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Re: Framework Notes

From: Stephane Boyera <boyera@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2008 21:47:24 +0200
Message-ID: <486FCFCC.7090605@w3.org>
To: Lauri.K.Hirvonen@nokia.com
Cc: public-mw4d@w3.org

Hello Lauri,

> 1) cost of use (compared to the benefits of use) is critical.
that's an interesting point. I'm not sure i agree here. In my view, i 
would believe that the absolute cost of use is not that important.
If the use of a service costs me 3 days of salary, this is enormous, and 
just looking at this aspect, there are no chance that it could be 
useful/used. But well, if it is saving me a 4 days trip to town to 
achieve the same task, then i can work these 4 days, and in total the 
return on investment is positive.
I believe that if mobile industry would have considered originally only 
the price of a phone, and air time, they would never have launched 
mobile service in Africa, because it would have been considered 
unaffordable imho.
But what we saw ? people created a business model around, because the 
need of telecomm was here, and because also it is improving lives. So I 
still believe in a similar model for ICT services.

(of course this theory might work to some extend only, if i've to invest 
1 million $ to get back 1 million +1 $ then i couldn't make it even if 
the RoI is positive)

> 3) To create needed mobile services, you normaly need to have
> PC or some server technology. That is costly and normally
> not available in developing countries. This has led to
> a development in Nokia, that you can use the mobile phone
> as server. So your mobile service can be run from mobile
> phone. Nokia has released a beta-version of this mobile
> server. 
> 4) To develop these mobile services you often need a PC
> (or Mac) to code the new service application. This has
> led to development, that you can develop a mobile service 
> application by your mobile phone. This is in development.
> I expect the announcement to be done later this year.  

These 2 points are interesting developments.
That said, it depends on the technology you are targeting for your 
mobile service. Typically it is possible today to write a web 
application or a voice application without owning the server (you find 
free hosts on the internet for both). Same for the development, if you 
do have the expertise, then any internet cafe can play the role of a 
development machine, and this is how most of content is developed 
nowadays in Developing Countries.
So this is just to emphasis the need, imho, to list the different ways 
of deploying content and applications on mobile phones, and to agree of 
the strenghts and weaknesses of each. Typically in my 2 examples above: 
for web apps, it is still rare that browser are available on phones, and 
data access available on prepaid card. For voice apps, the expertise to 
write voice apps is rare and complex, voice apps are not relevant in 
some cultures, and the costs of access is relatively high (cost of phone 

> Br. Lauri
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: public-mw4d-request@w3.org 
>> [mailto:public-mw4d-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of ext Stephane Boyera
>> Sent: 02 July, 2008 21:58
>> To: Renjish Kumar
>> Cc: public-mw4d@w3.org
>> Subject: Re: Framework Notes
>> Hello Renjish,
>>>   Sorry to interrupt the ongoing discussion on illiteracy 
>> and internet. 
>>> It is indeed interesting but I just seem to get the idea that we are 
>>> again beginning yet another X4D forum with presumptions and 
>>> over-simplifications. As you know, many industry players and 
>> industry 
>>> bodies have ongoing projects and initiatives focusing on 
>>> developing/emerging countries handling different aspects of an issue 
>>> so complex that discussion without a common framework might 
>> lead us nowhere.
>> I would be happy to learn about existing initiatives if you know any ?
>> I know that lots of organizations are funding reports or 
>> projects (just to cite some: the world bank, UN foundation, 
>> GSMA development funds,...), but i'm not aware at this point 
>> of an existing initiative looking at the barriers and 
>> potential solutions of leveraging the number of content and 
>> services available on mobile phones targeted at social and 
>> economic development. So, i would be happy to learn about 
>> related initiatives with who we could cooperate, or at least 
>> as you say avoid reinventing the wheel.
>>> Some of the presumptions that I can gather based on the 
>> discussions here:
>>> 1. By default, everyone in the emerging/market is eager to use the 
>>> mobile web.
>> that a strong statement. To the best of my knowledge, the 
>> technological aspect is not key. what i mean here is that 
>> people are eager to use services that are helping them in 
>> their life. Being mobile web, sms, voice,... they don't really 
>> care, as far as the service is relevant, usable and useful imho.
>>> 2. Only issues stopping them from using mobile web or for 
>> that matter 
>>> Web are technological or economics in nature
>> i'm not sure i agree again here.
>> My own vision is that for now, there is not on the Web 
>> informations and services that are either usable, accessible, 
>> or even existing that are really useful for targeted people. 
>> while i guess you could find any bus or train schedule for any 
>> destination in europe, you can hardly find this information 
>> about eg rural areas of Uganda, and this is something that 
>> could surely be useful to people. So, clearly accessing 
>> information is a problem, but availatities of relevant 
>> information is also a problem, and most probably a bigger one. 
>> So clearly leveraging the development of relevant 
>> informations, and empowering people to develop the service 
>> their community need is very important.
>>> 3. Developing/Emerging markets are homogenous in nature with 
>> the same 
>>> economic status, literacy rate, aspirations and culture
>> again i doubt it. just a small example: in latin america, 
>> where most of the population speak spanish, the language is 
>> not a real problem, and for isntance it is quite easy to 
>> develop voice service, because generating spanish prompt is 
>> easy, and doing voice recognition on spanish is also quite 
>> easy. Now if from your observation you state that voice 
>> applications are very powerful, then you move to india or 
>> indonesia you are completely out: no TTS in most local 
>> dialects, no speech recognition and so on. If you move to 
>> Africa, where people are reluctant to talk to a machine, you 
>> have another kind of problem. So i really doubt that emerging 
>> markets are homoegenous for the factor you stating.
>>> I do not know if the MW4D IG is working on a framework or if some 
>>> other forum might have already done this. If not, then we should, in 
>>> my opinion, strive to do the following:
>>> 1. Framework: Create a framework document as the first deliverable 
>>> with the following definitions:
>>>                    - defining the scope of mobile web
>>>                    - a classification of the heterogenous 
>> nature of an 
>>> emerging/developing market.
>> For sure, we need to work first, and that's my idea, on a vision
>> document: what this group is willing to achieve, on short term 
>> like 1 year, and on a longer term. It is clear for us at W3C 
>> that this group is the beginning of a bigger activity in the 
>> future, but we need to start small, and really idenitfy the 
>> key apsects to work on, before engging greater forces.
>>> Unless we do this, we cannot have a constructive discussion 
>> that leads 
>>> to tangible results. In other words, we might again end up 
>> being "just 
>>> another project on development" with lots of nice and 
>> informative 200 
>>> page deliverables, but creating little practical change in reality.
>> i completely agree with you, and my own vision is exactly on 
>> practical results, not doing a kind of state of the art, or 
>> yet another report. 
>> The aim of this group is clearly for W3C and/or other 
>> internation organizations to understand what are the key 
>> actions to launch in the future to really exploit the full 
>> potential of mobile phones as an ICT-platform.
>>> 2. Leverage and Liaison: There is already an enormous wealth of 
>>> information generated by other forums such as ICT4D, GSMA, W3C and 
>>> industry players. Leverage the existing literature and liaison with 
>>> ongoing efforts to avoid reinventing the wheel.
>> i totally agree here. If you can provide links to those 
>> forums, i would be happy to list them. That said, my specific 
>> view, which has been largely confirmed during the workshop in 
>> Brazil, is that for now different players have different 
>> views, and are acting in their corner: 
>> international organizations like the World Bank, UN* (foundation, DP,
>> ...) and other at that level, have a specific view (providing 
>> very heigh level platform). industry layers at GSMA for 
>> instance have another view (focused on technological aspect), 
>> NGOs who are trying to have an impact at a smaller scale have 
>> other kind of views.
>> I've the hope that in this forum we could gather people from 
>> all these different communities in order to build a shared 
>> vision of the future, and a shared understanding on what need 
>> to be done. Each actor has its role to play.
>>> So, we should not be disappointed if a similar rate of 
>> adoption is not 
>>> seen for the mobile Web/ Fixed Internet unless there is one such 
>>> killer app. Also, we should resist the temptation to 
>> prescribe killer 
>>> services/applications to the population. This will only add 
>> to the failure.
>> i again totally agree here. I don't believe there will be a 
>> killer service or application. But i believe that it is 
>> possible to create an enabling context for relevant services 
>> and content to appear.
>> I don't believe honnestly that the problem is connecting 
>> people only, but again is for them to have relvant information 
>> that would justify investment in time, in learning and in 
>> cost. I don't think there is content today on the web that 
>> justify these investments from targeted people.
>> 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

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,		
Received on Sunday, 6 July 2008 11:04:31 UTC

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