Smartphones and Emerging Markets: A New Technology Revolution?

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Executive Summary

It is no secret that the mobile phone industry is thriving in emerging markets, and that this growth has helped make cell phones the fastest spreading technology in human history. Less known, but equally as important, is that this growth has extended well beyond the ability to make phone calls. Today mobile operators in Africa, Asia and Latin America also offer their customers the ability to send cash to relatives, pay bills, and even check whether a taxi is legal or illegal, all via their cell phone. Many of these services have even begun transforming entire societies - in Kenya alone a mobile phone-based cash transfer service called M-Pesa has over six million customers.

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