Tags: Google | Schmidt | Cell | Phones | Best | Tech | Device

Google's Schmidt: Cell Phones Are Best Tech Device for Poor

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Sep 2010 10:24 AM

Cell phones are the key technological tool for improving the lives of the world's poor, says Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

“The starting point is always mobile devices,” he said in a talk at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting.

More than 5 billion cell phones are in circulation around the world, including 1 billion smart phones, Schmidt says. “They are a lifeline for information for many people in the world,” he pointed out.

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“It’s amazing how robust these networks have become. Even in Haiti and in Pakistan, these networks largely stayed up (during the recent natural disasters) and served as a lifeline for rescue and so forth.”

In building up a country shattered by war, it would be wise to start by giving citizens a cell phone, Schmidt says. “They aren’t expensive, and they can be sourced locally. Put up the towers, and make it work.”

Cell phones give people access to all of the world’s information through the Internet, Schmidt notes. “But more importantly people can begin small businesses, can begin to advertise and begin to participate in the broader conversation,” he said.

“All the sudden their world isn’t so local.”

For instance, when citizens are being fed inaccurate information from local charlatans, they can get another viewpoint through the Internet on their phones.

“It changes their consciousness in a really fundamental way,” Schmidt said.

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Cell phones are the key technological tool for improving the lives of the world's poor, says Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The starting point is always mobile devices, he said in a talk at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting. More than 5 billion cell phones are in...
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2010-24-22
Wednesday, 22 Sep 2010 10:24 AM
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