Cisco Blogs

How Worldwide Growth of Telecom Services Creates Opportunities

August 13, 2012 - 2 Comments

It’s been over three months since we started our guest columnist series around the VNI Service Adoption research.  This research forecasts the end user adoption rate for 20+ telecommunication services such as SMS, mobile banking, online gaming, location-based services, and various types of video conferencing.

Our goal is to explore how the use of technology, and specifically telecom services, impact people’s lives and communities worldwide. Technology is an enabler, the cool gadgets and networks and shiny objects are not necessarily meaningful on their own. It takes intelligence and creativity of many people to bring it to fruition and provide a context which empowers individuals to dream of achieving bigger outcomes.

Creative thinking: a true mobile phone

In my introductory story I posed several questions based on observations I had regarding the research:

  • Why are there regional differences in the adoption rates of services such as SMS, on-line gaming, or mobile banking?
  • Are the variations in the rate at which people use these services related to local culture, economics, education, or regulatory influences?
  • Who are the local businesses, communities, or individuals that are driving this adoption, and how are they benefiting from these services?
  • What creative opportunities are these services enabling within the local communities?

It is these questions that I hope you can help me answer in this editorial series.

Our Storytelling Team

We’ve been fortunate to recruit writers who can help us learn how the growth in these services has positively impacted their work, businesses and communities. To just name a few of our contributors — an IT analyst from Tasmania who uses video conferencing to enable local schools to make the world a smaller place, a photographer who credits social media for much of his business growth,  a small college radio station manager,  an advocate for rural business development, volunteers in rural Africa enabling farmers with mobile apps to increase yields, and others.

It’s intriguing to discover  how a services such as SMS (seemingly very basic and simple), has been used in so many creative ways. What about the service ‘Text a Librarian’ which effectively breathes new life into the too often neglected public libraries?

I learned about a team of volunteers using text messaging to help girls in African villages learn to read. It’s these types of creative applications that humanize technology and demonstrate how far reaching its impact can be.

What creative examples of telecomm services have you seen?

Join our team of VNI-SA bloggers (follow @CiscoVNI)
Do you have an interesting story of how technology has changed your community, your work, or your business? Is technology providing opportunities that impact the socio-economics of the world around you? Contact us at if you’d like to contribute to this blog series.

What is VNI-SA? It is the Service Adoption forecast portion of our popular VNI research. VNI-SA studies the end user adoption rate for a wide variety of services around the world.
More information can be found on

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. We are maybe 1% into the process that is being pushed by the smartphone. I call it the 4th and final wave of (broadband) IP digitization. The first 3 waves were the WAN (mid 1980s), data/internet (early 1990s), and wireless (mid 1990s). The 4th wave will follow similar patterns. On the demand or uptake side there are 3 forms of pricing elasticity as prices drop to reflect marginal costs. The first is normal elasticity (more users and usage). The second is private to public (high volume users will return from public monopoly networks they fled. Finally there is application elasticity to ferret out latent and future demand few have an inkling exists. In relative terms these account for 25/25/50% respectively.

  2. Very well captured