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Mobile Phones may be the World’s Great Equalizer - Scott's Perspective
Share this: While more than two billion people live on less than $2US/day and many are likely to not escape extreme poverty during their lifetime, a form of technology most in the developed world enjoy is not only becoming accessible to the poor, but stands to become one of history’s greatest equalizers. Little more than a decade ago a mobile phone was something few in the first world had, were looked at by most as a silly status symbol and were quite expensive. While smartphones are all the talk nowadays and can easily cost more than $700US, a simple mobile handset has become rather inexpensive and can be purchased for about $15US most places in the world. Many developing countries are skipping the costly and laborious step of installing landlines and going straight for 3G wireless, which is enabling those with a mobile phone to communicate, transact, bank, be heard and engage the global community like never before. In a June 2012 World Bank article on mobile devices, Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist at the World Bank commented, “The mobile revolution is right at the start of its growth curve: mobile devices are becoming cheaper and more powerful while networks are doubling in bandwidth roughly every 18 months and expanding into rural areas.” This dramatic drop in price of handsets, rise in coverage and rapidly decreasing cost of network use is not only empowering the world’s disenfranchised, but turning them in to customers at the same time. Organizations like UNICEF, …