A report by GSMA (Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association) has estimated that by 2018 mobile operators will make more money from data than voice worldwide. The five year forecasts have been released to coincide with the Mobile World Congress which is being held in Barcelona this week.
The research predicts that the US and UK will see data revenues trumping voice by next year; the Argies are expected to tip the balance later this year while Kenya – Africa’s most connected country – is expected to reach this in 2016.
The report also reveals that this growth in communications is transforming lives in the developing world. It claims that mobile communications can help fight deadly diseases such as Malaria, TB and HIV. It also reveals that 240 tonnes of food is wasted every year while travelling or in storage; suggesting that by using mobile technology to track the food’s progress and monitor the storage temperatures enough food could be saved to feed 40million people in 2017 (that’s the entire population of Kenya).
This prediction also comes in the same few months as Microsoft launch their 4Afrika scheme; the aim of which is to make smartphones more accessible for many on the continent. The scheme's flagship phone is the Huawei Windows smartphone which is a bespoke model designed with the African market in mind.
"Affordability is important but without the right local content we believe a lot of users will not see the benefit in the change from a basic feature phone to a smartphone," said Mr Fuchs, director of Microsoft Windows Phone division in the Middle East & Africa. "If you look at current penetration compared with the US or Europe, which is around 50%, in Africa the average is very close to 10%, less in some parts."
But it’s not just the developing world that will benefit from the mobile data explosion.
"Mobile data is not just a commodity, it is becoming the lifeblood of our daily lives, society and economy, with more and more connected people and things," said Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer at GSMA. Mobile health services would reduce the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) annual healthcare bill by £265million by 2017, while mobile connected cars are predicted to save one in nine lives through automatically calling the emergency services after a crash. Smart metering could cut carbon emission by 27million tonnes (which is the equivalent of planting 1.2billion trees).
This latter fact is all well and good but the environmental harm mobile phone companies inflict far outweighs their benefits at the moment. There are a hell of a lot of harmful toxins in your old mobile phone and when they are chucked out and dumped in landfill sites they all seep out; polluting our beautiful mother earth. Recent figures suggest that 40% of lead found in landfill sites comes from old mobiles and gadgets.
And we here in the UK are some of the worst offenders. A recent survey conducted by OnePoll estimates that there are £6.86billion worth of unused phones sitting around our fair isle. And where are these going to end up? The chances are, on some dreadful landfill site in Africa somewhere. This is a crying shame. Recycling your old mobile couldn’t be easier; all you have to do is select your model with us here at OnRecycle and our comprehensive list of mobile phone recycling services will find you the best price for your old handset; guaranteed. You could earn yourself some easy cash while also helping the environment. So, what are you waiting for? Get comparing and do your good deed for the day by "selling my phone"! Don't forget to 'like' us on Facebook if you're happy with our service, too ;).