Mobile phones to the rescue

The New York Times magazine recently featured an article (you may need to be registered to to read this) about Jan Chipchase, human bahaviour researcher aka user anthropologist, and his quest to make user-friendly mobile phones for everyone who doesn’t yet have one, so that he/she can maximise his/her economic potential, the idea being that – like landlines before it and the Internet now – mobile phones enhance connectivity and help the different nodes in a web of traders and consumers reach one another more efficiently.  Enjoyed the article.

I mentioned this to a colleague, and he pointed out that the infrastructure for the mobile phone network – those towers and stuff – would need to be built first, and isn’t that expensive.  That didn’t cross my mind – but I guess the business model of those mobile network/service providers would be to build the infrastructure and then live off the services they can then offer to mobile phone users.  Wonder when the “break even” point is – five years?  Ten?  One?!


Author: lichone

Ethics by Enid Blyton; physique by deep-fried things. I think we all have an instinct to tell stories and to build things and relationships,

One thought on “Mobile phones to the rescue”

  1. Probably why cities get the networks first – economies of scale from the density. Nonetheless, landlines cost money too, and many of the articles I’ve read assert that mobile phone towers are cheaper than landline relays, which is why many of the developing nations are skipping landlines entirely… If you want more good stuff about the mobile phone industry, can go to Communities Dominate Brands blog at

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