The importance of wireless communication in developing countries
Wireless telecommunications for commercial as well as personal purposes has ballooned since the beginning of the 21st century. People all over the world can take their cell phones with them wherever they go, which greatly enhances their on-demand communication opportunities. Entrepreneurs such as Ehsan Bayat have established wireless communications in developing countries that may not have technologically advanced communication infrastructure. Wireless communication enables the whole population to connect with a global audience.
Mobile phones and tablets are proliferating at a significant rate allowing people in rural and poor areas to have the communication tools they need to improve their lives. They can reach a broader range of investors, expand their markets, communicate with suppliers, attend training sessions and get advice and pool resources in meaningful ways.
Entrepreneurship is crucial for the economic development of any country. In developing countries, micro-entrepreneurs may generate up to 35 percent of the gross domestic product. According to the World Bank, in 2011, small businesses created a large share of new jobs. These start-ups generate new ideas and business models and creative ways to sell goods and services.
Wireless technology facilitates these small businesses. It is a major challenge for small businesses to get access to venture or angle capital as well as market information. In some countries, many roads are not paved and a small percentage of the population has electricity. In these areas, poverty makes it difficult for entrepreneurs, especially women, to get the information and financial resources they need to start a business.
How Wireless Technology Helps
A simple mobile phone not only allows interpersonal communication, it also allows people to access market information, reach new customers and sell products in different geographical areas. This opens the door for women and the disadvantaged to start and maintain successful businesses.
When people can communicate with each other, they can develop the power to become an association that pools its resources to improve bargaining power. For example, agricultural workers can receive texts about the daily commodity prices and farmers can select the best markets for their products. This may allow them to sell their products over a wider area and increase their income.
There are also organizations that communicate through mobile phones to enable women to launch businesses by providing training, mentorship, credit and technical support. Empowering women is well-known to be a huge benefit to any economy.
Wireless companies may offer value-added services that include music, news and information as well as messaging and communication services. Small, rural businesses can have a social media presence and reach a global audience.
Education and Training
Through wireless communications, individuals may have the opportunity to enroll in training programs that they otherwise would not know about. This enables them to gain skills and increase their income. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 55 percent of women all over the world earned additional income because they owned a mobile phone and 41 percent of them increased their income.
Wireless technology has enabled people who live in rural areas and especially women to improve their lives in several social and economic areas. They have a better chance to gain capital for a new small business and can overcome geographic limitations as well as expand their market access.