Please find below our proposal for a Mobile4G Workshop at WSIS Forum 2012. If you have any suggestions, comments or want to get involved, please join the Mobile Discussion group on this site and contribute.
Thanks for everyone who worked on this draft.
Workshop Proposal WSISForum 2013 :
Mobile4G Deployment, the sterling opportunity for ICT4D
Proposed by: Global Knowledge Partnership Foundation, GKPF
Initial debate and constitution of multi stakeholder international task force to foster development of 4G infrastructure/applications as an enabler for social inclusion and the reduction of the digital divide.
1) The concept of ICT4D has traditionally been linked to legacy methods of Internet access, i,e,, PC, Laptop, Internet cybercafé, Telecenter.
2) These methods had some considerable limitations, e.g., PCs and Laptops were, and continue to be, expensive for poor, developing communities, and cybercafés and Telecenters, though affordable or even free, depend on geographic dispersion and availability.
3) The technological adaptation to enable Internet access from mobile devices, particularly
cell phones, has spearheaded a colossal global effort to bring this new method of access to fruition.
4) Unlike the legacy methods of access and their cost and geographic limitations, mobile devices are in the hands of vast sectors of underprivileged communities even today. Remote areas in developing regions of the world, no longer wait for some Government program to set up a fixed phone line service in their village or town. Mobile cell phone prepaid services are rapidly being set up by Cell Operators at a much lower cost, and with an accelerated ROI.
5) The drawback to mobile online access has been, until recently, the limited bandwidth of the existing cell phone infrastructure, which was a bottleneck that throttled satisfactory online experience for mobile users, as well as being offered mostly to subscribers with high-end mobile devices, and being quite expensive.
6) Thousands of software developers worldwide are today engaged in developing mobile applications for the new generation of mobile devices and services. The mobile operators are rapidly deploying 4G infrastructure to enable adequate bandwidth availability to accommodate the demand for mobile online access.
7) Thus we have a new scenario that can be leveraged to enable social development and inclusion - MOBILE4D, which can reach huge sectors of underprivileged communities without the limitations previously noted. What needs to be done: MOBILE4D should be adopted as a new objective by funding entities and organizations engaged in social inclusion, and the following sectors should be engaged as well:
- Mobile device manufacturers
- Mobile service operators
- Mobile application developer clusters
- Ministries and municipalities implementing e-government applications
- Universities that can cooperate, especially with capacity building
- NGOs and grass roots organizations that can define needs of the poor communities they serve,
to target corresponding application development.
The 2013 WSIS forum would be the ideal opportunity to hold a full day workshop on MOBILE4D.
The deliverable of the workshop should be the setting up of a global working group, to take the findings of the workshop and bring them to implementation through knowledge sharing and PPPs (public private partnerships). GKPF will be the global Coordinating entity based on its long history of this sort of initiatives, and the widespread GKP membership.
It is evident that the impact of such an initiative would be quick and enormous. As has been noted, the time is right, the infrastructure is being deployed, applications are being rolled out at an accelerating pace, but there does not appear to be any global concern or concerted effort to ensure that this
vast potential will be harnessed for social inclusion. If such an initiative is not undertaken without delay, the digital divide will be widened once more.
PANEL 1: Why do Countries need Mobile4D
Three Governments from Developing Countries (India, Ethiopia, Bolivia, for example), present their needs for Mobile4D
PANEL 2: Deployment of 4G Infrastructure – Plans, dates, area coverage
(Orange, Vodaphone and Telmex, for example)
PANEL 3: Device features, applications and services that can be leveraged for Mobile4D
(Nokia, Blackberry, Google and DotMobi, for example)
PANEL 4: Some initial experiences with Mobile4D
(NGOs from the GKP stable and beyond)
Working Session: Bringing it all together
A global working group, The Mobile Impact Alliance: MOBIA , is established under the aegis of the UN/WSIS, chaired by GKPF, and with a mission to develop feasible development initiatives, that include the outcome of the workshop and it’s participants.
Time and Date:
One full day, during WSIS Forum2013 or the day before. 4 hours a.m., and 4 hours p.m. If the day before, there should be a reporting session on the workshops outcome during WSIS2013