The report, Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile, says software that extends the capabilities of phones, for instance are to become mobile wallets, navigational aids or price comparison tools.
Around three-quarters of the world’s inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone and the mobile communications story is moving to a new level, which is not so much about the phone but how it is used, according to the report which analyzes the growth and evolution of mobile telephony, and the rise of databased services, including apps, delivered to handheld devices.
It stated that the number of mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, both pre-paid and post-paid, has grown from fewer than one billion in 2000 to over six billion now, of which nearly five billion are in developing countries.
The World Bank observed that ownership of multiple subscriptions is becoming increasingly common, suggesting that “their number will soon exceed that of the human population”.
In developing countries, the report said citizens are increasingly using mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles, while governments are using them to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms.
By Ekow Quandzie