Dial O for 1/2

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Is it true that over half of humanity at present has never used a telephone?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mgb_phys
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  • #3
Office_Shredder
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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
 
  • #4
mgb_phys
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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.
 
  • #5
Office_Shredder
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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.
But if people in Luxembourg have two phones, what stops people in India from having two phones?
 
  • #7
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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.
 
  • #8
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Why do people in Luxembourg have two cell phones? Multiple personalities?
 
  • #9
mgb_phys
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One quarter of the worlds population still lacks electricity. I think that would limit the number of phones
Less so with cell phones, a car battery and a solar panel or even a hand crank will keep a village cell phone working.

But if people in Luxembourg have two phones, what stops people in India from having two phones?
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.

Why do people in Luxembourg have two cell phones? Multiple personalities?
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.
 
  • #10
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but who was phone?!
 

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