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The promise of ubiquity - Mobile as media platform in the global South
John West, Internews Europe
December 2008

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Mobile telephony will be the world's first ubiquitous communications platform and is getting there faster than anyone expected. Its major path of growth is now in the global South where the mobile is not just a phone but a global address, a transaction device and an identity marker for hundreds of millions of poor people. It holds unprecedented opportunity for media in developing countries to engage their core audiences more deeply, reach new audiences on the edge of their current footprint, and provide interactive and customized information services that are both profitable and life-improving. But the opportunity is also a threat to traditional media, just as the Internet has been - and on a larger scale in developing countries. If media don't address the mobile as a viable information platform others will, and within the space of a few years media players there will have lost a large measure of their market share, 'mind share', and standing in society at large.

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