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Mobile phone access reaches three quarters of world population

smartphone Galaxy-S3 400ISLAMABAD: With over 6 billion mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, up from fewer than 1 billion in 2000, three out of every four human beings worldwide now have access to a mobile phone, says a report on global mobile trends by infoDev and the World Bank.


According to Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile, more than 30 billion mobile applications, or "apps," were downloaded in 2011 - software that extends the capabilities of phones, for instance to become mobile wallets, navigational aids, or price comparison tools, Technology Times Reported.


In developing countries, citizens are increasingly using mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles, while governments are using them to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms.


This new report, the third in the World Bank's series on Information and Communications for Development (IC4D), explores the consequences for development of the emerging "app economy", especially in evolving approaches to entrepreneurship and employment.


It also examines the vast transformative impact of mobile technology in sectors such as agriculture, health, financial services, and government. Countries around the world are taking advantage of this potential.


Kenya has emerged as a leading player in mobile for development, largely due to the success of the M-PESA mobile payment ecosystem. Nairobi-based AkiraChix, for example, provides networking and training for women technologists.


In Palestine, Souktel's JobMatch service is helping young people find jobs. College graduates using the service reported a reduction in the time spent looking for employment from an average of twelve weeks to one week or less, and an increase in wages of up to 50 percent.


Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012


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