GUARDIAN -- Between October 1983 and December 1986, I flew over Africa and landed on a concrete airstrip around once a month. Just beyond the concrete runways, twinkling taxiways and running water was a land awaiting the Industrial Revolution. Although many poor nations are still waiting for the appliances that make life more convenient, they have something worth noting--mobile phones.
The Guardian surmises, "If Noka is correct, then by 2015 some 4bn people--wellover half the world's predicted population of 7.2bn--will have a mobile phone. It could mean the communications revolution will reach parts of the third world in India, China and Africa before the industrial revolution has arrived." This is more momentous than it looks.
The effect on poorer countries will be disproportionate because of the extra products--up to 35 of them--now being bundled into mobiles. Many people in richer coun tries opt not to use devices like calendars, calculators, radios and cameras because they have more user-friendly alternatives. For poorer people .. such extras will really count if they are already built in.
Motorola thinks the price of phones with embedded cameras, Internet browsing and e-mail access will slip below EUR 50 before the end of the decade. This effectively means wiring individually citizens to the Internet before they have computers. That is an impressive hallmark of the Communications Revolution.
Guardian -- "Dialling the globe" in an editorial, February 26, 2004.