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Re: On the roadmap v2

From: Katrin Verclas <katrin@mobileactive.org>
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2009 08:46:50 -0400
Cc: MW4D Group <public-mw4d@w3.org>, Prabhas Pokharel <prabhas@mobileactive.org>
Message-Id: <E26187F1-ECBE-4007-80C9-D96C531C311C@mobileactive.org>
To: Stephane Boyera <boyera@w3.org>
HI there!

On Oct 2, 2009, at 5:10 AM, Stephane Boyera wrote:

> Dear Katrin,
> Thanks a lot for your comments.
> I wanted fist to check which version you reviewed ? which date is on  
> the draft you reviewed ?

v2. I did not see the most recent version comprehensively online - if  
it is somewhere other than in documents on the list, please refer us  
to it.

>> Corrections:
>> The MobileActive.org wiki is no longer available - we have migrated  
>> all still relevant content to the mDirectory, the most  
>> comprehensive database of tools, research, case studies, and how- 
>> tos on mobiles in development and mobiles in social change.  Please  
>> update all links accordingly as they will be/are dead links.  The  
>> link for the mDirectory is http://mobileactive.org/directory.
>> Current dead links on the roadmap are:  an analysis of the  
>> different tools in that domain <http://mobileactive.org/wiki/Mobile_Applications_for_Data_Collection 
>> > and another List of tools for data collections <http://mobileactive.org/wiki/Mobile_Applications_for_Data_Collection 
>> >, and http://www.w3.org/2008/MW4D/wiki/Stories/
> thanks i will update that
>> Other comments: *Relevant to MobileActive.org*
>> **
>> 6.2.1 "Knowing what others are doing / have done" and "Potential  
>> Actions to address this challenge" under Content-Providers  
>> Challenges. It is probably worth your while to look at mDirectory  
>> and MobileActive, and mention us, since that's exactly what we are  
>> doing, both online and offline.
> sure i can add a link in this section.
>> 9. Conclusion
>> "Support Actions"
>> Point 1 "Raising awareness on potential of mobile tech in  
>> entrepreneur and NGO comm"
>> Point 4 "Developing a further comprehensive repo of resources with  
>> stories of use-cases ...." That is, actually, the mDirectory we  
>> developed.
> for point 1, i believe that raising awareness requires more than a  
> web site repository.

Yes, I agree. Which is why we are running Mobile Tech 4 Social Change  
camps in now more than ten cities around the world, the model of which  
has been taken up by others who are organizing communities of  
practice; have various social media campaigns, and publish papers on a  
regular basis on the topic.  That is also why the Open Mobile  
Consortium exists, and the new m-Health Alliance that has come out of  
the Vodafone/UNF partnership that also has published overview  
materials on the state of the field, if you will.

In other words -- not mentioning the umbrella organizations that are  
already in existence and giving them their due place in the roadmap  
would be a mistake.

>> "Recommendations"
>> 4.1"Share, cooperate, collaborate...."  that is what MobileActive's  
>> about.
> at least you have identified the same issue.

Yes, since 2005, in fact.

I am not sure why you are saying that quite so dismissively?

>> *A few things that that might be misleading:*
>> -- On the author-end chart: -> SMS / Tech Requirements. On chart  
>> "At least PC + GSM Modem" should be modified to "PC + GSM modem, or  
>> Web connection + Subscription to Bulk SMS provider." You mention  
>> clickatell, etc, later, but seem to not know about it here.
> good point.
>> -> USSD / Cost. You should look into ZA. Specifically, its not free  
>> in ZA.
> humm, could-you elaborate a bit ?
> are the user charged for using USSD in general, completely  
> independently of the cost of the service ?
> To the best of my knowledge, there is no billing mechanism  
> associated with USSD based on message or data size. There are  
> billing mechanisms attached to each service, but developed at the  
> service level. But i understand that i'm not aware of what's  
> happening everywhere. So if i'm wrong, and in ZA some/all oeprators  
> have implemented a billing mechanism for USSD independently of the  
> service, i would be happy to get references to that and add it in  
> the document.

USSD costs the user in South Africa on MTN and Vodacom which are the  
two operators I am familiar with. Do not now about Celpay.  Operators  
have figured out in sub-Saharan Africa that USSD can be billed for.

Sessions are limited to 2 minutes -- which means you can make it  
through about nine screens of content.

At 150 characters per screen, this makes for a total of  about 1,350  
characters (equivalent to 8 SMSs).

USSD costs the user about R4 in South Africa.

>> -- 6.1.3 Under "Increasing the number of languages supported"
>> You say SMS should support Unicode. But need to note that this will  
>> reduce # of characters even further.
> good point.
>> -- Voice vs. SMS
>> Your general thinking is that Voice is more expensive than SMS. You  
>> point out that 10 seconds to 30 seconds of Voice, on average, is  
>> what an SMS costs. 10s of voice rivals  (and maybe conveys more  
>> info than) one SMS in terms of info delivery.  In other words, the  
>> situation is much less extreme than you point out -- especially  
>> when you look at India. I think it's also critical to point out  
>> that SMS is extremely expensive as a data delivery mechanism, esp  
>> with menus that go back and forth between user and content provider  
>> (you point out this is difficult, programmatically, but not that  
>> its costly).
> well teh evaluation of costs is based on the current tariff  
> structure existing in most country. I doubt that in a phone call of  
> 10s you can transfer as much info as in an sms (due to among other  
> things the problem of lasting-information).
> That said, you are completely right on the fact that there are now  
> places where the voice call are far cheaper, and this is mentionned  
> in the latest draft of teh roadmap (like india as you said)

Where is that located?

> we mentionned the fact that using SMS as a transport protocol is  
> extremely expensive for data delivery. We just separated the  
> difficulty to manage multi-cycle interactions as a separate issue.

Where is that located?

>> *General thoughts*
>> **
>> In general, this is still very much focusing on SMS. You downplay  
>> voice and mobile apps in particular, in terms of what they can do,  
>> and give them less coverage than SMS. In other words, the roadmap  
>> is very SMS- oriented without noting that the field has been  
>> changing over the last few years and that there have been some  
>> shifts. It's worth noting that mobile apps let you communicate more  
>> cheaply, in some instances, with the same offline capabilities as  
>> SMS (note MxIt, for example).  While I see your point in regard to  
>> volume of SMS sent globally, shifting trends are noteworthy here  
>> and should be mentioned.
> i'm relatively surprised by this comment. Particularly, if you look  
> at the executive summary and the tables, it is relatively obvious  
> with the colors to see that SMS is unable to provide solutions to  
> most of the challenges identified.
> I'm obviously pushing for voice and mobile web apps since many years  
> now (more than 4 !) and i have the impression that a fair evaluation  
> of technologies in the document just demonstrate the inability for  
> SMS to provide solutions in many cases.
> However, it is also fair to say that today, it still one of the  
> alone available solution in many cases.
> That said, i agree with you that we can observe a shifting trend  
> from sms, to voice apps and data services apps, but not yet to voice  
> based technologies such as voicexml and mobile web apps. This is a  
> missing point indeed, and i'm happy to add a sentence about that in  
> the conclusion, if others agree.


> thanks
> Stephane
>> Thanks!
>> Katrin Verclas
>> Co-Founder and Editor
>> MobileActive.org
>> katrin@mobileactive.org <mailto:katrin@mobileactive.org>
>> + 1 413 687 9877
>> skype: katrinskaya
>> Check out our new site and mDirectory! Tools, research, case  
>> studies, and how-to use resources about mobiles in social change  
>> work.
>> http://mobileactive.org <http://mobileactive.org/>
> -- 
> Stephane Boyera		stephane@w3.org
> W3C				+33 (0) 5 61 86 13 08
> BP 93				fax: +33 (0) 4 92 38 78 22
> F-06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,		
> France

Katrin Verclas
Co-Founder and Editor
+ 1 413 687 9877
skype: katrinskaya

Check out our new site and mDirectory!
Tools, research, case studies, and how-to use resources about mobiles  
in social change work.

Received on Friday, 2 October 2009 12:47:32 UTC

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