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framework structure proposal: Comments

From: Renjish Kumar <renjish.kumar@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 17:46:59 +0530
Message-ID: <ad721fa60807140516s38f82e64m27ba68b41db54df8@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-mw4d@w3.org
Cc: "Stephane Boyera" <boyera@w3.org>
Hello Stephane (and all),
     Thanks Stephane for getting the framework document started. In my
opinion, you have covered all the required sub-headings. With regards to the
content, I share the need for more clarity as mentioned by some of the
members here. My comments inline.

>>1- Vision
>>What is the vision behind this group.
>>My view is the following
>>It is quite obvious that mobile phone are in the field already, in the
pocket of lots of people, and also accessible to lots of others who don't
>>own one.
>>However, for now they are mostly considered and used as phone, and not as
an ICT platform on which services could be deployed.
>>But the proof-of-concept has been already demonstrated with all the
success stories we heard about about m-banking, agriculture services...
>>So the potential is clearly here, it has been demonstrated, but how can we
move to the next stage where it will be as easy to develop and >>deploy new
content or applications on mobile phones as it is e.g. today to do it on the
Web.

Though it is true that the rate of growth in mobile device (primarily
phones) adoption in the developing markets has been exponential in recent
years, the gap between the have and the have-nots are widening. In other
words, at least from an Indian perspective, much of the "pockets" having
mobile phones are still in the urban regions with the rural regions lagging
far behind. There are barriers to be addressed in order to prevent any
flattening of this growth. This is a challenge which operators, vendors and
governments are facing at the moment.

So, in our vision statement, we should acknowledge this challenge by stating
the following:

" To develop a set of *technology enabler requirements* addressing some of
the key socio-economic, geographic, political and regulatory *
challenges/barriers* experienced in the adoption of mobile web-based
*development
services* by the *target end-user,* using devices *not limited only
to phones* "

Here, the keywords being: Technology enabler requirements;
challenges/barriers; Development-oriented services; Target end-user; Mobile
devices not limited to phones

In my opinion, our objective should not be to suggest which application or
what content. Rather, to create platform level requirements which inturn
could be used to develop any kind of applications addressing the barriers
mentioned above.

I would like to leave the definition of  target customers open in the vision
section and to be addressed in detail in following one.

>>2- Targets
>>Here it is important to summarize the discussions we had on the
mailing-list on the fact that each developing countries have all the
different >>segments of the society from the very healthy one
>>which have similar way of living and expectation than any westerners, till
the rural poor or underprivileged.
>>That said, talking about social and economic development, it concerns more
rural poor communities and under-privileged populations for>> >>which
specific services might improve their lives, and my opinion
>>is that this should be the segment we target.

Based on all our previous comments, I believe we all agree that there is no
such thing as a single type of target end-user. The project has "social
development" as the focus area and considering this as the high level
definition of the end-user (i,e, those who are in need of social
development), we should further clarify the characteristics of the end-user
based on the key challenges mentioned in the vision section. In other words,
though each end-user may want to achieve social development, the barriers to
achieve these might differ.

I came across a definition of social development from World Bank which can
be used as a reference:

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTSOCIALDEVELOPMENT/0,,menuPK:199462~pagePK:149018~piPK:149093~theSitePK:244363,00.html


>>3- Stakeholders
>>What should be the participants in this group, why they should be involved
(what they would bring to the group) and why they would be >>interested to
join (what they could take out of the group work)
>>NGOs
>>International Organization
>>Mobile Industry
>>Academics (from developing and developed regions)
>>Government Representatives
>>Regulators
>>Entrepreneurship specialist

>>other suggestions ?

Here, I would like to highlight one important difference between
fixed-Internet and mobile which should be taken into account. This is the
community vs. personal factor. PC-based web access can be community-oriented
while mobile is largely personal. This adds new challenges to adoption. But,
there have been examples from the past, wherein, agents such as postal
workers have been using mobile in rural areas as a community device. I
believe that in addition to NGOs. we should try to tap into some of
these *"interconnection/influencing
agents"* as I would call such as postal workers, teachers, village head-man
etc. Since getting real close to the end-user may not meet our tight
deadlines, getting access to these influencing agents will be the closest we
can get to have a good understanding of the needs. Of course, here we could
leverage on any work done by previous projects or expertise of members in
this group.

Another key difference to highlight is the direct relation between an
operator and a subscriber in the case of a mobile phone. We all know how
challenging it is any subscriver (even in developed markets) to really sift
through multiple tariff plans and service packages to identify the best and
most suitable service and sustain the billing and payment relationships.
This has not yet been made perfect even in the urban areas of developing
markets. Hence,* operators* and *vendors* are key stakeholders to be
considered for this project.


>>3- Goals

>>a- Identify the current practices, potential and issues/challenges in
deploying applications for social and economic development on mobile
>>phones.
>>We may want to structure this part in different topics we mentionned in
the teleconference:


In my opinion, we should have this section with a broader list of questions
and not get into specifics. Because, as we start discussing, more issues
might come up. We need not have to be comprehensive, right at the
beginning.

Again, as I mentioned before, our objective should only be to create a set
of tech. enabler requirements to address the key challenges.

>>b- Develop resources
    >>   - information of mobile infrastructure and device characteristics
    >>   - information about available guidelines/ best
practices/literature/training content...
    >>  - information about available software/toolkit/solutions
    >>  - other suggestion ?

Identify suitable business models or service distribution channels to
deliver or enable the technology requirements identified? i.e., looking at
it from a deployment perspective.

>>4- expected output
>>What is the epected output of this group in the 10-12 month timeframe ?
>>I would consider a full success if at the end we have:
>>- a handbook for those who would like to develop and deploy ict services
on mobile phones to do select the right technologies
>>- a set of ressources to help in deploying services
>>- a roadmap for W3C and potentially other organizations to launch
appropriate actions to tackle identified issues

Looks fine.... we may have to create clear milestones to track the progress.


Regards
Renjish
Received on Monday, 14 July 2008 12:17:36 UTC

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