South Asia is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing mobile markets – but still suffers from a significant digital divide. Mobile phones are surpassing all other media in terms of penetration in the region: TV, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines and landlines. Mobile platforms are becoming the natural choice for extending essential and innovative digital services to the broadest section of the population.
In 2014, India’s population is expected to be 1.26 billion, with mobile penetration of 1.01 billion the mobile teledensity would be 80% above. It would mean 8 out of every 10 Indians will have access to a mobile device.
India is the world’s fastest growing Wireless market with 752 Million mobile phone subscribers as of February, 2011. Other countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in South Asia also showing great results as mobile users. The population percentage coverage of mobiles in the region is such – India with 46.37, Bangladesh with 31.11 , Sri Lanka 51 and Pakistan 59 (as in 2010) and the trend is moving upward each day.
South Asia is bearing witness to the power of the mobile device to empower millions with information, content and services. The power of mobile in meeting knowledge, social and economic deficits is a challenge in these countries. On the contrary, the power of mobile innovations and applications in content and services delivery is amazing and exponentially on the rise. It is time that we in South Asia, the nations and governments in the region, as well as service providers, give a thrust on mobile for delivering meaningful services, especially that could empower and enable efficient day-to-day life for the larger masses.
It is imperative now that a situation be created where we have the best of applications, contents, and services accumulated as examples to drive the government and industry to ensure they create meaningful opportunities in last mile mobile content and services. Governance and development is bound to be better with this.
This year Care Arogya the rural healthcare delivery model won the award in category of mHealth for innovative use of this technology to extend the reach of healthcare to masses, at a price that they can afford.