Mobiles to dominate Internet access by 2020?


From Network World,

By 2020, mobile phones will be the primary Internet devices for most people in the world, according to a panel of experts, who also predict that Web technologies will probably not lead to increased social tolerance.

“The mobile phone – now with significant computing power – [will be] the primary Internet connection and the only one for a majority of the people across the world,” the Pew Internet & American Life Project writes in a new “Future of the Internet” report. “Telephony [will be] offered under a set of universal standards and protocols accepted by most operators internationally, making for reasonably effortless movement from one part of the world to another.”

The Future of the Internet report, now in its third consecutive year, can be read in full here. Some key points from the report are,

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.

Emphasis above mine and a point I will deal with in a subsequent post on this blog.

Excerpts from the feedback of respondents regarding the future of mobiles and the Internet can be found here. However, none of respondents look as if they are from or located in less developed countries / regions or those who can speak authoritatively on the usage of mobiles regions / countries outside the developed world. But that’s a general criticism of the Pew Report itself, which is extremely US centric. Always has been.

That said, the report is essential reading for anyone interested in future scenarios and what role mobiles will play in connecting all of us to what I sincerely hope will be a shared humanity over the next decade.

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