Feature Article

December 14, 2012

'Poor' National Infrastructure Cited as Reason Mobile Tech is Prevented from Reaching Higher Levels of Social Impact

“Poor” national infrastructure was cited as the “biggest barrier” as to why mobile technology fails to reach “its potential for social impact,” a survey of business executives showed.

Some 8,500 business executives were surveyed by the London Business School with 45 percent residing in developing nations.

India may be an example. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has no way to track the audio quality or infrastructure of the nation’s mobile operators..

“Poor voice quality of inbound and outbound calls happens due to poor infrastructure/lack of adequate cell towers but instead of enforcing or ensuring quality service, TRAI only ‘requests’ the providers to maintain quality which is obviously not followed by all operators including state owned MTNL and BSNL,” according to a report carried on MobilityTechzone.

In addition, the London survey said educational and financial sectors are seen as having the most potential for impact from mobile technology, according to 73 percent of the business executives responding.

Obstacles still exist to keep mobile technology from reaching its full potential, according to London Business School professors Kamalini Ramdas and Rajesh Chandy.

Also, mobile phones are in the process of changing the world and there is likely going to be another mobile revolution, according to a report from the London Business School.

“Mobiles are at the cusp of another inflection, with smartphones sweeping the world, prices going down and capabilities going up,” according to a report by FinChannel.com on the professors’ study.

“While the array of initiatives and opportunities is striking, it is notable that few have achieved significant scale in their activities.  There is an incredibly dispersed range of people and companies doing interesting and innovative things.  But, to date, few have really achieved commercial and popular scale,” Ramdas and Kamalini added.

The two suggest nations should – among other steps – invest “more aggressively across industry boundaries;” improve organization to encourage innovation; improve supporting infrastructure; and improve coordination "across projects, pilots and platforms."

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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