Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Dial O for 1/2

  1. Apr 4, 2010 #1
    Is it true that over half of humanity at present has never used a telephone?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2010 #2

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

  4. Apr 4, 2010 #3

    Office_Shredder

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    So according to wikipedia about 2/3rds of the world has a mobile phone. But a lot of people have more than one mobile phone (lithuania has 3 cell phones for every two people), so it's impossible to tell what percent of the world actually has a mobile phone
     
  5. Apr 4, 2010 #4

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yes that's why you only really need to look at India and China, statistically it doesn't really matter that people in Luxembourg have 2 phones each.

    The usage figures will be higher than this, in a lot of villages in Africa (and presumably in India/China) there is a single phone in the village that is rented out for calls.
    It's also used as a clever form of cheap money transfer.
    You work in the city and to send money back to your parents in the village you buy a pre-paid cell phone calling card (ie, PAYG)
    You ring the village phone and give owner the code to top-up the calling credit on the phone - which he makes back by charging people to use it.
    He then gives the cost of the calling card (minus a %) to your parents.

    Secure, simple, cheap and convenient - you can tell a bank or government never thought of it.
     
  6. Apr 4, 2010 #5

    Office_Shredder

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    But if people in Luxembourg have two phones, what stops people in India from having two phones?
     
  7. Apr 4, 2010 #6
  8. Apr 4, 2010 #7
    I think a better question would be how much of the world population can communicate to rest of the world. Having a phone doesn't tell much.
     
  9. Apr 4, 2010 #8
    Why do people in Luxembourg have two cell phones? Multiple personalities?
     
  10. Apr 4, 2010 #9

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Less so with cell phones, a car battery and a solar panel or even a hand crank will keep a village cell phone working.

    Phones aren't uniformly distributed but it's unlikely that 1million people in Mumbai/HongKong have 500 each.
    Probably half the people in big cities have one, but there is at least one per village even if that comes out at 1:50 people.

    They have 3 official languages, they need at least 2 phones!

    In europe cell phones have been common for >15 years, I've had at least 5. Some of those get recylced to other countries and double counted, but there have been >1 phone sold for every person in most western european countries.
     
  11. Apr 4, 2010 #10
    but who was phone?!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Dial O for 1/2
  1. 1, 2, 3 rule (Replies: 8)

  2. 6/2(1+2) = ? (Replies: 2)

  3. Prove 1+1 = 2 (Replies: 56)

Loading...