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Mobile Web in Rural China?

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Stéphane Boyera

WWW2008 - W3C Track

Beijin, China, April 23 2008

Universal Web Access

Next step: bridging the Digital Divide

a child with a fake mobile phone Since 2006: W3C explores how the Web on mobile phones could be a potential solution to bridge the Digital Divide and leverage Web access in Developing Countries.
(Photo Source : The Economist )

ICT to sustain economic and social development

An Indian Monk with a mobile phone ICTs are a great opportunity to deploy services toward rural communities and underprivileged populations in Developing Countries:
  • Government Services
  • Education
  • Health
  • Banking
  • Communities services
  • Business
  • ...
(Photo Source: Der Spiegel)

How to provide access to ICT?

Can Mobile phones be an ICT platform? How?

a chinese guy cycling and using his mobile

Proof of concept: SMS Applications

sms based system to get the market price for goods
  • Principle:
    • sending a SMS to a specific number with specific keywords
    • receiving the answer in another SMS
  • Success Stories
    • Banking
    • NGOs-run SMS based system: e-gov, business (market poll), health, ...
  • But few problems:
    • Interoperability problems
    • Discoverability of services
    • limited interaction
    • costly/inappropriate required infrastructure to start services
(Photo Source: Vodafone)



Next Steps

W3C to launch a new group to in May 2008:

W3C to organize a workshop on the Role of Mobile Technologies in Fostering Social Development

Joining the work now


This work is part of the Digital World Forum project supported by the European Union's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7)

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