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Expensive data a hindrance to internet access growth

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Expensive data a hindrance to internet access growthMicrosoft, Nokia, Facebook, and other tech companies see the billions of users in developing countries as a major aspect of their future growth. While technology is gradually becoming more accessible to these potential future customers because burgeoning popularity of cheap mobile devices, gaining access to the Internet, for many of them, remains a pipe dream. This is mostly due to the nature of data being extremely expensive, according to a report from the non-profit organization Internet.org.

Internet.org aims to improve online access in developing countries. Meeting such a goal will of course prove beneficial to its co-founders, including Samsung, Nokia, Opera Software, and Facebook.

Currently, mobile browsers as a means of accessing online content are proving useful to people in developing countries, as these devices provide a cheap alternative to desktop PCs. This is especially true in places such as Africa and Southeast Asia.

Still, consumers in developing countries spend much more on mobile data than those in the other places. According the report by Internet.org, “consumers in developing markets spend 12 times the percentage of their per capita GDP as consumers in the United Kingdom or United States.”

The high cost of data can prove a complication to app developers, as they have to find new ways to repackage their apps to be more affordable. In some cases, software has to be shrunk down to as little as 1MB so that users can download the content, and that means sacrificing quality and features.

Via [TechCrunch]

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