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Mobile Internet Applications in Rural Africa

By Molly Mattessich, Guest Columnist

In some ways, rural countries, including those in Africa, are ahead of the United States on technology. Without the infrastructure — offices, network lines, etc. — to use the Internet in more traditional ways, they have relied on cell phones to exchange information.

According to Cisco’s recent VNI Service Adoption Forecast (VNI-SA) research, mobile commerce ranks as the second-fastest-growing consumer mobile service, increasing at a 42.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) globally from 2011 to 2016. The Middle East and Africa will have the second-highest number of users in 2016, reaching 424 million.

Rural farmers in Africa, for example, now often use their cell phones to check commodity prices before heading to market, helping them improve their bottom line at times when a few cents can make a huge difference. Read More »

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Empowering Women with Mobile Services

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Last year, I wrote a series of editorials about how mobile data services — mobile agriculture and banking in particular — are becoming major economic drivers in developing economies. While these services can benefit all people in regions under-served by traditional infrastructure, women may benefit in particular.

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How Service Providers Enable the Connected Life

More than ever, access to local telecommunications network infrastructure has become an important part of the way many of us live, work, play and learn — throughout our daily routines. Some of us take it for granted – we expect that the network will simply be there, when and where we need it.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Without fail, it’s assumed to be omnipresent in our lives. By and large, that objective is purposefully reached, around the world. Truly, that’s an amazing accomplishment.

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Trends at SXSW Interactive

Cisco Media Solutions Group is at the SXSW conference as our colleague Scott Brown blogged about right here. Before we got to the expo hall booth 322 and got ready for the Killers Lasers Papers showcase Thursday 3/17 at SXSW Music, we tried to get to as many SXSW Interactive panels and events as we could.

I looked back to my blog post on SXSW Interactive 2010. I wrote in 2010, SXSW Interactive attendance was up 40% from 2009. Well can imagine it’s up another 40% in 2011 -- I haven’t seen the latest statistics yet. Long lines dominated my first day attending panels at SXSW Interactive.

Also, the conference is much more spread out this year -- with interactive panels spread out in hotels and other venues across Austin. No matter how hard you try, it’s not easy to get to all the panels you want to see. When it come to media and entertainment -- SXSW Interactive has plenty of panels to offer about how digital and social media are changing experiences with content. The two trends I noticed right away for SXSW 2011 are:

1. Mobile applications seem to have the share of attention at interactive -- and many of them are focused on ‘getting together’ around interests -- nightlife events, food, photos, fashion.

2. Content creators are focused on extending their brands across digital platforms and in the real world -- this trend was highlighted by the term I kept hearing at the conference -- transmedia.  You can follow the term on Twitter via the hash tag to learn more -- #transmedia.

While I was at the blogger lounge sucking up all the bandwidth I could get, Cisco colleague Jeff Marusak was out in the field taking notes. He attended some panels on how to mine social media for customer insights and we’ll share some takeaways from those panels in this post.

CLICK ON READ MORE TO CONTINUE
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A Mobile App: From Inception to Creation in 48 Hrs

November 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm PST

A few weeks ago, I was testing out something I heard from Ekaterina Walter (@ekaterina) of Intel, and in the process, accidentally crowdsourced my community to build a mobile app in 48 hours. According to Ekaterina, Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm ignores YouTube videos embedded into a Facebook page update. In order to test this out, I grabbed the link to an interesting video that one of my fans shared on our wall. If you’re into math, networking or computer engineering, you’ll love it. Otherwise, you might not.

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