24 August 2015

Last month the 'Internet society global internet report 2015: Mobile evolution and development of the internet' was released and I had the chance to speak to Michael Kende – the author of the report.

The report is focussed on the Mobile Internet. The potential of mobile devices to make an impact on society has been covered before. So, I was more keen to understand the specific recommendations of the report. The report is comprehensive and can be downloaded via the link above.

Here are my comments and observations about some aspects in the report that I find interesting

  • The report considers the Mobile Internet as Full mobility + smart device

  • The key recommendations relate to Privacy, Security and App challenges namely:

Privacy: It is important to ensure that users have the ability to provide privacy permissions in a way that is simple to understand and implement.

Security: We should implement a Collaborative Security approach to mobile security, with all players in the ecosystem playing a role in this effort.

App challenges: We encourage multi-stakeholder support for the Open Web Platform, as a way to increase platform choices for users that is consistent with our OpenStand principles. 

Also, the recommendations on Digital Divide are interesting

  • The report sees three challenges to the mobile Internet helping close the digital divide: Availability of access, affordability, and relevance of the Internet to potential users.

Availability: Part of the shortfall in mobile internet availability is likely demand-driven – the operators will upgrade when the demand for services is clear, and this will be addressed by making access more affordable and service more relevant. In addition, governments can help to lower costs by removing any barriers to connectivity, such as high costs for deploying infrastructure and encouraging sharing of infrastructure.

Affordability: Additional actions can include removing taxes on equipment, devices, and services that could act to depress demand. Policies to increase competition at the international gateway, over domestic connectivity, and in the last mile, will also serve to lower prices. Finally, as shown below, actions to increase the amount of local hosting of content will avoid the use of relatively expensive international capacity to access content, lowering the cost of usage accordingly.

Relevance: Countries should also create an enabling environment for companies to deploy caches or servers to hold local or international content when it makes sense – this will lower the cost and latency of accessing the content, thereby increasing usage. At the same time, governments can help to promote content creation and usage by developing their own mobile-accessible websites, hosting them locally, and promoting the capacity building to support these activities.

by Ajit Jaokar



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