As mobile phone use in developed countries reaches the saturation point, the developing world is looked to for new markets. These countries have unique problems developed ones don’t. To help overcome these obstacles, dotMobi Advisory Group (MAG) announced the creation of the Mobile Internet in Developing Countries task force. The goal of the task force is to bring valuable new communications, content and commerce to developing countries using .mobi domains and solutions.
The Library of Congress, the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and the world’s largest library, has joined the MAG as a Foundation Sponsor member and is Chair for the task force. Kevin Novak, manager of Web Services at the Library of Congress and MAG Task Force Chair, said, “With more than 111 million Internet users accessing our content annually, the Library of Congress wants to ensure its media and content are also available to mobile Internet users around the globe.”
Michael J. O’Farrell, Chair and Executive Director of MAG said, “Our mission for the Mobile Internet in Developing Countries task force is to make demonstrable improvements in communications by leveraging .mobi domains, open standards policies and best-practice solutions for the mobile web. According to the GSM Association’s recent Universal Access study, mobile networks now cover 80% of the world’s population. That number is expected to reach 90% by 2010. With this enormous infrastructure in place, the task force can ensure that mobile web solutions delivered to developing countries are localized, self-sustaining and relevant to each community with services ranging from culture to education to healthcare, climate, and commerce.”
I hope MAG will advise keeping content as open as possible. One problem with some developing countries is that their leaders want to control what the people view. Google sold its soul for Chinese gold by making it easier for the government to block what the people can view. Making the Library of Congress and all its ideas available to mobile phones around the world could spark a new enlightenment movement around the globe. But compromising with dictators for profit takes away any altruistic finish from the Mobile Internet.