Mobile Phone Usage Creates Economic Growth in Developing Nations

This interesting article discusses it. A real good read that certainly reframes some perceptions. When you read it one thing becomes clear, countries with legacy infrastructure are likely to not adopt as quickly as demand is not as urgent. The ultimate effects of this are not yet fully clear but I think it’s an important area to pay attention to. Some highlights:

  • “Financial institutions are realizing that the only way to reach new customers is through mobile networks,” says Nick Hughes, head of the mobile payment team at Vodafone.
  • Expanding mobile networks also brings other economic benefits, experts say. It lures more foreign investment, gives families better access to health and educational information and provides governments with more revenue from licenses and taxes.
  • Mobile phones provide a good way for the younger generation to seek new business opportunities and cash in on Vietnam’s move toward a market economy, says Paul Ruppert, managing director of consultancy Global Point View LLC, who has extensive experience in Asia. “It’s all micro-activity — tailors, small repair shops, textile producers, grocery stores,” Ruppert says. “Even though they’re small, they’re allowed to get an idea of the market via the cellphone.”
  • Research shows that greater cellphone use can drive economic growth in emerging economies. Based on market research in China, India and the Philippines, consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that raising wireless penetration by 10 percentage points can lead to an increase in gross domestic product of about 0.5%, or around $12 billion for an economy the size of China.

What do you think of mobile’s effects on economic growth in developing and mature economies?

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