Monday, October 19, 2009

GSMA Sees Big Opportunity for Off-Grid Charging for Mobiles - 500M Potential Users

The GSMA estimates there are 485 million mobile users without access to the electricity grid, a factor which severely limits usage opportunities. In a newly published report entitled Charging Choices, the GSMA forecasts a US$2.3 billion opportunity for mobile operators through the provision of off-grid charging solutions such as solar phones or external solar chargers in emerging markets.

"We are extremely excited that operators are able to provide people in off-grid areas with solutions to power mobile phones, as this will not only improve quality of life and access to information but can also act as a unique and significant opportunity to fuel economic growth," said David Taverner, GPM Programme Manager, GSMA.

The research has found that there is significant interest in off grid solutions - 60% of mobile operators interviewed already have or are exploring off-grid charging initiatives - but there is currently only limited understanding about the full scope of options and the associated social and business benefits. Pioneers Digicel and Safaricom, however, have demonstrated how the consumer, the environment and the mobile operator can reap the benefits of off-grid charging solutions.

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