Mobile Minutes Sharing in the Philippines
By Justin Hall, Sat Oct 18 00:15:00 GMT 2003
New markets for mobile phones prevent unique challenges, and may yield some smart solutions.
A new system called Smart Buddy Load from the leading service provider in the Philippines allows users to resell their mobile phone minutes to their friends, in tiny denominations, as few as 3 minutes. It's helped the spread of mobile services across the rural Philippines, where people might not otherwise be able to afford to buy a larger quantity of pre-paid minutes.
This from a recent article "Cellular Phone Company Gains by Thinking Small" by Wayne Arnold and Carlos Conde in the New York Times. Smart Mobs has a link to Smart Buddy Load.
The article paints a rosy picture of the spread of mobile phone use through micro-minutes sales. If we think that mobile communications are a good thing, then it's inspiring to see it spread beyond the urban middle-class. What will deeply rural people do with the power to text their friends? Maybe turn into small scale mobile service resellers, selling their spare minutes, evangelizing and enabling their communities to get online.