White paper on the potential next steps on mobile web in developing countries

Hello all

I tend to agree with Stephane's comments, particularly in the light of my
feelings about developing appropriate solutions to whatever the actual need
is. I'm not sure if we really know this yet.

A friend of mine took this picture for me LAST MONTH at a market in India.
Just as a point of reference, these are the kinds of phones being purchased
by many in that country in poorer (and maybe not-so-poor) areas today:


We all had deep discussions about handset entry points, and where we looked
to start provision of mobile web. Again, I'm not sure if this was decided.
Do we build for a minimum of a mini-WEB browser, with colour screen etc. or
consider earlier monochrome, WAP-enabled devices like some of these?


-----Original Message-----
From: public-mwi-ec-request@w3.org [mailto:public-mwi-ec-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of stephane boyera
Sent: 12 February 2007 07:14
To: Charles McCathieNevile
Cc: public-mwi-ec@w3.org
Subject: Re: White paper on the potential next steps on mobile web in
developing countries

> In looking at guidelines for developing mobile applications, this work
should be 
> coordinated wth the existing work on Mobile Web Best Practices, with a
goal of 
> ensuring that there is a seamless transition from feature phones to
> expensive mobile tablet type devices. It is also important to include
> manufacturers and network operators in this kind of discussion (as we have

> already done in Mobile Web Best Practices). But even more important is to 
> include people who are deploying applications.

Yes exactly ! just a small comment. I'm not sure it was that clear in my 
My view is that we should not develop guidelines focused on mobile 
applications, which should be more the work on MWI-BP group, but we 
should develop guidelines on how to make successful ICT projects aimed 
at underpriviledged population or rural communities. During the workshop 
in bangalore, we listened to few presentation which explained the 
importance of the social, cultural, human aspects to make successful 
services. It is what i've in mind. Probably those guidelines are partly 
global, and may also have some parts depending on the region.

> The suggestion of a text based browser is an interesting one. While in
> the web should work fine on such a browser, I am not sure that the
> step is as valid now as it was in the early days of the web. It seems that

> graphics capability is relatively much cheaper (compared to computing
> than it was then, and by the time you have the capacity to put networking
> web page processing on the phone, you generally have the power to put a
> browser there.

My personal feeling is that as of today we are missing numbers about 
what are the capabilities of the vast majority of phones available in 
developing countries. I think before going one way or the other, we 
would focus on getting those numbers.
That said, the current specification of the wining Emerging Market 
Handset (motorola c113a) is pretty low : 
Display : monochrome 96 x 64 pixels

(however no info on available memory, cpu browser, and what could be the 
footprint of a potential browser)

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 Monday, 12 February 2007 17:33:22 UTC