Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Filipinos Text. Will the world listen?

An e-friend, Heinz Bulos (we've never met face to face but have crossed paths many times via e-mail or in various online discussions), has a story on the Philippine mobile phone scene in Businessweek (Asian Print Edition, Nov 22, 2004 page 28) entitled:
Filipinos are getting the message
Text messaging is the rage here. The trick now is to spread the word globally

Some excerpts from Heinz's article:
  • Once a month, 24-year old Jane Manarang drops by the McDonald's in her busy Manila neighborhood. But she's not there for a burger and fries. Instead, she is stopping by to cash an electronic check. ... "It's so fast," marvels Manarang. "I receive a text message, and I can quickly get cash."
  • 6 billion Text messages sent monthly by the Philipines' 28 million mobile users
  • Customers of both Smart and Globe can load up their phones with electronic funds they can use for both phoning and shopping. When they shop in a store, they pay by sending a text message that transfers the credit to a retailer's account.
  • Philippine ex-pats have made some 15,000 transfers of cash, for a total of about $2 million, since the Smart Padala service was introduced. That's a drop in the bucket compared with the $7 billion that Filipinos working abroad send home every year, but enough to buy a whole lot of Big Macs.
The Philippines is setting a global trend, aren't we? Although Japan has made mobile innovations that are many years ahead of the rest of the world, adoption of their technologies aren't easy because of the incompatibility of the system (Japan uses the i-mode, mobile communications platform whereas the rest of the world uses GSM and CDMA or related platforms).

The Philippines is bound to be the trend-setter. There's a huge opportunity for us here. And many companies have taken notice with the mushrooming of mobile content and mobile services companies in the Philippines.

We're also the ideal test bed for mobile apps. It's easier for us in the Philippines to try out and learn new mobile apps compared to our European or American counterparts.

Now, will the rest of the world listen to us? If the message is of value, maybe.

Exciting, ano?

Now back to my schoolwork ....

- edwin

Read Heinz's full article on BusinessWeek: Filipinos Are Getting The Message
Search Technobiography: Smart Padala, G-Cash


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