Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Put Down The Loudspeaker And Pick Up The Cell Phone

Today’s crazy optempo doesn’t allow a moment to think much about the future. The April 9th, 2011, Economist featured an article: “Mobile telecoms in Africa” – Digital Revolution. (See which is also the photo source.

I’ve mentioned the need to be on the look out for future locations where PSYOP/MISO missions will be played out and I’ve also pointed out that Africa is an area where scant attention has been paid – Libya and the Middle East countries are an exception of course. The article noted the implementation of 3 submarine cables to Africa and a corresponding price reduction of 90%.

At the moment basic handsets dominate with Nokia the dominate player. Other product notes include that a $90 Android operating system smartphone made by China’s Huawei “sold out in several African countries in less than a month”.

There are strategic and tactical aspects for PSYOP to consider. On the one hand it would be nice to get on the inside track of the mobile provider and be able to easily send mass messages of all types: voice, SMS, Twitter, etc. On the other there is a need to send targeted messages to selected devices.

Most likely the mobile phone campaign would be supplementing other effort, yet total reliance on a single device as may be the case with some targets makes dominating that communications medium critical. This leads to a couple of questions: what organizational level should have the capability to employ the mobile media of today and the more complex devices of tomorrow and what equipment and support will be needed?

At this point I don’t have any particular answers, but I thought it was important to raise the question and reference the article.

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