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Developing countries leapfrog' to mobile technologies

Although many developing countries are leapfrogging to new, mobile, wireless technologies as drivers for development different business models are required, according to preliminary findings from a senior industry Think Tank.

The Think Tank, run under the IST-programme's MOCCA project, addressed issues and requirements in usage, technology, regulations and policies in emerging markets, all of which face shortages or a complete lack of electricity. "This work has led to a much better understanding of the priorities and attitudes governing the dynamics of emerging markets," explains project coordinator Dr Fiona Williams, Ericsson, Germany. "Their findings pave the way towards a common understanding of the requirements and options, as well as harmonised international standards for future mobile and wireless systems." Desk research under MOCCA informed the Think Tank, comprised of senior industry representatives from India, Tanzania, Nigeria, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru and South Africa. They concluded: - Emerging markets do not just follow developed markets with a time delay. They clearly wish to intercept developments relating to advanced data-based applications. These meet some urgent requirements caused by the absence or cost of traditional alternatives for service infrastructures. - Technology requirements are generally the same as in developed markets. However, this does not apply to applications. A transfer of applications is possible on a generic level, but will always require considerable adaptation to local conditions. - Supportive public policies are critical to the development of communications. Developed markets could build on existing networks in the past, however in developing markets, the backbone may undeveloped. Attracting investment in backbone networks is a problem in many regions. - Regulations are considered necessary. However, experience has shown that in some instances they create obstacles to market development. Regulations that work in developed markets may not be the optimal solution for developing markets. "Emerging markets will have wireless and mobile networks as their dominant network technology in coming years," says Dr Williams. "This will turn the network planning models of the past on their heads and the critical mass of emerging markets will drive the development of new wireless applications." The Think Tank report will be posted on the Web and distributed at a number of conferences over the coming months. The MOCCA consortium includes many of the world's leading mobile and wireless manufacturers and operators, and is open to collaboration. The project, launched in June 2004, will conclude in January 2006. Contact:,Dr Fiona Williams,Research Director,Ericsson GmbH, Eurolab R&D,Ericsson Allee 1,D-52134 Herzogenrath,,Germany.,Tel: +49-2407-575103,Email: Fiona.Williams@ericsson.comPublished by the IST Results service which brings you online ICT news and analysis on the emerging results from the European Commission's Information Society Technologies research initiative. The service reports on prototype products and services ready for commercialisation as well as work in progress and interim results with significant potential for exploitation.

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