Knowledge Bridge

Global Intelligence for the Digital Transition

Mobile phone association launches global data portal

When a technology really takes off, it’s often difficult to sort fact from over-hyped fiction, and you only have to look at the mobile industry to see the effect in play. Much of the information about these opportunities comes from carriers or consultants who will gladly sell you data, at a price. As SMS gateway software Frontline SMS creator Ken Banks said, “Good mobile data is hard to come by.” However, he says that if you’re in need of good mobile data that there is a new source from the GSM Association, which has just launched Mobile and Development Intelligence. MDI is focused on the use of mobile technology for economic and social development, but the service also has a wealth of information for businesses – including news media – coming from a range of sources.

A challenge facing mobile industry stakeholders in the developing world is the lack of publicly available data and analysis to support their business decision making and to clarify the socio-economic impact of mobile. MDI will fill this information gap and will aggregate and host data from multiple sources such as the World Bank, UN, member operators and from vendors and development organisations.

You can choose from a range of mobile industry, mobile money and mobile health statistics, as well as other economic and social statistics. You can also choose what countries or regions you want to focus on and your desired data output (a table, a map or a graph), though some of the data can be patchy, such as the maximum network data downlink speed statistics. The site has just launched and Ken Banks says that, as the service develops, it will include an investor hub and information for the private sector. It already is a good one-stop shop for well-sourced data about the mobile market in a variety of countries. This information is extremely useful if you’re considering developing mobile news products by helping you understand how your audience is currently using mobile.

Article by Kevin Anderson

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