Millennium Post

Cell phones transforming face of indian society

In India and elsewhere, mobile phones have become an intrinsic part of most people’s lives, connecting them to the rest of the world. A study entitled Mobile Technologies: The Digital Fabric of our Lives reveals how these small devices are economic heavyweights that positively influence social development.

Conducted by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IER Cologne), the study reveals that India’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by $51 per year between 2010 and 2020 due to rising mobile phone subscriptions.
Over time, the report states that mobile subscriptions’ contribution to India’s gross domestic product per capita growth will be 11.4 per cent (2010-2012), 4.9 per cent (2012-2015) and 2.1 per cent (2015-2020). Mobile devices contribute to economic growth due to their increased use, which has risen sharply.

 Econometric analyses were used to verify the correlation between mobile technology penetration and progress in social development. The study indicated that mobile phones support democratic participation, increase gender equality and improve education opportunities, while also making a significant contribution to economic growth.

 Economists at IER Cologne calculated the percentage of economic growth that can be attributed to the increase in mobile phone subscriptions. The figure for India was 11.4% of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) between 2010 and 2012. According to the IER Cologne experts’ forecasts, mobile phones will continue to make a significant contribution to economic growth up to 2020.

The study includes a survey by analysts, which states there will be an estimated 69 mobile phone subscriptions for every 100 Indians in 2020. Indian citizens began using mobile phones much later than Europeans. In India and South Africa rising mobile phone subscriptions accounted for 11 per cent of economic growth and almost 20 per cent in Egypt between 2010 and 2012.

 The study revealed that mobile technology has an even stronger impact on economic systems in developing nations. In these countries, for the first time ever mobile phones allow people the opportunity to communicate and do business across long distances. The fact that people have better access to information due to mobile phones has a positive effect on economic growth. For example, farmers receive information about the day’s market prices or weather forecasts so they can make better decisions.

Mobile communication infrastructure is a key one in these countries that allows establishment of economic institutions such as mobile banking services. Worldwide, mobile phones are speeding up social development process which was verified by using econometric methods.
‘The figures show that mobile technology is not just driving economic growth but also social progress. Mobile phones are more than just communication tools. They give people the opportunity to participate in economic and social processes,’ said Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications Managing Director Dr Mark Speich.

 There is statistical evidence that more mobile phone subscriptions correlate with more democratic participation. This is particularly evident in countries where mobile technology penetration is still relatively low, which indicates that democratic processes in emerging markets gain from the more widespread use of mobile technology.

In many cases, mobile phones are the only opportunity for people to participate in political organisations and obtain information about political developments.

Social progress also means an end to gender inequality. Statistics confirm that inequality declines as mobile technology availability soars.
This effect is not as strong as the effect of mobile technology on democratic processes because mobile phones are just an ancillary component of the emancipation movement. They help women in developing countries to obtain medical advice when their children are sick, and to obtain information about job opportunities.

These services are an important step towards empowering women within the family unit. Another positive effect of mobile technology is that women use their mobile phones to network with each other, providing them the emotional support required to assert their rights.

 The scientists discovered that mobile phone adoption has a positive impact on education, especially in developing countries. For example, there is a statistically significant increase in the United Nations Education Index with a higher level of mobile phone subscriptions. More mobile phones mean better access to education. Development projects that explain crop growing and hygiene issues to people by SMS increase their level of education. Indirect effects have also been observed.

Mobile phones help people coordinate their (family) lives better, leaving more time for education. The Education Index used for this analysis is part of the UN Human Development Index which measures the average number of years that children and adults spend in education in more than 180 countries.
This study on the central effects of mobile technologies on our lives is based on an evaluation of data from various sources, one-to-one interviews with 10 renowned experts and a global survey by country experts.

The study was commissioned by Vodafone India, a member of the Vodafone Group, which commenced operations in 1994 when its predecessor Hutchison Telecom acquired the cellular license for Mumbai. The company has operations across the country serving over 150 million customers.
Vodafone India has established a strong position within the Vodafone Group to become the largest subscriber base globally. This journey is a strong testimony of Vodafone’s success in a highly competitive and price sensitive market.

Vodafone India in its long-term commitment to India has been providing innovative, customer-friendly and reliable products and services by continuously differentiating itself with a strong brand, best quality network, unique distribution and great customer service. For this contribution, the company has been receiving several awards and recognition across different segments. The company received the ‘Best 3G services operator’ at the recent Telecom awards. In a survey conducted by Nielsen, Vodafone India has been recognized as the ‘Most Likeable Brand’ in the consumer services category.

Vodafone India has also been making significant strides with its wide retail presence in the country. The company won the award for innovation in Retail, at International women leadership forum for Angel (all women) stores across the country.

VIL also won the ‘Retailer of the Year’ in the mobile and telecom category at the Asia Retail Congress 2013. The company has been recognized as one of the ‘Best Employer of Choice’ in telecom sector by ‘Great Places to Work’ and. Vodafone Business Services has been awarded the ‘Best Enterprise Service Provider’ at the Frost & Sullivan Awards for three consecutive years in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies with over 408 million customers as on June 30, 2013. Vodafone currently has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and more than 40 partner networks worldwide.
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