And this phone per person situation could unleash unprecedented amount of possibilities.

Firstly benefits of development, from education to banking to agro-services could be percolated to the concerned person directly through mobile and catastrophic existence of middle men could effectively be wiped out.

It is estimated that in developing countries middlemen take away as much as 20 per cent of the revenue of agricultural income and the poor peasants are worst suffers.

Various governments all round the world have initiated e-governance to root out this bane by reaching out to needy people but despite good intention of the project, it falls flat on its face owing to lack of infrastructure.

Does a farmer really have the time to go to e-governance kiosk in midst of harvest time?

His necessary information could be rendered to him through his mobile handset. Same thing goes for education and banking. Actually global penetration of mobile has made this new vista of macro development possible. ITU has rightly billed penetration of smartphone as one of the parameters of development.

Secondly, the fourth screen has opened a new age of commerce as well where business, be it big or small, could directly interact with its potential customers and thanks to the Internet, geo-political boundaries hold little significance anymore

Realising the long run benefits of this kind of direct interaction, the corporate world has started paying their attention to digital media and phone per person situation could be ideal platform they have asked for.  

Thirdly, the emergence of social media has rewritten the chapter of interpersonal communication on global scale and camaraderie with the mobile has been its growth engine.

The bonhomie has become too apparent in countries like India and China where millions of cellular subscriptions were happened owing to social media as mobile turns out to be their first choice of net connected device.

The scale of the deluge is such that sociologists the world over are contemplating emergence of digital identity of the users of social media.

This new identity could go long way to serve as a unique tool of evaluating human nature and rooms for career and other guidance audience are always there.  The one phone per person phenomena could be unique platform for the development of human resources as well.

Fourthly, state of art technologies like Cloud and Simulation could now be available through 3G and 4G platforms to mobile users which could immensely enhance the content creation capability at individual level. Emergence of digital media at the grass root level could be next outcome.

Critics could argue that phone per person situation is still a statistical average rather than reality as developing world has 90 per penetration while developed world has 121 per cent.

But as developing world is fast catching up, it is just matter of months for them to score century.

World is breathlessly waiting!

The author is a senior journalist specialised in technology. All the views and opinions expressed
in the article are solely his and not of Times of Oman.



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