Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (IV). Thecnologies and mobile technologies

Notes from the Fourth IPID ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium 2009, held in the Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, United Kingdom, on September 11-12th, 2009. More notes on this event: ict4d_symposium_2009.

Extrending WiMAX coverage for providing Quality of Service in wide rural areas of developing countries
Carlos Rey Moreno

EHAS Foundation promotes the use of wireless technologies for e-Health in Latin America.

Health Care Centres are the reference point of many Health Care Posts, but the later are very far from the former. So, how to coordinate action?

Characteristics of the target areas:

  • Isolated or hard to reach
  • Low income
  • Lack of constnat power supply
  • Trnsmission of voice is paramount

Solutions based on:

  • Wireless communications, as it is hard to wire the area
  • License-free frequencies
  • Low power consumption
  • Low cost of operation

Cellular technologies (e.g. 3G) can only be applied in urban areas due to coverage. Satellite is expensive. Thus why WiFi or WiMAX.

Though WiFi is quite low cost and easy to apply, the usage of voice does require higher quality technologies, hence the usage of WiMAX: allows for long distance links, grants quality of service, etc. The problem being that there are few experiences with WiMAX in developing countries. On the other hand, WiMAX is more expensive and difficult to implement than WiFi. So, how to improve quality while making the whole system sustainable?

The proposal is to build a hybrid architecture that takes the best of WiFi and WiMAX: 802.11e EDCA in the access tier, and 802.19-2009 in the backhaul tier. Another optino being the usage of WiMAX Relay Mode (IEEE 802.16j), which is compatible with fixed WiMAX devices.

There are parallel projects that focus in transferring not only the technology but in training the end-user in their management and, actually, its improvement. A network management system is also being developed so that the project improves in self-management, autonomy and sustainability. This knowledge transfer — besides technology transfer — is made in partnerships with local institutions like governments and the local health care system.

There’s also an ongoing work with simulations that enable testing before final implementation.

Factors influencing the adoption of mobile phones among the farmer in Bangladesh: theories and practices
Sirajul Islam

What is adoption? It is not diffusion, but the decision of a group or individual to make full use of an innovation. It is about the users deciding about how and when they will use a specific technology.

Research objectives: understand relevant theories and models of the technology adoption process, develop hypothetical model and test it, identify the adoption factors relating to other technology and mobiles inparticilar, and explain the factors pertinent to rural Bangladesh.

Relevant theories of technological adoption

  • Diffusion of Innovation, Rogers (1995)
  • Theory of Reasoned Action, Schiffman & Kanuk (2004)
  • Theory of Planned Behaviour
  • Technology acceptance model, Davis et al. (1989)

Factors of adoption of technology: age, gender, culture, income & household, occupation, education, agroecological…

Own model, specific for mobile phone adoption:

  • facilitating conditions
  • awareness, social influences
  • demographic factors
  • individual factors
  • perceived ease of use
  • tech-service attrributes
  • perceived usefulness
  • behavioural intentions
  • actual use

The use of mobile phones in education: Evidence from two pilot projects in Bangladesh
Ahmed T. Rashid & Mizan Rahman

The second millennium development goal as a background: the importance of education in development. ICTs a key solution?

Why mobile phones? m-Learning attractive because mobile phones:

  • Most ubiquitous
  • Specially good “leapfrogger”
  • Not juzt voice but data transfer

Theories of mobile learning:

  • The role of mobile in improving access to education, the basis of distance education. Rural and remote areas where communication is barrier; mobility/portability breaks barriers of time and space; reduction of substitution cost (e.g. less travel); flexibility.
  • The role of mobiles in promoting new learning, how mobile phones can transform education. Learner centred, because it is participatory, customizable; learning with understanding, accessing specific information; situated and constant learning that occurs outside classroom.

Investigate how mobile phones alone (no blended learning, though lab controlled) could be used to introduce interactivity, and copare it to face to face and sitance education with SMS enabled questions. Test outcomes similar, though some evidence of enthusiasm among.

Determine whether mobile phone supported distance education could serve as effective modality for teacher training. Findings indicate that there is very little evidence between study and control groups. Lack of English competency and technological problems being the main problems found. interaction between trainers and trainees which possibly facilitated new learning.

Conclusions are not conclusive. Mixed outcomes in terms of both facilitating access and promoting new learning, though there are signs that it could be possible.



Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2009)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2009) “Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (IV). Thecnologies and mobile technologies” In ICTlogy, #72, September 2009. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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