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Disruptive Technologies: Cell phones

At Strategy Page: Information Warfare: One Technology That Changed Everything. It is about the impact of the cell phone, especially in the mid-East and Africa.

“Cell phones have revolutionized life and culture in poor countries. … Cell phone networks were cheaper to set up and in poor countries the governments generally let foreign operators come in, after paying the usual bribes. Cell phones proved to be far more popular than local rulers expected and became too popular to mess with. … The Islamic terrorists had good reason to fear cell phones, something many of them also used.”

Cell phones have lower infrastructure costs than land lines so service is cheaper. They enhance business information for more effective and efficient businesses. They provide bank type monetary services in areas without banks that can be trusted. They provide social communications to keep families together or to help bypassing social strictures on romance and marriage. The provide terrorists with communications capabilities and citizens the capability to report suspicious activity.

Cell phones also provide an example to counter those who think government or money can dismiss the power of the people. They show how wealth can be created in many forms enriching not only those greedy businessmen but also the lives of even the poorest.

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