Week 11 Presentation CASE STUDY:The Social and Economic Implications of Mobile Telephony in Rwanda: An Ownership/Access Typology Jonathan Donner By Tani Crotty
Key concepts Four categories of telephony ownership & access in Rwanda: Private phone owners – landline and/or mobile handset New mobile-only owners Public phone users Telephone non-users Benefits of telecommunications to communities: Economic Social Collective community (health)
Benefits of mobile telephony adoption Economic Pre-pay plans allow users the affordability without locked in contracts – many lack basics of bank account or mail service to receive bills Save on international calls, consistently lower rates than landlines Trade between rural and urban markets – rural farmers can cut travel costs by staying in touch with markets via text msg, reduces the bargaining power of the middleman Business owners have direct contact with clients – eg. taking bookings for food orders, hair services, car maintenance etc
Benefits of mobile telephony adoptionVideo examples:„The Maasai Go Mobile‟http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J2f8W43gwk„Hello Africa‟http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIGEg2PDbMA
Benefits of mobile telephony adoption Social Frequent connection with family and friends – increased mobile connection versus face to face connection Helps maintain family relationships – eg. Many families are split pursuing business opportunities elsewhere Allows ability to maximise social connection with minimal cost – „beeping‟ (prank call), „phatic communication‟, inclusion of non-mobile users (beep from pay phone)
Benefits of mobile telephony adoption Collective community Health – development of a telecommunications system between central urban hospitals and rural clinics to support the treatment of HIV/AIDS saving livings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7qBnNjq7MQ • South Africa – using text messages to coordinate patient care • Uganda – using wireless enabled PDAs to provide information to rural caregivers
Community perceptions Overall benefits of mobiles Increased social status, affluence Security Constant contact – business and family Increased mobilityInteresting further reading:David Morley (2011) – Mobility of technology & the notion of „placelessness‟“we all now live in a new cyber world of „placelessness‟, where material geography counts for verylittle as a determinant of social or cultural life”
Continuing Issues in Rwanda Mobile theft Telecommunication services limited – mobile signal availability – initially huge disparity across Africa but in recent years has improve Cost Socio economic factors – still a great divide between urban and rural
Africa & mobile use In 1999, 10 percent of the African population had mobile phone coverage Today over 70% of the population has mobile phone coverage – fasted growing mobile use adoption in the world (60% use mobiles for social media and other internet services) This high level of adoption appears to be correlated with the poor quality of landline services – fewer than 3 landline services per 100 people eg. Kenyan firms reported an average of 36 days of interrupted landline service per year, with interruptions lasting an average of 37 hours. Employment, „m-banking‟, environment shocks (affecting planting and yields) Source: Aker & Mbiti (2010)
A cultural comparison Indigenous Australians & phone use Indigenous people have more access to mobile phones over any other digital technology (despite than high cost) More females than males have mobile phones in Aust (Rwanda – more males than females) Shared amongst households & families (communal activity) Strong social benefits: Connect with family and friends – high priority Multimedia applications – music, videos & photos (esp. when out of credit + the creation of videos/photos in communities) Text messaging – however not a significant reason to purchase (perhaps due to low literacy levels) Emergencies – especially important in remote communities Economic benefits: eg. for work = nil Valued literacy / educational tool: Multimodal capabilities of mobile phones supplement limited print literary resources/ lack of education facilities in remote locations Source: Auld et al (2012)
Coverage comparison1 billion people 22,769,193 people
Summary: Trends in mobile use Rwanda/Africa (1999-2012) Australia (2010-11) Mobile phone coverage/usage Mobile phone usage increased by 226 increased from 10% to 70% of per cent in 1 year population # of Australians living in households without a fixed-line telephone service Majority of mobile users are mobile- increased by 17 per cent to reach 2.7 only users million 96 per cent of Australians aged 18–34 Rapid decrease in landline use – years used a mobile phone due to poor infrastructure and Volume SMS and multimedia messages exponential growth of mobile sent increased by 23 per cent to reach coverage in Africa 36.3 billion # of payphones in operation in Australia Main uses – work/business, decreased by five per cent to 33,201 family/friend connection and social media Disparity between urban and remote usage remain on par
Discussion How many people own landlines or live in a house with a landline? Why do you have a landline? When was the last time you used a landline? Has anyone not used a landline? When was the last time you used a payphone? Why? How old were you when you got your first mobile phone? What are the main uses of your mobile phone?„iDisorder‟ Dr Larry Rosen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9LFbxOt00E
References Aker, J and Mbiti, I.M. 2010, „Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa‟, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 24, Number 3, Summer 2010, pp.207–232, accessed 30 September 2012, http://sites.tufts.edu/jennyaker/files/2010/09/aker_mobileafrica.pdf ‘Assignment Rwanda: Using Mobiles to Combat AIDS’, 2008, television program, Telecom TV, 24 September, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7qBnNjq7MQ Auld, G, Snyder, I and Henderson, M 2012, „Using mobile phones as placed resources for literacy learning in a remote Indigenous community in Australia‟, Language and Education, 26:4, pp.279-296, accessed 30 September 2012, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2012.691512> ‘Communications Report 2010-11’, 2011, Australian Communications and Media Authority report, accessed 29 September 2012, http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib410148/executive_summary.pdf Donner, J 2006, „The Social and Economic Implications of Mobile Telephony in Rwanda: An Ownership/Access Typology‟, Knowledge, Technology, & Policy, Summer 2006, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp.17–28. Donner, J 2007, „The Use of Mobile Phones by Microentrepreneurs in Kigali, Rwanda: Changes to Social and Business Networks‟, Information Technologies and International Development, Volume 3, Number 2, Winter 2006, pp.3–19. ‘Family, Kinship and Community’, 2008, Australian Bureau of Statistics, accessed 29 September 2012, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20Features~Family,%20kinship%20and%20community~247 ‘Hello Africa - Mobile Phone Culture in Africa’, 2011, documentary, Information and Technologies for Development, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIGEg2PDbMA Komolafe, K 2012, „Hillary Clinton talks #genocideprevention through social media‟, McClatchy Newspapers online, 24 July, accessed 30 September 2012, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/07/24/157495/hillary-clinton-talks-genocideprevention.html Morley, D 2011. „Communications and transport: The mobility of information, people and commodities‟, Media Culture Society 2011 33: 743, accessed online 20 September 2012, http://mcs.sagepub.com.wwwproxy0.library.unsw.edu.au/content/33/5/743.full.pdf+html ‘The Maasai Go Mobile - An African Journey With Jonathan Dimbleby - BBC Two’, 2010, television program, BBC Two, 3 June, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J2f8W43gwk>
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