Internet and Smart Phones will Shape Rural Asia

Area of Scanning: Social System

Author: Martin Berry

What is Changing?

Internet access, specifically via mobile devices, will significantly change rural life in Asia within the next decade. By 2018, Asia will lead the world in internet subscriptions. The off-grid, on-net population - those who have access to internet but are not plugged into the electrical grid, will reach 138 million by 2015. The population who will access the internet solely through mobile devices is estimated to grow 56-fold, from 14 million in 2010 to 788 million in 2015.

Implications

Mobile internet will become an important tool to increase household income, either through micro work or vital information for farming activities. The device will also allow governments to offer services at low cost to rural areas, like low cost healthcare or social assistance. Wealth accumulation and safe transactions will also be made available through mobile banking. As these possibilities arrive to rural Asia, those living in remote villages will be able to leapfrog into a more modern living experience.

 

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