Uso criativo e formas de aprorpiação social do telefone celular em Uganda em matéria replicada no Smart Mobs:

“Uganda: mobile phones as improvised ATMs
by Howard Rheingold Thanks, Thomas!)

Jan Chipchase has been observing how people at the lower end of the world’s economic strata use mobile phones, discovering that people in Uganda have improvised a way to use mobile phones as ATMs:

In Uganda Chipchase found that people with little education and less money have been incredibly creative in devising ways of adapting mobile technology to their way of life.

To keep phones going an informal repair culture has sprung up, with self taught engineers sitting on stools in the market. ‘Repairmen can strip and rebuild most models with little more than a screwdriver, a toothbrush and knowhow.’

Coverage has been expanded by a network of home-made phone kiosks owned by local entrepreneurs, each containing a mobile. A wire strung to a nearby tree forms an antenna that can pick up a signal from a base station well beyond the official range.

The owner of the kiosk offers ‘step messaging’ -if the caller wants to send a message to someone further up country, a messenger takes it the final distance on foot. The mobile is even used to transmit money, which very much in demand from city workers who want to send funds home.

It is called Sente. The sender buys a mobile phone topup card, but instead of topping his own phone up he tops up the phone of the kiosk owner nearest home, who passes the money on to his family (minus his commission, of course).

Sente has weaknesses and relies on trust, but is better than having to take a two-day trip home. ‘Everyone who has a phone, has an ATM,’ Chipchase says. For years people in the West have talked about mobile phone ATMs. In Africa it is already a reality.”