Open space for technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in Nairobi.

iHub By Jessica Colaço / November 9, 2010

The rise of the mobile-centric internet user:

1 Comment


As internet-enabled mobile handsets become more affordable and common, a new kind of internet user is appearing. He or she might have occasional access to a PC, but its usually out of reach at school, work, or in the cybercafé. Instead, most daily internet use is mobile, on WAP, in chatrooms, and via apps. Established technology companies and startups are interacting with mobile operators, NGOs, and research institutions to explore and deploy new ways of approaching these “mobile-centric” users. Along the way, these new approached are challenging what we thought we knew about the digital divide and “ICT4D”.   In this mostly-unstructured conversation, we’ll mash and mingle some examples and anecdotes from Kenya with those from South Africa, India, and beyond. Are we learning fast enough? What has been most surprising? what does this mean for telecentres and universal access? What will the landscape look like in another 5 years?

Jonathan Donner is a Researcher in the Technology for Emerging Markets Group (TEM) at Microsoft Research India. With research focused on the economic and social implications of the spread of mobile telephony in the developing world, his projects at TEM include Microenterprise/MSE development, Mobile Banking, Mobile Health and Wellbeing, and “first time/mobile-only” internet use.  Previously, he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and worked with Monitor Company and the OTF Group, consultancies in Boston, MA.  Jonathan is currently based in South Africa and is a visiting academic at the University of Cape Town’s Centre in ICT4D. Further details on Jonathan’s research are at and via twitter @jcdonner

Please register here to join us for the discussion on Friday the 12th of November from 2.30pm

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at:

1 comment
  • Tweets that mention The rise of the mobile-centric internet user: *iHub_ -- at 09:19:08AM Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by IntraHealthOPEN, Jonathan Donner. Jonathan Donner said: V. excited to visit @ihubnairobi – will lead an informal conversation on #m4d & mobile internet friPM 11nov [...]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

{{ theme:js file="jquery.fittext.js" }}