U.N. says mobile devices alleviate poverty

U.N. says mobile devices alleviate poverty
A study performed by the United Nations says that mobile phones can vastly improve the economies and quality of life in developing nations. The report also says that governments in those nations need to make a better effort to make those technologies accessible to everyone.

In developed nations, there are as many active mobile phones as there are people. In developing countries, mobile phone penetration is at 58%. The spread of mobile technology in those countries creates industries and jobs surrounding the mobile market, i.e. retail, repair, infrastructure maintenance.

The UNCTAD (U.N. Conference on Trade and Development) Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi cited India as a particularly good example of mobile penetration: "India has shown us the way in making it as cheap as possible so everyone can gain access to this kind of equipment." This is contrasted with Africa, where mobile technology is often cost-prohibitive.

As of 2008, half of developing nations' rural populations didn't have network coverage for their mobile devices. The study recommends that governments push to increase coverage for all their citizens. This is significant considering that wireless infrastructure is cheaper than landlines for Internet and phones. Better coverage would bring the same level of communication as in developed nations, but at a more affordable cost.

source: Reuters via Yahoo! News

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