Thursday, July 31, 2014

Economy: How Mobile Internet Is Changing Our Lives

(Drivebycuriosity) - We are witness of an economical and cultural revolution: The mobilization of the Internet. Almost everywhere you can see people using smartphones, tablets and other devices which allow them permanent access to the Internet. This doesn`t happen just in the US, Europe and Japan. Falling prices for smartphones, below $100, make these Internet devices affordable for billions of people in Asia, Latin America and Africa. As a result the Internet is becoming global and accessible 24/7.

I believe that the mobilization of the Internet is changing our behavior and transforming the whole global economy. Internet access wherever you go for billions of people worldwide is already influencing shopping, banking, traveling, searching for restaurants, hotels and more.

For instance, Internet based travel networks like Airbnb - a website for people to rent out lodging - give people additional income by temporarily leasing or sharing their flats. Others can reduce costs for vacations or business travels.

Another example is Uber, a transportation network company who's mobile apps connect passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services. Carowners and drives can earn an additional income, others reduce their travel costs.

Soon Internet connected devices like smart watches could be used for 24/7 medical observation and health monitoring to prevent heart attacks and to discover other medical problems.

You can already read your local newspaper when traveling overseas - and on the other side you can study almost any newspaper, magazine, blog and other media from all over the world whenever you want to.  Besides the entertainment, you are getting much more information. Thus mobile Internet helps you to organize your life better.

                                                           Quality of Life

For instance Internet based map services - like Google and Apple map - support you to navigate in unknown terrain. These services reduce travel time and costs significantly. Other online services (and apps) help you to find shops, hotels, restaurants, meeting places and more. All these services raise your quality of life and they often reduce your costs and save your time.

On the other side the mobilization of the Internet creates new business opportunities as the examples of Airbnb, Uber and more show. E-commerce in general enables companies to find customers all over the word and to unlock new markets.

The mobilization of the Internet also fosters the cathing-up-process of the emerging markets. In Africa "mobile banking has given consumers cheaper access to their finances, reducing the need to travel to bank branches",  reports a study by the management consulting firm McKinsey (mckinsey).

According to this paper, "mobile app providing basic information about health and medicine, reducing the need for travel and the pressure on doctors….Farmers can access expertise and information on everything from weather, crop selection, and pest control to management and finance". The add, "Internet services  "can also improve access to markets, generating better prices for produce".

                                                             Virtuous Circle

General speaking mobile Internet increases the flow of information and reduces the cost of data. New ideas can spread faster, encouraging discoveries and inventions and boost the technological progress. Business run smoother thanks to Internet generated networks. Otherwise technological progress accelerates the mobilization of the Internet - a virtuous circle.  Thus falling information costs foster global economic growth.

And using mobile Internet is fun, which is priceless. Enjoy!

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