White paper. Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

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1 White paper Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

2 Contents 3 Executive summary: Seeing is believing 4 The benefits of ICT for lower income consumers 5 Helping people to improve their lives 6 How do people use the internet? 7 The need to educate 8 Translating consumer needs into services 8 Affordability 9 Immediate use and understanding 9 Strong branding 10 Developing the right communications framework 11 The private sector looks to the long tail 13 Public sector and NGOs 14 Conclusion: Empowering people is a team effort 2 Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

3 Executive summary: Seeing is believing The internet has huge potential to help billions of people, especially in the rural parts of emerging economies, to improve their lives. However, many of these people have little or no knowledge of the internet and, therefore, cannot understand how it works or the benefits that it can bring. To be motivated to adopt the services and to be given the capability to actually use them, people need to be taken on a journey of discovery. It is important to show why the internet can be an important new element in their lives, as well as how to get the most from it. To engage people, information services must be tailored to local needs. Ease of use is essential and devices and services must be intuitive. Yet, given the opportunity, the evidence shows that people are hungry for information and are eager to learn to use new technologies. There are many ways that rural dwellers can use internet services to make their lives better. Gaining access to larger markets in the cities via information technology can help farmers to expand their businesses and be more successful. People can save huge chunks of their day by avoiding unnecessary, timeconsuming and costly travel. Better healthcare, higher quality education, more readily available entertainment, new business opportunities, more effective financial management, better access to public services the list of benefits is almost endless. Access Bringing the internet-for-all vision to reality will take the combined and cooperative efforts of all stakeholders from the private and public sectors. For the private sector, the reward will be a sustainable and wide-ranging set of business opportunities. For the public sector, the internet and its capabilities can be an extremely effective tool in helping them to discharge their responsibilities towards citizens and to meet their national economic development objectives. Affordability Motivation Competence Figure 1. Competence and motivation are two key elements that make up the affordability challenge. Competence and motivation part of the affordability challenge A separate Nokia Siemens Networks paper (1) discusses the four key elements that need to be considered when launching sustainable services in emerging markets. This paper takes a deeper look into competence and motivation and aims to provide a view on how these specific challenges can be overcome. Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets 3

4 The benefits of ICT for lower income consumers By 2015, 83% of the global population will live in emerging markets and 45% will be under 25 years old (2). These are the people who stand to reap the biggest benefits as the communications industry reaches out to the next billion internet users. Some of these people are already fully engaged in the digital world, especially in urban areas. For example, total youth mobile data services revenue in South East Asia was already more than USD 15 billion in 2004 and forecast to grow by 15% a year until 2010 (3). However, many people have yet to be convinced of how the internet can benefit them. People on lower incomes naturally have less to spend on information and communications technology (ICT), and the next billion internet users are likely to have just USD 3 per month in their ICT budgets. Their wider spending priorities are also different, since they are obliged to focus a larger share of their spending on household essentials than more affluent urban consumers. Research shows that people with 2 to 3 USD daily income spend 70% of their money on food, household goods and clothing. Another 15 20% is spent on transport and entertainment, leaving 5-8% for ICT services (4). In India for example, 70% of the earnings of consumers in the lowest income bracket is spent on food, compared to the national average of 36% (5). 4 Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

5 Helping people to improve their lives Potential new lower income customers for voice and information services in emerging markets will only engage with ICT services that deliver genuine improvements in their income and quality of life. For instance, the value of mobile phones is greater in rural areas than in the developed world, because other forms of communication, such as road infrastructure, public transport and postal systems, are underdeveloped and unreliable. One example of how communications services can improve the lives of consumers and business people is by helping them to reduce their spending on transport. Rather than making a potentially fruitless journey into town, people can check the market price of goods or the availability of jobs before traveling. Other benefits include better access to healthcare and education, improved rural governance and more coordinated transportation. Understanding the needs of rural consumers According to a study (Rural Marketing Practices for Telecom Services Report) conducted by the Center for Knowledge Societies (CKS) in 2008, in most Asian countries, more than 50% of the population is engaged in agriculture related services, although this industry is forming progressively less and less of nations GDP. Individually, the profile of the fastest rural technology adopter is male, aged 30 to 35, with adequate literacy and having growing employment needs or alternative earning needs. Six key challenges face consumers in rural Asia; challenges based on infrastructural and information needs and aggravated by remoteness. These challenges are lack of transportation, difficulties in managing commercial transactions, lack of healthcare services, ignorance of governance policies, lack of effective education, and shortage of opportunities in infotainment. Communications service providers (CSP) can help to meet these basic needs and rural consumers are willing to pay for the services that can fundamentally improve these aspects of their lives. However, the complexity of telecoms services is likely to be a barrier for the industry. Educating rural consumers on how to become telecom users and commodifying telecoms, will be the biggest challenges for rural telecom marketing. Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets 5

6 Furthermore, the right ICT services reward customers by helping them save time as well as money. For example, a survey of Chinese workers who travel to their jobs, such as plumbers and builders, found that mobile phones saved them 6% of their time, equating to productivity gains of USD 33 billion in 2005 (6). Other research supports these findings, highlighting how ICT can encourage economic activity and boost the wider economy. Above all, services must be relevant to local needs, in the local language and tailored to promote the main growth opportunities in rural areas and small towns. There are many different requirements even within a single country. In India for instance, services must be available in the user s language, whether Bengali, Kannad, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil or Telgu, not just in Hindi. Despite the diversity, some of these language groups represent significant market sizes with populations in the tens of millions. How do people use the internet? While some users in every country access information at home or at work, shared public access via internet cafés and kiosks is far more important in emerging markets than in developed countries. In Brazil 32% of people use community or commercial access facilities for internet access, whereas in Japan only 9% and in Europe only 12% of internet users use public internet access (8). While users in mature markets can routinely expect to enjoy fixed and mobile internet access speeds of at least 4 Mbit/s with affordable flat rate pricing (9), access is mostly limited to up to 1 Mbit/s in emerging economies, or even lower for much higher prices (10). The key to improving the economic and productivity performance of every country in the world lies with the greater and better-focused use of Information and Communications Technology (7) Connectivity Scorecard 2009 PCs and laptops currently dominate internet access technologies around the world, but this could change as mobile phone penetration increases. For example, 90% of households throughout South East Asia already own a mobile phone and the wireless telecom industry is expected to grow across the region by 50% in five years (3). 6 Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

7 Educating users in Ghana MTN ICT Learning Centers launched In December 2008, the Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN-Ghana) in partnership with the Government of Ghana launched its MTN ICT Learning Centers to help improve ICT education in communities. The project involves the construction of ten replicable ICT learning centers in each of the ten regions in the country. (Source: Accra Mail) The need to educate In spite of all this, many people in emerging markets remain unfamiliar with the internet, especially in rural areas. For example, surveys suggest that almost four out of five rural dwellers in the lowest income segment in India have never even heard of the internet. Yet these people have much to gain from using ICT (11). With awareness of the internet being low, it is hardly surprising that many people do not know how to use ICT services. Building consumer awareness and capability will take time. Ease of use is essential and services and devices must be intuitive. When people see that by using ICT they can save money in other areas of their lives, such as transport, they will be willing to invest more of their income on information services. Education is clearly needed. Providing shared access to ICT is one way to familiarize rural consumers with the internet. Research from urban community-based access suggests that in Indonesia about 90 per cent of internet café visitors learned how to use the internet from their peers or internet café staff (12). Novel approaches such as Nokia Siemens Networks Village Connection or ecommerce solutions support the deployment of entrepreneurial business models which inherently provide a strong educational element for local people. Shared internet access with Village Connection The Nokia Siemens Networks Village Connection solution with Internet Kiosk functionality brings affordable internet access to rural users in emerging markets through shared internet access. Village Connection is a village-based network architecture that allows CSPs to provide communications services to rural communities. For rural consumers, Village Connection is, in many cases, the only way to access voice, mobility and the internet. The system includes all the technology needed to establish a village-level communications network. The Internet Kiosk makes use of the existing IP backhaul of the Village Connection solution. The Internet Kiosk enables CSPs to add internet access easily and cost-effectively for rural villages. Local people can be employed to manage access within each village. Alternatively, local entrepreneurs may operate as small businesses together with the CSP. Not only do the local entrepreneurs provide the access but they have an essential role in teaching villagers how to use the internet to access relevant information and services. Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets 7

8 Illiteracy is also a particular issue for many potential users, yet it need not be an insurmountable obstacle. Illiteracy rates are falling globally, although the rate will continue to be higher overall in emerging markets (22% versus a global average of 18% in 2007). Some CSPs are already providing assistance at the point of access. Other strategies, such as using icons on device menus, will also help to deliver effective solutions, such as the recently launched Nokia Life Tools services, aimed at the low-income segment, which use an icon-based, graphical user interface (13). Furthermore, experience shows that people are willing and able to learn for themselves without any support. The Hole-in-the-wall project has installed more than 100 freely-available PC-based learning stations across India and elsewhere and found that young people, without any instruction, are able to quickly teach themselves to interact with and use a PC (14). Translating consumer needs into services The communications industry needs to develop ICT services that are relevant to the next billion users. People want services that can improve their own lives and stimulate wider development within their local communities. Cost pressures mean that services will typically be delivered using affordable, global technology platforms but they must target the specific local needs and concerns of people. This will necessarily entail a large variety of services built to meet local needs and with local content. Creating this menu of applications will involve a complex range of resources and capabilities that the CSP will need to organize and manage. Affordability Services need to meet the affordability restrictions of financially constrained consumers in emerging markets by supporting existing technologies that are already available to a wide consumer base. For example, SMS or USSD technologies can be used widely without consumers needing to upgrade their handset. 8 Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

9 Immediate use and understanding To be adopted and successful, new services must add value straight away and that value must be immediately apparent to all users. When a consumer decides to spend money on a service, there must be a clear and worthwhile return on their investment. The more transparent the payback, the more likely the consumer will be to use the service. Furthermore, many rural customers still face a steep learning curve when it comes to using ICT. They need services that are easy to use and available in their own language. Overcoming the barriers to mobile internet access A Nokia Siemens Networks market study in Africa (16) has identified the key measures that will be needed to increase mobile internet use. Despite 51% of people being aware of the potential to access the internet via mobile devices, and 14% having the capability, only 4% of people actually use mobile internet. Strong branding Branding is extremely important in rural markets, where people spend a relatively high proportion of their income on their mobile phones or other ICT equipment compared to urban dwellers (15). In terms of handsets, for instance, the quality and durability of branded equipment promises a higher return on investment, lowers the total cost of ownership and increases the potential resale value. The same is applicable for service brands. In addition, consumers tend to rate highly the recommendations of their peers, friends and family members. Viral marketing is a key tool to drive awareness in emerging markets. Services need to be designed to allow user-generated opinions or recommendations such as those seen in and other websites. The study suggests key ways to increase usage: Make mobile internet less costly Increase network speeds Communicate the benefits of the mobile internet to people Educate people about how to use the mobile internet Make the service easier to activate and use on mobile devices Make the service available on lower cost handsets Make the service available to prepaid, as well as post-paid, subscribers Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets 9

10 Developing the right communications framework Every stakeholder has a role to play in helping to deliver effective, meaningful ICT services. When the public sector, private sector, consumers and civil society work together to achieve the inclusive information society, committing fully to their respective roles, a virtuous circle is created that can deliver substantial economic growth. In turn, this will increase tax revenues, providing more resources for public sector investments in ICT infrastructure, education and the building of an inclusive information society. Public sector Regulation & initiatives Enabling environment Private sector Market expansion Income growth Civil society Affordable connectivity ICT adoption Socio-economic Consumers benefits Social investment Figure 2. The virtuous circle of multi-stakeholder cooperation. Source: Nokia Table 1. Stakeholders identified roles and responsibilities (17) Government Regulator Private Sector Civil Society 1. Provide an enabling policy environment 2. Political commitment to deliver public services through ICTs, and wireless channels in particular 3. Establish consultative processes 4. Establish Public Private Partnerships (PPP) 5. Legislate for the production of digital content that provides transparency and continuity 1. Provide an enabling regulatory environment for increasing access to ICTs 1. Increase access to ICTs 2. Enhance the capacity of networks 3. Provide platforms for public services to be delivered through local e-content 4. Identify markets for services 5. Create / convert content for dissemination as public services 6. Assist government in PPPs 7. Produce higher specification handsets at lower cost 1. Identify stakeholders needs 2. Raising user awareness and demand for public services through ICTs 3. Providing services as government infomediaries 10 Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

11 The private sector looks to the long tail Voice services are straightforward in their delivery. With voice, it is the consumers themselves that generate the content, the words that are spoken. However, in the internet environment, information services are much more complex to design to ensure they deliver immediate value, branding and affordability. In addition to the consumer and CSP, many more parties need to become involved, all with an important role to play. The most successful ICT services for the next billion users will be those that deliver immediate, tangible benefits for rural customers. This means they must target the needs of a local community quite specifically. When it comes to local internet content, there is an obvious gap between the developed and emerging markets (Figure 3). In other words, there will be no mass market for the majority of services. Instead, CSPs will need to address the long tail, with large numbers of services that each address a niche market need. Examples might be services that report local weather or travel conditions, market prices or job vacancies. Even so, any long tail business model must be underpinned by strong, revenue-generating services in the head, which in the case of communications means voice services. APAC 12% China 6% EU 26% MEA 1% LAT 3% It will take specialist solutions to develop and manage the huge number of applications in the long tail. For example, the right application programming interface (API) or software development kit (SDK) enables third party developers to devise new applications and services that can be delivered over existing network infrastructure. This is in line with the drive towards open telecommunications and Web, which encourages CSPs to open up their infrastructure to third party services and applications in order to exploit the full potential of the long tail. NAM 52% Figure 3. The origin of internet content. The global split of available internet pages reveals a severe lack of local content in emerging countries, with only a tiny proportion of all internet content coming from these markets (18) Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets 11

12 Creation Aggregation Distribution Services provider Application technology provider eservice aggregator & broker Delivery platform technology provider Network operator Regional delivery enterprise Entrepreneur actor Consumers Figure 4. The content value chain It is highly unlikely that CSPs will have the focus and resources to provide the highly specialized and locally-relevant content needed to deliver long tail services in house. They will need to team up with content providers that are able to meet the latest consumer demands. For CSPs the content value chain will evolve from a basic relationship with the consumer to a complex chain. Service providers will connect to aggregators, operators will distribute services directly to consumers or via the support of entrepreneurs. As the chain grows longer, new business models and revenue sources will be required to offset the revenue share between all the chain elements. It is essential that mechanisms are in place to make it straightforward for content providers to work with CSPs and their delivery platforms. Open APIs, as well as commonly agreed standards, are required to drive innovation. A good example of the possibilities is the free wallet service launched in late 2008 by SWAP Mobile (19) in South Africa. This provides mobile users with access to a safe, reliable and easy-to-use payment system that can be used to make purchases from a wide variety of merchants. The service is CSPindependent and therefore addresses the whole society. Furthermore, the service is based on the South African Wireless Application Service Provider Association framework, which provides easy access to networks for the service provider SWAP Mobile. 12 Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

13 As availability of relevant content in the vernacular language is a pre-requisite for the growth of broadband apart from giving the subsidy to the infrastructure providers the content application providers should also be given incentives to develop the contents based on local requirements. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (20) Public sector and NGOs The internet can present a dilemma for policymakers in many developing countries. Economic competitiveness demands that nations swiftly embrace the internet which can in some cases lead to what may be considered unethical use of information. Authorities are therefore looking to regulate communications technologies so they will deliver an overwhelmingly positive impact on their target communities according to Professor Craig Warren Smith, senior advisor to the University of Washington, who is developing a model of Meaningful Broadband as a regulatory concept (21). A fair and independent regulator is essential for stimulating competition by ensuring a level playing field. Efficient competition fosters service and price innovation that can drive the adoption of mobile services. Regulations work best when they are transparent and applied consistently. Their timely enforcement coupled with an overall reduction of regulatory risks creates business confidence even when market imbalances arise. This helps maintain a flow of investments and encourages further innovation. (22) Evidence suggests that the development of local, relevant content is still some way off in the emerging markets as 78% of available internet sites are from the EU or the United States. The public sector can have an important role in stimulating the local creation of locally relevant services, thus promoting the increased use of ICT (18). To build an inclusive information society, it is important that users can access relevant, practical ICT and services, including the internet, at anytime and from anywhere. Better services at affordable prices can be achieved when service providers have fair access to delivery networks. Lower costs for industry and consumers alike can be achieved by adopting global technology standards and globally harmonized frequency bands to achieve economies of scale. Development banks and funds, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), in partnership with the private sector, can accelerate the adoption of ICT and services through their social investments. For example, development banks can provide technical assistance for the planning and execution of mobile communications development projects, as well as helping to coordinate development policies and plans. They may also be in a position to cover higher risks other than commercial banks and with that provide attractive loans to help build and maintain telecom and broadband infrastructures. NGOs are also actively deploying mobile communications technologies within their own projects, thus encouraging greater adoption of communications technologies and innovation of services. The level of investment in mobile technology correlates to a higher diversity of applications used by NGOs in development projects. Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets 13

14 Conclusion: Empowering people is a team effort ICT technologies have the potential to help lift some of the world s most vulnerable communities out of poverty and enable them to engage fully with the global digital community. The goal of bringing the internet to billions more people across the world will only be achieved if a solid and sustainable business can be created to encourage investment and commitment by the private sector. First and foremost people need to understand fully the substantial economic and welfare benefits that widespread access to information services can bring into their daily lives. They also need to be given the basic competence to make the best use of the available resources. It is also important to set the market s expectations. There is unlikely to be a huge killer application or killer service that will create growth. Profitability will lie in addressing the huge long tail of services that must be created and tailored to people s wants and needs. It is a diverse task that no organization can undertake alone. Yet it is an opportunity that is realistic and worthwhile, both morally and economically. Success for all will be achieved by the combined work of all stakeholders in a framework of open-minded cooperation. Sustainable and profitable business opportunities can be created at all points of the delivery chain, but it will take teamwork to realize the potential. Nokia Siemens Networks is committed to its part, together with all stakeholders, with the aim of driving efficiency and productivity in emerging markets based on the sustainable growth of internet usage. The company focuses on supporting CSPs on their journey towards internet services and to team up with partners across industries to achieve the critical objectives. Today, the information society excludes an enormous body of people, mainly in the rural areas of emerging markets. It is essential that nobody is left behind. Understanding everyone s capabilities and motivations to use the internet is essential. Communicating is a basic human need. By making it easier to be connected to the world around us, we are making a significant difference in people s lives. Get in touch with a world of ideas and trends in the communications industry. Read articles, watch videos, listen to podcasts or even join our community. We are interested in your comments at internetforthenextbillion 14 Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets

15 Reference sources (1) Internet for the next Billion, White Paper, Nokia Siemens Networks 2008 (2) International Labor Organization, Economically Active Population Estimates and Projections, LABORSTA Labor Statistics Database, 2008 (3) Rural Marketing Practices for Telecom Services Report, conducted by the Center for Knowledge Societies (CKS), commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks,2008 (4) Nokia Siemens Networks research based on data from Economist, World Bank and Merill Lynch (2006) (5) Economist Intelligence Unit EIU 2008 forecast (6) The true value of mobile phones, McKinsey 2007 (7) Connectivity Scorecard, Study created by Professor Leonard Waverman, London Business School, and economic consulting firm LECG, commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks, 2009 (8) United Nations publications, The Global Information Society: a Statistical View, April 2008, ITU, UNECLAC, national statistical sources and Eurostat 2007 (9) Drivers and barriers for mobile broadband in Western Europe, OVUM, 2008 (10) African Broadband Triple Play and Converged Markets, Balancing Act, 2008 (11) LirneAsia, 2006 (12) Internet Cafes in Asia and Africa-Venues for Education and Learning, Bjorn Furuholt and Stein Kristiansen 2005 (13) Nokia press release November 4, 2008 (14) (15) Internet for the next Billion, INSEAD Innovasia, 2007 (16) Nokia Siemens Networks, New Growth Markets: an end-user perspective 2007 (17) Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Towards effective e-governance: the delivery of public services through local e-content, 2008 (18) (19) (20) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Paper No 1/2008, Paper seeking suggestions/comments on Measures to Improve Telecom Penetration in Rural India The next 100 million subscribers (21) and (22) A study on drivers of affordability for mobile communications: lessons from four South Asian countries, LirneAsia study commissioned by Nokia, 2008 Information changes lives making the internet relevant in emerging markets 15

16 Nokia Siemens Networks Corporation P.O. Box 1 FI NOKIA SIEMENS NETWORKS Finland Visiting address: Karaportti 3, ESPOO, Finland Switchboard Product code B B EN Indivisual/Libris Copyright 2009 Nokia Siemens Networks. All rights reserved. A license is hereby granted to download and print a copy of this document for personal use only. No other license to any other intellectual property rights is granted herein. Unless expressly permitted herein, reproduction, transfer, distribution or storage of part or all of the contents in any form without the prior written permission of Nokia Siemens Networks is prohibited. The content of this document is provided AS IS, without warranties of any kind with regards its accuracy or reliability, and specifically excluding all implied warranties, for example of merchantability, fitness for purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Nokia Siemens Networks be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever resulting form loss of use, data or profits, arising out of or in connection with the use of the document. Nokia Siemens Networks reserves the right to revise the document or withdraw it at any time without prior notice. Nokia is a registered trademark of Nokia Corporation, Siemens is a registered trademark of Siemens AG. The wave logo is a trademark of Nokia Siemens Networks Oy. Other company and product names mentioned in this document may be trademarks of their respective owners, and they are mentioned for identification purposes only.

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