Locative Lab

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From Mobile Healthcare to Payments to Microfinance, SMS Remains ‘Tip of the Spear’

Clickatell CEO Pieter de Villiers Shares US Mobile Market Predictions and Views.

“In less than a decade, mobility has gone from a mere convenience to an absolute must-have, both in the US and globally. In the US, mobility is most commonly used for social connections, and is gaining momentum for high value transactions and mobile services such as banking, healthcare, government, and more, albeit on a slower scale, especially when compared to other, developing regions around the world. In Afghanistan, small business owners absolutely depend on mobility to bank; in South Africa, people use their mobile phone to purchase insurance; in India, farmers are using SMS to track crop prices; in Iraq people are “listening” in to President Obama’s historic speeches. These are just a few examples, and testimony to the wide selection of life-changing and awe-inspiring necessities using the simplicity and mass ubiquity of mobile text messaging, especially when looking at underdeveloped and developing regions.

Today, there are roughly 4 mobile phone users world wide for every 1 computer user. When looking at the numbers, it is clear that SMS is still the widest reaching communications tool available today:

— 4 billion mobile SMS users, globally
— 10 million iPhones shipped, globally, in ’08
— 3 billion Nokia phones shipped, globally, in ’08
— 150 million Facebook users
— 45 million LinkedIn users

… We believe that in 2010, US markets will continue to embrace the mobile phone as a ‘mobile Internet device,’ rather than placing the mobile phone in its own unique category, with the ability to reach billions of people who are not already connected to the Internet (or who may not own a PC, or even a television). We expect even more exclusive deals between mobile manufacturers, carriers and content providers as they move towards monetising the ‘Mobile Internet.’ And, as always, there will be winners, losers and more surprises. ”

Read full Press release.

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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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