Cheap mobile phone access for millions living in poverty
Up to three million people in Africa and other parts of the developing world will get access to their own mobile phone number under a UN-backed scheme to reach people living on less than $2 (£1.20) a day.
Cheap mobile phones have revolutionised lives in poorer countries, helping link farmers to markets, enabling people to send payments and helping them look for a job.
But a third of mobile users in some African markets have to borrow phones to make calls and often have to pay a "borrowers' premium". The plan aims to give these people a low-cost option to acquire their own "mobile identity" that can be accessed from any handset.
"There are a lot of people who share or borrow phones," said Ramona Liberoff of the British technology provider Movirtu. "We give shared phone users their own mobile identity, opening up the world of mobile banking and payments."
The main target for the scheme, backed by the UN Development Programme, is to get a mobile number to 2.4 million more women. In rural areas in much of the developing world, women are far less likely than men to have their own phone.
The "cloud phone" technology is being piloted in Madagascar, where people can sign up for their own number, receive a PIN and the ability to purchase airtime. They can then log in and use their number from any handset.
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in Henley-on-Thames, this...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...