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Re: Fwd: updated framework

From: adesina iluyemi <adeiluyemi@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 10:14:14 +0100
Message-ID: <e6191d690808110214o6ac4c4b6qa3fb168528cf8e02@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Renjish Kumar" <renjish.kumar@gmail.com>
Cc: "Stephane Boyera" <boyera@w3.org>, public-mw4d@w3.org
Dear All,

I am suggesting that we consider the economics and financial factors
mediating the diffusion of mobile/wireless technologies in developing
countries. We should consider how the bottom of the pyramid market can have
access to these technologies. Despite, the widely acclaimed adoption of
mobile phones in Africa, it must be recognised that these are mostly limited
to rich urban elites, thereby leaving most poor people without a personal
access. For example, Nigeria is regarded as the biggest mobile market in
Africa with about 53 million subscribers. But, it is a common knowledge that
there are individuals with 3 SIM cards from different service providers
because of lack of connectivity and high costs of inter-network calls.

Alternative view from the civil society in Nigeria even suggests that only
20 million mostly rich urban dwellers account for this 53 million figure.

So my point here is that we should look at the Bottom of the Pyramid
business strategies and how government, mobile operators and manufacturers
should extend the benefit of this global goods to everyone in developing


2008/8/10 Renjish Kumar <renjish.kumar@gmail.com>

> Stephane,
>      Will give my thoughts on this later this week. But to address your
> first question, by "Assumptions" section, I meant a section where "what we
> mean by certain terms" can be explained briefly. The objective will be to
> give a consistent and a common understanding of these terms for our work.
> Often, it happens that many terms can be interpreted differently by
> different poeple or fora primarily because there is no standard definition
> available. So, this section will be a little more than a glossary.
> A similar approach has been taken by the Mobile Web Initiative guys:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp-scope/
> Some terms that we definitely need to describe are: Mobile devices
> and mobile web
> Would like to get few clarifications on your response to my comments.
> 1. By GSM did you mean only GSM or any such mobile wide area technologies
> such as CDMA? Because if you meant only GSM, then we are here making a big
> assumption that the next 3 billion phones are going to be GSM-based. Not
> sure if this is going to be the case. Secondly, if we consider any such
> mobile technologies, we are talking about licensed spectrum. Usage of
> licensed spectrum comes at a price. That is the reason, perhaps, alternative
> community/rural initiatives have used/are looking at unlicensed networks
> such as Wifi and some spectrum bands of WiMAX as a solution. Ken, can you
> pls. shed some light on what are the trends by NGOs in this space?
> 2. As part of our solutions, are we ruling out proposing alternative
> suitable mobile devices or platforms which are in existence,
> and commerically viable for web, though not having mass penetration yet?
> Shouldn't that be part of our objectives?
> 3. By "supporting web functionalities" I meant at least having the very
> basic requirement for accessing web content, which is a browser (need not be
> an advanced version). Jave/widgets can be the next level.
> 4.I didn't consider voice and sms based web access because I am unsure of
> the economic and technological viability of voice and SMS based web
> access. Pls. correct me if I am wrong here. I am interested in knowing any
> sustainable case study available on this from our members. This can also be
> a discussion point for the future. But my point here is that this should be
> one of the cases we consider and not the only case. We should be open to
> considering an alternative case which can substitute this device at a lower
> cost and easy-to-use functions.
> 5. GSMA has in the past run the emerging handset initiative involving the
> ultra low cost handsets (ULCH).
>     http://www.gsmworld.com/emh/
> A sample case of such a handset is Motorola's C113.
> http://www.motorola.com/motoinfo/product/details.jsp?globalObjectId=123
> This was a voice/SMS only phone because the objective was first to increase
> the penetration of handsets. I will check if they have any similar
> initiative for mobile web now.
> Lauri, is .mobi involved in any such initiative?
> Here is some analyst forecast in 2007, on the ULCH penetration in emerging
> markets.
> http://www.eetindia.co.in/ART_8800476872_1800007_NT_dcf3934c.HTM
> The features of a ULCH, in my opinion, will change in the next 5 years as
> it gets affordable and enjoys economies of scale.
> Regards
> Renjish
> On 8/5/08, Stephane Boyera <boyera@w3.org> wrote:
>> Hi Renjish
>> A suggestion. Shall we include an additional section for "assumptions" as
>>> done by some of the other groups? Here, we can have explanations on what we
>>> mean by some of the terms such as mobile devices. By doing this, we can keep
>>> the vision statement short and sweet and only have a mention of these terms
>>> and not its explanation.
>> Is your "assumption" == a glossary or something else ?
>> i see the need for a glossary section sure, but for assumptions, i would
>> liek to understand that concept ?
>> With regards to the definition of mobile devices:
>>>  1. it is true that traditionally "mobile" was defined by "wide area"
>>> access networks such as gsm/cdma-family of technologies. However, with new
>>>  kinds of access technologies emerging, I am not sure if we can restrict it
>>> to only gsm/cdma capability. The fundamental parameter here is the "coverage
>>> area". This should define what we mean by mobile. So, shall we define a
>>> coverage area limit instead of naming any particular technology. We should
>>> keep it technology neutral.
>> well, not limited to but at least integrating GSM is a must imho. You have
>> a different view. Let's hear what other think. For me, the point is to take
>> advantage of 3+ billions of people having access to a phone, and  that means
>> for the targeted end-user GSM network only.
>> It will take times for them to get a higher level of network available.
>> So we should not limit to GSM, but consider it as part of the common
>> denominator.
>> LEt's see what other think.
>> 2. it is obvious that the minimum capability for any device to be
>>> considered for our work is that it should support web functionalities.
>> Well i might agree or disagree with you depending on what you mean by
>> "support web functionalities".
>> For me, there are two different things:
>> - where the content is stored: on the web
>> - and from where the user is accessing the content: the mobile device
>> So that's our context.
>> For me, mobile browsing (using a browser on a mobile phone) is just one
>> way of accessing web content.
>> Voice is another way to access web content on mobile phones
>> Widgets might be a third option
>> SMS might also be another channel of delivering web content
>> Java/native applications yet another option.
>> So in my view, we have ot explore all these options, the requirements on
>> the devices, the strenghts and weaknesses,...
>> 3. cost is an essential factor. Shall we define an upper bound for the
>>> cost of the device? sub-$100 or sub-$40?
>> it does not make sense to me, as what is today sub-100$ would be sub-40$
>> in one year. Even worse, what is 100+$ in some countries is sub 40 on the
>> black market in some other.
>> So i would just consider the technologies available on the device (mobile
>> browser, java, sms,...)
>> 4. Form factor is another key factor. Even experienced end-users find it
>>> difficult to browse web on mobile primarily due to the screen size and other
>>> usability limitations. We need to have some upper bounds for this as well.
>>> Definitely not the laptop sizes. But I believe that devices such as the
>>> ultra mobile PCs can be considered.
>> here again, i tend to have a different opinion. before UMPC will be on the
>> field, it will take incrcedible time. So for now, the upper bound is more
>> smartphone.
>> i don't subscribe to "find it difficult to browse web on mobile primarily
>> due to the screen size"
>> this is the wrong point of view. It is hard to browse web content from
>> mobile phones. But at the opposite you can make very easy to use web content
>> or applications on mobile phones if you take into account that you are
>> developing for this platform.
>> This is imho the visin to take.
>> 5. Last but not the least, availability of devices in the market is
>>> another factor. Here, we could consider the availability as available in
>>> majority, available in minority, most likely etc. Note that today's minority
>>> may or may not be tomorrow's majority depending on its commerical viability.
>> agreed here. So for me there are already a bunch of tehcnologies available
>> on high-end smartphone and that will surely come in the future on low-end
>> phones.
>> Regarding the support for voice and sms, a purely internet enabled device
>>> should be capable of providing the same service via IP. So, I do not see it
>>> as a minimum requirement.
>> i've a slightly different approach:
>> My approach: There are phones already in the market, how can we exploit
>> them to deliver services.
>> Of course, if there were ip-based UMPC, all services that are available on
>> low-end phones will be available, or could be available. but how focusing on
>> UMPC and full ip connectivity could have an impact in the next 2-5 years in
>> the field ?
>> I believe this is not the same level of challenges identifications.
>> Best
>> Stephane
>> --
>> Stephane Boyera         stephane@w3.org
>> W3C                             +33 (0) 4 92 38 78 34
>> BP 93                           fax: +33 (0) 4 92 38 78 22
>> F-06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,
>> France

Dr Adesina Iluyemi
Sustainable eHealth/Telemedicine in Africa
Centre for Healthcare Modelling & Informatics
University of Portsmouth
T: +44 (0)23 9284 6784
F: +44 (0)23 9284 6402
W: www.port.ac.uk
Received on Monday, 11 August 2008 09:14:54 UTC

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