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This article explores the practice of "beeping" or "missed calling" between mobile phone users, or calling a number and hanging up before the mobile's owner can pick up the call. Most beeps are requests to call back immediately, but they can also send a pre-negotiated instrumental message such as "pick me up now" or a relational sign, such as "I'm thinking(More)
Rural communities in India are often underserved by the mainstream media. While there is a public discourse surrounding the issues they face, this dialogue typically takes place on television, in newspaper editorials, and on the Internet. Unfortunately, participation in such forums is limited to the most privileged members of society, excluding those(More)
Bandwidth caps, a limit on the amount of data users can upload and download in a month, are common globally for both home and mobile Internet access. With caps, each bit of data consumed comes at a cost against a monthly quota or a running tab. Yet, relatively little work has considered the implications of this usage-based pricing model on the user(More)
This study reports results of an ethnographic action research study, exploring mobile-centric internet use. Over the course of 13 weeks, eight women, each a member of a livelihoods collective in urban Cape Town, South Africa, received training to make use of the data (internet) features on the phones they already owned. None of the women had previous(More)
This paper examines the discourses around emerging Internet connectivity solutions for rural and resource-constrained populations in the developing world. It draws primarily on interviews undertaken with 26 experts within the Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICTD) field, as well as on institutional explanatory and publicity(More)
In developing countries, many would-be mobile internet users perceive downloadable video content as too expensive. Aggressively degrading this video could reduce its file size and therefore its cost. The studies presented here explore extreme cases of this quality/cost trade-off for mobile phone users in urban India. A series of online studies tested the(More)