We have here talked about the subject of mobile phones for development several times. Positively, as a proven and effective tool to let poor people access the Information Society, when other more costly infrastructures are unexistent and/or cannot be provided — because of cost or because of technical difficulties (say, cost again, as almost every and each difficulty can be overridden with money). Negatively, as mobile phone in lesser developed countries usually relies on GSM networks, hence, low band networks that while providing access, it is a less quality access than broadband — fixed and mobile — networks provide in developed countries, thus widening the digital divide.
Nicholas P. Sullivan now provides us with another example on how can mobile telephones enhance both local development and Information Society fostering, by explaining the GrameenPhone experience in Bangladesh, something we already reviewed when we talke about the Village Phone Replication Manual.
offers a compelling account of what Sullivan calls the external combustion engine —a combination of forces that is sparking economic growth and lifting people out of poverty in countries long dominated by aid-dependent governments. The “engine” comprises three forces: information technology, imported by native entrepreneurs trained in the west, backed by foreign investors.
The book has two parts. The first one, The GrameenPhone Story, about why and how the project took place, and the second one, Transformation Through Technology, seemingly devoted to reflection and analysis.
- Book: Mobile Communication and Society
- Book: Wireless Networking in the Developing World
- Book: Village Phone Replication Manual
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2007) “Book: You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World’s Poor to the Global Economy” In ICTlogy,
#41, February 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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