Mobile Technology – Leveling The Playing Field

If you stop and think about it, how many times a day are you on the Internet?   2?  5?  10?  What are you doing…, social media, research….or maybe just finding out the location of that new restaurant a colleague told you about?  We take for granted today, especially here in the US, the ability to virtually be anywhere at any time and have the ability to access the internet.  We have spent billions of dollars to support, stabilize, and solidify the internet backbone that has become ingrained in everyone’s lives today.

We all know this applies to not only the US but to major metropolitan centers around the world.  Well now imagine there are places in the world where the internet is not a luxury.  Where service is not available on a regular basis and connectivity is so bad that reliability is classified as abysmal at best.  Researchers in the US have taken for granted the ability to use a product like SPIN to find their funding opportunities for which to apply.  It is a tool that has become entrenched in their efforts to secure the funds for their next research project.  Researchers in developing countries of the world do not have that luxury.  They do not have the time that it would take to sit in front of a computer and search for the programs for which they could apply.  In most cases, the internet backbone is not stable enough to support the time that it would take to return the search results…let alone open the opportunity to review and search it.

Should the researchers in developing areas of the world settle for the fact that they will never be able to compete globally with their colleagues in developed areas of the world?  That is most definitely not the case and in many instances developing countries are recognizing they need to be able to compete on this global stage…..and the way they have settled on to do that is with mobile technology.

What is amazing is that in many of these developing countries in the world enormous amounts of money are being spent at upgrading their mobile infrastructure…and more and more at the expense of their internet infrastructure.  Money is pouring in to allow for the increased use of cell phones, with basic internet capabilities (in fact, in some African nations, facebook is only used as a cell phone app…….with users not ever recognizing that it is actually an internet-based application).  I’m not talking about Smart phones, but basic text-based phones that have very limited internet capabilities.  Statistics tell us that more than 33% of all Facebook traffic came from mobile devices in 2011 and Facebook is still the giant in social media today.

It is interesting to note that right now the global market spends about $578 billion on mobile advertising, with the US leading the way…spending about $2 billion per year.  In 2011, there were approximately 17.7 billion mobile app downloads….with that number expected to rise to 108 billion by 2015.  Officials all over the world are realizing that the mobile phone is the wave of the future.  It is the tool that everyone uses and is a tool whose proliferation continues to grow.

Stay tuned to my upcoming articles to see how InfoEd Global will be addressing these trends in the future.

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