Taking the Internet offline to unreached territories
We now live in a world where there are more SIM connections than people. Yet in emerging markets these SIMs are more likely to be located in non-smart devices.
The feature phone still dominates the African mobile phone market . Feature phone growth is increasing 5-times faster than that of smartphones .
Why are feature phones still prevalant?
- Longer battery life of feature phones means less need for a constant power source
- Low handset costs
- High data costs make web-browsing inaccessible
- Web-based content not mobile optimised and relevant to the user
- Limited 2G/3G coverage reduces the attraction of a smart device
- Slow and unreliable Internet connections
- Low disposable income
- Limited digital literacy makes smartphones intimidating
The biggest limitation of the delivery of this digital information is that it is in web based formats. Feature/basic phones often can not access WiFi or the Internet and are currently limited to SMS messaging formats.
Access to educational digital content can have a huge transformational impact. Especially for people living a low-income life in an off-grid location. Unfortunately, many initiatives deliver information through websites and apps. Even where/when the internet is available basic/feature phones often cannot access this web-based content.
But how can people without a smartphone cross this digital divide?