Mobile Data is for the Wananchi!

*** All Rights Reserved Alex Weir 2011 ***

Mobile Data is for the Wanachi!




Look at how MNP’s (mobile network providers) market data in Africa – their emphasis on the middle and upper classes is very blatant – to get decent running costs you –

– Have to have a bank account

– Have to take on a 12-24 month commitment

– Often have to have a permanent residence

Moreover, they concentrate on selling high-end and very expensive smartphones ($ 300+), pretty much ignoring the bottom end, quasi-WAP type mobile phones which you can get for $30-40 these days (and dropping).  Offerings in this range include the Samsung M140, Nokia 2323, Nokia C1 and C2 (certain models only), etc..

Additionally, when they do offer low-end internet-enabled mobile phones, they don’t seem to have any concept of what people might do with them.

Here are 2 amazing money-savers on what people can do with their low-end internet-enabled mobile phones (CIEM’s – cheap internet-enabled mobiles).

– Use instant messenger instead of sms/text message.  Advantages? – instant message delivery, instant acknowledgement of delivery, very low cost ($0.0002 per message, even with outrageously high data charges of $140 per Gigabyte).  Countries like Botswana actually charge $0.0400 per sms/text message – i.e. 200 times the cost of an instant message!  And probably 500 times what it costs the MNP!  Note that voice calls in Africa cost typically $ 0.20 per minute, with a minimum charge also of $ 0.20!  This compares with UK bundle prices of $ 0.08- per voice minute…..Very useable messengers with the WAP-style interface available include:

o Gibble

o Palringo

o MXit

o Migg33

o Talkonaut5

o Fonwar

o Paltalk

o Fring

– Use Twitter as a kind of Universal Engine to advertise, buy and sell all kinds of goods and services – creating in-country, regional, city, town, and suburb sub-markets.  Twitter can therefore act as Classified Adverts, Yellow Pages Directory, Business Directory, Telephone Directory, CraigsList and 1001 other uses (including Agricultural & Horticultural Marketing!).  Twitter can be used easily on its web interface on a CIEM, and some CIEM’s may also have Twitter Apps available (which may use even less bandwidth and thereby save even more money).  Twitter Apps for the Nokia 2323 include:

o Fring

o Tweets60

o Mobi

To gauge the effect of free advertisement placement and search using Twitter, remember that often you are dealing with people who are earning $1-2 per day, and may be trying to sell goods worth $ 8 when a conventional advert will cost them $ 5 to insert (and will take 7 days to appear)

See   for a more comprehensive outline of these Twitter capabilities….

Alex Weir, Gaborone, Botswana, Africa – 31 May 2011

*** All Rights Reserved Alex Weir 2011 ***

About alexweir1949

software developer, inventor and innovator, Fraud Proof Voting Systems Inventor, founder of Based in Botswana and Zimbabwe, work everywhere.
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3 Responses to Mobile Data is for the Wananchi!

  1. Pingback: The CIEM 10000 Program | alexweir1949

  2. Pingback: Blog index 2011.06.04 | alexweir1949

  3. Pingback: Master index of contents | alexweir1949

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