Tag Archives: gsma

Disaster Response Partnering Guidelines For Aid Providers and Mobile Network Operators

When disaster strikes, the ability to reach victims quickly, and at scale, is key to saving lives. Yet in most crisis zones, the reality is frustrating: The key players are in place; they’re just not talking to each other. At one end of the table sit aid agencies with significant knowledge and experience—but often lacking robust outreach channels. On the other side sit mobile networks, who can reach almost every corner of a country—even after a hurricane or explosion—but who lack a deep understanding of crisis response.

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Apply Now: 3.3 Million GBP for M4D Innovations in Access to Basic Utilities

Of the 1.2 billion people who lack basic energy access around the world, 772 million are covered by mobile networks. Similar figures exist for water and sanitation, as 289 million of those lacking access to drinking water, and 2.4 billion people without improved sanitation facilities are covered by mobile networks. The GSMA M4D Utilities Innovation Fund awards grants to mobile operators, innovators and service providers to trial or scale commercially sustainable solutions that leverage mobile to directly improve access to basic utilities for underserved consumers. The GSMA M4D Utilities Innovation Fund is now open for applications!

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Are You Guilty of Helping Safaricom Prey on Rural Women?

There are multiple development initiatives to increase women’s ownership and usage of mobile phones – everyone from GSMA to USAID to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) themselves recognize the digital gender gap as a real issue that needs to be addressed. While development actors look at how mobiles can increase women’s health outcomes, educational attainment, economic standings, and security perceptions, MNOs are motivated by the profit potential from selling services to half the world’s population. Might Mobile Ownership Be A Trap? There are “differential motivations” between what rural women want to do with their mobile phones and what mobile network operators want users to do.

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Wow! Universal Service Funds are Hoarding Over $12 Billion in ICT4D Funding

The concept of Universal Service is pretty simple: telecommunications services should be accessible to the widest number of people at affordable prices. We can break it down into three principles: Availability: the level of service is the same for all users in their place of work or residence, at all times and without geographical discrimination Affordability: for all users, the price of the service should not be a factor that limits service access Accessibility: all telephone subscribers should be treated in a non-discriminatory manner with respect to the 
price, service and quality of the service, in all places, without distinction of race, sex, religion, etc. Most countries support the concept of Universal Service through Universal Service Fees from telecommunications service providers, who often pass the costs on to consumers. Governments should use USF to incentivize Universal Service by the telecom operators through various means, of which ICT4D programs would form a large percentage of their efforts. There is only one problem

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The Surprising Reality of Mobile Money Around the World

Mobile money has done more to extend the reach of financial services in the last decade than traditional “bricks and mortar” banking has in the last century. This week, GSMA released the 2015 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money. Now in its fifth year, this report provides stakeholders with a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the mobile money industry for unbanked and underserved people. Mobile money is reaching more than 411 million people globally. Moreover, it is available in 85% of countries where the vast majority of the population lacks access to a formal financial institution

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The Rise of Mobile Money Services in Somaliland

In 2009, Somaliland’s biggest mobile network operator, Telesom, launched their mobile payment service “ZAAD”, and today more than 10% of the 3.8 million inhabitants are subscribed to the service. As with normal mobile money systems, you can transfer, receive, and deposit money with ZAAD. The mobile money service is used for different purposes such as paying for your groceries, dinner at the restaurant, or your electricity. Other money payment transactions include livestock trade, merchant payments, and bill and salary payments. Recently on a trip to Somaliland I took through the streets Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, my Somali colleague and I wanted to purchase some traditional Somali fabric.

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Mobiles for Development Partnerships are Still Hard!

I am Kristen Roggemann, and at the recently-concluded GSMA Mobile for Development Summit, GSMA mWomen was thrilled to host a spirited discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing partnerships in the M4D sector. In what was a frank exchange between representatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), NGOs and ecosystem partners, some key lessons – and lingering questions – surfaced: Key lessons: State the obvious and keep stating it: There was some hesitation in the room over articulating things people felt were ‘obvious’, such as working with the right partner team and ensuring you have a strong business case before approaching an operator. These lessons and others are crucial for the entire stakeholder community to state and restate throughout the partnership process. While it might seem obvious, NGOs and MNOs continue to struggle with these foundational tenets of partnership formation – and thus we are not done stating them: Lessons for NGOs approaching MNOs: First impressions matter: do your homework on the MNO to ensure you know their strategy, targets and timelines Having a benchmark matters: prove you’ve done it in another country Get clear on your approach: if you go to CSR folks with a commercial pitch, they will send you to the commercial side, and vice-versa Donor-dominated markets are crowded with NGOs wanting to work with MNOs – ensure you have a clear articulation of the business value you bring to the MNO with your partnership offering Lessons for MNOs working with NGOs: Timelines at NGOs are often slower than at MNOs, so plan accordingly When you’re building a VAS, NGOs can add value in terms of content and market knowledge NGOs face an issue of have the social mandate to work across MNOs in a country, so network exclusivity could be challenging Lingering questions: From the NGO perspective: what is that threshold level when you should approach an MNO? At what point in your service does an MNO pitch make sense

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Mobile Money Infographic for Kenya (2013)

The GSMA Mobile Money for the Unbanked unit has just released a new infographic on the history and metrics for Kenya’s mobile money giant Mpesa, from Safaricom. It’s an extensive and incredible chart. Download and save this one for later, it has all the information that you need. Interesting figures for 2013: Average value per […]

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Beware The Sweet Seducation of 3G Mobile Broadband Data Hype

We have all heard the siren song of 3G or even 4G mobile broadband data changing the dynamics of Internet access across Africa. If you believe the hype, everyone in Africa now has unlimited Internet thanks to their mobile phone. That just isn’t true. Take a look at the network coverage map of Zimbabwe and note all the blank, white space where no one gets 3G.

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Joining forces with the GSMA

Good mobile data is hard to come by. Much is either speculative, out of date or – if based on more recent research – expensive. And what is freely available is often spread far and wide across the Web. If you’re into mobiles for development then today your life is set to become a lot easier with the launch of “Mobile for Development Intelligence” (MDI), a new open data platform from the GSM Association which aims to educate and unite all who want to harness the power of mobile for good – “Closing Mobile’s Data Divide” – June 2012. Exactly one year ago I had the pleasure to blog about the launch of Mobile Data Intelligence, at that time the latest in a line of GSMA m4d initiatives designed to help unlock the potential of mobile technology for development.

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Mobile Data, FTW! The GSMA Development Fund Steps It Up with The Mobile…

One of the issues we all struggle with as we are working in mobile tech for social change and development is the lack of reliable data on mobile use, penetration, and costs. The GSMA sells a service, Wireless Intelligence, that provides detailed data on mobile subscriptions worldwide as well as country- and carrier-based information. Unfortunately, it is priced out of reach for most NGOs and places limitations on the use of that data.The ITU that should, under its mandate, provide accurate and timely mobile data, but does not. Data from the ITU is late and often available only at a cost that is too steep for many NGOs.Now, the GSMA Development Fund is trying to address this gap with the launch of a new date site, theMobile and Development Intelligence (MDI) project. The MDI contains about 70 metrics and the ability to tabulate, graph, map and export the datasets with country-level dashboards for 140 developing world countries.

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Closing mobile’s data divide

More here: Closing mobile’s data divide

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The Bi-Weekly ICT4D Retrospective: Important Links for May 23 – June 5,…

Read more: The Bi-Weekly ICT4D Retrospective: Important Links for May 23 – June 5,…

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How Are Women Who Are Making Less Than $2 a Day Using Mobile Tech?

March 8th is International Women’s Day and to mark the occasion, the GSMA mWomen Programme has released a study called “Striving and Surviving – Exploring the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid.” Drawn from 2,500 interviews with women (aged 16-64 in both rural and urban areas) living on less that $2 a day in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda, the report looks at how mobile technology influences the way women approach health, economic development, and family relationships, and what mobile operators can do to reach more low-income women. The report is divided into three parts; part one looks at the social, cultural, and economic factors that women at the base of the economic pyramid face in their daily lives, part two looks at the role of mobile technology in their lives, and part three looks at how technology can be used to further reach low-income women. Some of the statistics pulled from the report show that when asked what the key benefits of mobile would be: [quoted from report]80% reported being connected to friends and family58% said it would be useful in an emergency40% said it would cut down on travel time15% believed it would help them feel secure93% reported that mobile phones made them feel safer, while the same proportion particularly valued being connected to friends and family.41% reported that owning a mobile had helped them increase their income or their professional prospects85% of mobile owners reported a greater feeling of independenceThe study found that despite general positive feelings toward mobile technology, there are many challenges to getting mobile technology into the hands of low-income women. Gender imbalances were a major issue, as although some women had access to mobile phones through friends or family, few owned their own mobile phone. Another major issue was technical ability, as “while 77% of BoP women have made a mobile phone call, only 37% have sent an SMS, regardless of literacy levels.” Among women who were surveyed, 22% who reported not wanting a mobile phone said their reason was because they would not know how to use it.

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