Zurich | Nine out of ten people in the world could go online with their smartphone. But so far only one in two (47%) uses the mobile Internet. This is the result of the recently published study “The State of Mobile Internet” by GSMA, the worldwide association of mobile phone providers and device manufacturers. Particularly in developing and emerging countries, expensive end devices and tariffs, measured by the standard of living, prevent the population from using the mobile Internet, which is already technically available, with their smartphones. In developing and emerging countries, a smartphone alone usually costs around 40 % of an average monthly wage, in some cases as high as 70 % as in sub-Saharan Africa. In rural regions of developing and emerging countries, the usage rate is significantly lower than in cities. Women also use the mobile Internet much less frequently than men.
The poorest network coverage with mobile Internet prevails in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, 30 % of all those who cannot access the Internet via their mobile phone network live about 10 % of the world’s population. In the USA and Canada, on the other hand, only 1% of the population lives in unserved areas, and three quarters of the population also use the mobile Internet there.
But what does that all mean for mobile learning? – Based on the interpretation of the study results and perceived trends, a significantly stronger use of mobile learning can only be expected in the medium to long term. Technical availability is already largely guaranteed, which is an important prerequisite. However, access barriers such as high prices for hardware and tariffs are difficult for consumers to overcome; for companies in corporate learning they are more likely to be. Accordingly, in the coming years it is likely to be important to make the added value of mobile learning clear in this context. Mobile Learning, for example, is a wonderful way of implementing the microlearning approach, which enables learning to be carried out step by step with short learning units, which in turn is often well received by the learner.
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