Going mobile

I’m going home
And when I want to go home, I’m going mobile
Well I’m gonna find a home on wheels, see how it feels,
Goin’ mobile
Keep me moving

Going Mobile (The Who, Who’s Next, 1971)

Pete Townshend was writing about a different type of “mobile” at the time, but that doesn’t matter, I’m prepared to exploit even the slightest opportunity to refer to one of the greatest albums ever. If you haven’t listened to Who’s Next yet, don’t waste any more time. Stop reading this and do the decent thing.

On the other hand, if, like many regular readers of this blog, you’re quite familiar with the album and its delights, then read on. For the purpose of this post is actually shown in the diagram below:

Taken from Good Magazine, it looks at the best and the worst countries seen from the specific perspectives of internet access and mobile handsets in use. You can see the original chart here.

I found three aspects of the chart intriguing:

  • One, the mobile statistics seemed far more revealing than the internet ones, overall.
  • Two, there were some unexpected names in the mobile top 10. For example, I was not expecting to see Antigua and Barbuda there, particularly when there is no other Caribbean country represented.
  • Three, the mobile bottom 10 made very depressing reading. Too high a correlation between the lack of freedom, economic weakness and mobile scarcity. There is more here than a simple digital divide argument.

I need to spend more time on it before I comment further, but felt that a number of you would be interested in the information even at this stage.

4 thoughts on “Going mobile”

  1. I have no idea what the basis of judgement is, but I assume it is simply accessibility to the internet over various communication channels rather than quality or feasibility of the experience.

    Some Observations:

    1. The U.A.E. for example, blocks a lot of content. That really should be a parameter when you are doing a “most connected” ranking .

    2. If you have international roaming from AT&T for example – it’s $0.0195 per kilobyte in the UAE… vs. $0.005 for other countries like India & Europe. So, yes I can get 3G without swapping my SIM – but I pay nosebleed rates for it.

    3. Notice how all the countries with 150+ ratings are tiny? When you are dealing with significantly more surface area, it’s harder to keep up standards.

  2. Japan is not top in either category. I thought they might at least make the mobile phone top ten, after reading that article in the New Yorker about teenage girls writing novels on mobile phones.

  3. Townshend foresaw the future! He also wrote this great song that I like to subtitle “The Software Developer’s Sad Song”:
    Nothing must pass this line
    Unless it is well defined
    You just have to be resigned
    You’re crashing by design …

    (1986, from his fine “White City” album)

Let me know what you think