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Uganda’s phone-charging station

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Uganda’s phone-charging station:
Cory Doctorow:

Nice Cool Tools piece about Uganda’s phone-charging entrepreneurs:

Uganda is a country coping with a severe energy crisis resulting in frequent power cuts. In addition, access to mains electricity in rural locations is limited. Given that mobile phones require power, and access to power can be unpredictable – how do people keep their mobile phones and other electrical devices charged? Last July a Nokia research team travelled to Uganda and explored this issue as part of a more in-depth study into shared phone use.

There are two forms of mobile phone battery charging services in Kampala – either offered as an additional service by phone kiosk operators or as a stand alone service. It costs 500 Ugandan Shillings (0.2 Euro) to have a battery recharged similar to the price of 2 or 3 phone calls. Whist both services appear to thrive there are a number of barriers to use: customers cannot use their phone whilst the battery is being charged; the customer risks, or perceives the risk that their battery being swapped for an inferior one; a perceived risk of phone theft – signs that suggest service providers are not responsible for loss or theft are evident.

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Written by bizzoblog

January 12, 2007 at 10:38 pm

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