Is mobile internet access in the developing world a viable option?
It’s time to explore new avenues of technology. I have been leery of getting behind web-based applications for social marketing in developing countries – designing elaborate health information systems, using information and communication technologies to improve heathcare, mobilizing social networks. Broadband connectivity for internet access is spotty at best, and the promise of the internet for billions is still a few years away (2015?) if projects like the Connect Africa Initiative, Connect the Caribbean and other projects to connect the unconnected fulfill their mission to make affordable connectivity accessible to all. Then there are the costs of adoption by large numbers of people, especially among the poor. Mobile phones using SMS have been the interim answer for technology-based, scalable health projects designed for people rather than government agencies, NGOs and research projects. In a report in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Tom Wright pulls together a set