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.
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Mike Tyson branded 'superhero' after a surprise good turn
Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Want to ward off (or welcome) trick-or-treaters? Here's how
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Halloween 2014: From the Screaming Man of Pluckley to the 'White Lady' of the Tower of London - Britain's 20 most haunted places
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£20000 - £45000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Position: Early Years TeacherRequired: J...
£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...