Skip to comments.(Obama's Amerika) Africa Boasts More Cellphone Users Than All of North America
Posted on 12/20/2012 9:37:42 PM PST by DogByte6RER
Africa boasts more cellphone users than all of North America
The silver lining of being a developing continent is that you can skip entire stages of technological progress, like going directly from no phones to cellphones without suffering through land lines in between. Africa, for example, now has more mobile subscribers than the United States or Europe, and that means big things for African economies.
Like we've mentioned before, beyond its wild growth, the African cellular telecommunications market is a hotbed of innovation. Areas like telemedicine and cellphone-based money-transfer schemes don't just make life easier, they help people live healthier and more productive lives. And not only people in urban areas, but farmers, too.
Imagine you're a farmer in Africa. Subsistence farming has been your family's way of life for generations. You're subject to the wiles of the weather, and forced to make treks to urban centers sell any extra crops. A cellphone, a feature-phone at that, makes that life easier. Weather forecasts can help you prepare or even save a crop from nasty weather, like an impending freeze or dust storm. Money-management services are baked into the phone's firmware will grease your commercial wheels, making banking services unnecessary and saving you the danger of carrying cash over long distances. Food becomes easier to grow, and money becomes easier to make (and save). Multiply that across a continent, and you've got the seeds of a agricultural middle class.
As far as figures go, Africa's mobile telecom market boasts 650 million (!) subscribers. That's 40-fold growth in just over a decade, and like the phones in Africa's pockets, the possibilities for mobile (and economic) growth are now completely untethered.
1st World America is falling 3rd World Africa.
Uh, Africa has three times the population of North America, and lacks North America’s ubiquitous phone line infrastructure.
Cell phones also help Africans avoid interference from their corrupt governments. Let’s hear it for freedom and innovation!
And they’re just talking about feature i.e. “dumb” phones right now. A couple of more years, and they’ll have smartphones, and that will really open up the possibilities.
Places like this are where cell phones were first deployed.
They have no traditional infrastructure.
I bet they have more shortwave radios too.
They didn’t invent this ****
The development of cell phone use in Africa and the Middle East is spectacular. It was one of the factors in the “Arab Spring”. I think I read a statistic that cell phone ownership in the Muslim countries ranged from 30 to 70 percent depending on the country.
I Africa I have read of people saving up to buy a cell phone and then renting it out by the minute to people in their village as a regular and growing business. It will be fascinating to see how all this plays out.
What could North America do with 650 million cell phone subscriptions?
pretty common phenom. In B-School they call it the latecomer advantage. Europe/Japan got to rebuild using current tech of post WWII era. They didn’t have to go back to the 19th cent. and start over. Today the third world builds with current tech in the post-national economic system.
Meanwhile we in the USA are using infrastructure/concepts that can be a century old in some cases and wondering why we are having a hard time competing. Consider our rail network vs. Euro/Japan, for example. Or broadband access in US vs. some Asian nations, another example. Or the space program of China.
It’s easier for third worlders to plant a few cell phone towers than to build up a telegraph system, then a land line POTS network and then add cell towers.
We in the west design, invent and create, but it’s difficult and expensive to re-infrastructure an industrial civilization. If you have nothing, you can actually be at an advantage if you choose your investments wisely.
Do they have batteries in them?
I went to the Philippines a year ago and every store market and almost every kiosk in downtown has an Apple “expert” who can easily jailbreak an Iphone 4 for $4 equivalent. Amazing stuff LOl, they even had the Galaxy Tab 2 months before it hit America.
What do they call them over there, Odingaphones?
Also, note that in the US there is the legacy land-line system and atm-system and bank branch system
But in Africa they use cell phones for banking, etc. etc. -- no one uses cheques for instance and even credit cards are replaced in some parts of east africa by cell phones.
they don’t have anything to thank Obama for — these are all private enterprises, which is why they have succeeded. No government interference...
Having seen how all this has played out, am wondering if we have a cutoff switch. Just in case?
Yeah. The article even notes that there are 650 million cell phone subscribers in Africa - that’s nearly double the total US population.
650 million N. Americans could run e-mail and Internet scams against the Nigerians ...
Could be how the Ormas were aware the Pokomos were going to attack?
Interesting, isn’t it? Using modern technology but still fighting over ancient grievances.
The more things change the more they stay the same...