Insights on Mobile Phone Usage in India
With many folks discussing opportunities to enhance safety via mobile phones, I thought it could be helpful to share some insights on cellphone usage from on the ground in India.
I'm a big fan of championing
opportunities around mobile usage in low-income contexts. As we proceed towards our upcoming Ideas phase for this challenge – I think it's worthwhile many of us here considering that the way we use our phones and jump on new apps with high digital literacy can be very different to how things play out in low-income environments.
A vegetable vendor in my Dad's home town in India
Here's some quick insights I found on a recent BBC article –
Five Unusual Ways in which Indians Use Mobile Phones:
Giving missed calls where the caller disconnects after a ring or two is hugely popular in India and is often used as a way to pass on "the message" without being charged for a call.
Because of poorly lit streets and frequent power outages, many pedestrians in India carry torches. So when Nokia offered the "torch" feature on its popular mobile handset, it became an instant hit and soon other manufacturers too jumped onto the bandwagon.
Millions of people use their mobile phones to listen to FM programmes and most of the low-end phones sold in the market now come with this feature.
Scanner / Copier
One of the most common uses of mobile camera in India is to scan or take photos of documents.
Ok – so that's just four out of five...
so check the BBC article to read more
How might we leverage technology to support women's safety in ways which are locally relevant? Do others who have experience in low-income contexts have insights to share on how and why people are using mobile technology there?