The CIEM 10000 Program

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

       The CIEM 10000 Program

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I have written also in this blog about CIEM’s – Cheap Internet Enabled Mobile Phones.  They are attractive to everyone because:

– They are little more expensive than basic feature phones (currently $30-40 world market retail price)

– True Smartphones are unaffordable by the masses at this point in time (starting at $160 retail as of 2011/05)

– An Instant Message on a CIEM (or indeed a smartphone) will cost $ 0.0001 even with relatively high-cost data, versus an sms/text message  which is often charged at $ 0.0400 each

– Twitter (either as an App – Application – or in a web-browser) can be used for a myriad of purposes (as described in another recent posting on this blog):

o Free and instant advert placement
o Free and instant advert searching
o Telephone yellow pages
o Telephone directory (white pages)
o Transport sharing (freight, passenger, taxi)
o Agricultural Marketing (perishable and non-perishable)

– Additional potential Twitter uses not mentioned in my previous blogs include:

o Medical expert system for the Third World
o Complaint logging and reporting system against products and/or retailers
o Supermarket price comparison system

– These 2 products alone – instant messenger and Twitter (with its whole gamut of possibilities) would alone make the CIEM attractive, but on top of that one can add:

o Browsing local/national newspapers
o Browsing international newspapers and TV websites
o Using email as a substitute for phoning and as a substitute for letter-writing
o Using government e-applications to submit information and to receive information
o Mobile banking and payment systems
o Facebook (!)

– One problem seems to be that MNPs (Mobile Service Providers – like Vodafone, Orange, MTN, Orascom, Sprint, AT&T etc) don’t seem too interested in this lower-priced-lower-profit end of things

– And most governments are not interested or don’t see the possibilities

– What is required is:

o CIEM’s available at a low price

o Pre-installed with gmail, instant messenger and twitter apps

o Ideally, pre-setup with gmail, instant messenger and twitter accounts (that would require using for example part of either the SIM card numbers or the IMEI of the phone as the username and another part as the password).  Such a provision would make it very easy for non-phone-literate people to get started without any setup procedures and/or training being required

o The CIEM is supplied with a Video on a DVD which runs through the process of using that model of phone with that installed instant messenger, that installed twitter app, and that installed gmail app.  The video will be in several languages – e.g. in the case of Africa at least Swahili, Shona, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Venda, English, Portuguese, French, Fulani, Yoruba, Hausa etc etc..  It also shows in particular how twitter can be used for the end-user applications described in other postings on this blog…  The video can be shown on any TV with a DVD player….

o Ideally, the program operates on volume, getting maybe 10,000 handsets of the same type, with the same mobile operator, the same data plan, same gmail, twitter and instant messenger apps, and of course the same video DVD

o If the MNP’s are reluctant to run such a program themselves, then Government and/or Donors and/or NGOs should be able to fund and project manage.  The project should be able to be done commercially, and the video, if done well, will be sellable to similar projects in different countries (only the voiceover maybe would need to be added)

o The budget for 10,000 handsets would be probably $ 400,000, the project would run probably 3 months, and the project should break even at the end.  If gmail, twitter and the instant messenger app hoster (maybe also google) would cooperate then the time and cost of setting up the accounts on the servers should be zero for the project operators – then only on-phone client setup time would be involved.  Similarly, cooperation by the in-country MNP would decrease time and cost required.  The minimum time required would then be probably in the region of 6 minutes per phone, or 1000 man-hours at a wage cost of $5/hour – i.e. 1.25% of total project budget.  The worst case scenario – without these cooperations as mentioned above – should be 24 minutes per phone, or 5% of total budget – once again absorbable (just).

o The main potential loss would be handset theft – which could be controlled or eliminated by good procedures

What will be the effect of such a program?
– Possibly some loss of revenue by MNP’s, with a switch to instant messenger from sms

– Sms charges might  well be reduced under competition from instant messages

– More conventional advertising media may suffer loss of market

– There should be a boost to small and microbusiness from the provision of free advertising

So – Governments, MNPs, Donors, NGOs – come on down!

Alex Weir, Gaborone

Thursday 2 June 2011

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

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About alexweir1949

software developer, inventor and innovator, Fraud Proof Voting Systems Inventor, founder of cd3wd.com. Based in Botswana and Zimbabwe, work everywhere.
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4 Responses to The CIEM 10000 Program

  1. Pingback: Mobile Data is for the Wananchi! | alexweir1949

  2. alexweir1949 says:

    Ps – note that these CIEMs could also be sold with $8 solar chargers for poor urban and for rural dwellers

  3. Pingback: Blog index 2011.06.04 | alexweir1949

  4. Pingback: Master index of contents | alexweir1949

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