1.4 billion people access the Internet today – ODR providers need to wake up to mobiles

A new report finds a quarter of the world’s population accessing the Internet in 2008.  IDC’s Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast estimates that 1.4 billion users of the Internet is set to jump to 1.9 billion over the next four years, bringing internet access to roughly 30 per cent of the world’s population.

“The internet will have added its second billion users over a span of about eight years, a testament to its universal appeal and its availability,” said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC. “These trends will accelerate as the number of mobile users continues to soar and the internet becomes truly ubiquitous.”

Net-enabled mobile devices will help drive the global online trend, surpassing the desktop PC as the primary means of accessing the internet by 2012, according to the report.

Net-enabled mobile devices will help drive the global online trend, surpassing the desktop PC as the primary means of accessing the internet by 2012, according to the report.

Emphasis mine.

Two years ago, in response to a report that said that this figure was 694 million, I said that those in the developing world and especially in countries such as China access the Internet through Cybercafes and mobile phones. It’s great that market research agencies have finally caught up with what I’ve been observing and writing on for years. 

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is a field that needs to wake up and leverage this growth in non-PC internet and web access. Currently, there is only one application I know of that runs on a mobile device (the iPhone and even it is still in beta) and only one example from the Philippines that has SMS as an integral part of its operations. As I noted in Victoria this year at the 2008 ODR Forum, the iPhone alone has all by itself revolutionised the mobile web use and access in the US, a country not known for its use of mobile phones for anything other than voice calls. 

With the increasing global usage of the Internet and web, increasingly through mobile devices / phones, the business model for mobile ODR technology provisioning is strong. In 2004 I was openly challenged by an ODR service provider based in the UK for even believing that mobiles would make any appreciable impact on ODR. 

Today, the fact that there isn’t any enterprise level ODR solution that leverages mobiles / mobile devices is not just a great pity. 

It’s daft.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The future of mobile applications and some other ideas « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - August 8, 2008

    […] is precisely what I’ve been saying for years and proposing to the ODR practitioners and system builders and its great to recognise that […]

  2. Soon a mobile phone for every person on Earth? « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - March 5, 2009

    […] via SMS, to block news via SMS (yes, another idea from Sri Lanka), to find out where you are, for online dispute resolution (ODR), for citizen journalism, to narrow the digital divide, as a tool for recording information, […]

  3. Peace Building in the Digital Era: 9th Forum on New Technologies of Information & Communication applied to Conflict « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - February 10, 2010

    […] 1.4 billion people access the Internet today – ODR providers need to wake up to mobiles […]

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