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Comment South East Asia (Score 1) 579

In places like Indonesia (and other SEA countries) they have a counter on top of the normal traffic lights so that the drivers/scooter riders etc can see it. I thought it was pretty useful, as it allowed people to slow down if they see the lights are going to change red. Maybe what needs to change is the attitude of the drivers. The counter seems to work well in Indonesia. Maybe make a law that it is compulsory to slow down if they see the counter is going to change. The other thing, is I think there is about a second or so lapse between when the light turns red and the next light turns green. That might also help.

Comment Re:Sanity check (Score 1) 197

I disagree. I think the number is correct for this reason.

I used to have an Indonesian fiancee. She and everyone else I knew there used to have two phones. A Blackberry and an Android/iPhone. She even made me buy a Blackberry so that she could BBM me all the time. Even the kids had mobile phones from about 10 years old onwards. So, we have a nation of 120 million people where those who have mobile phones usually have two of them. (Insert the old joke that if it wasn't for Indonesia RIM wouldn't be in existence). 99.68 mobile phones per 100 Indonesians. (Link at bottom)

When I was in Cambodia building houses in remote villages, the majority of people had mobile phones. (You could get an iPhone for half the price that it sells in the first world, and an iPhone rip-off for one third - and most other phones being very cheap by first world standards). In third world countries phone calls and texting is very cheap. (My ex-fiancee almost had a heart attack when she found out how much we get charged for phone calls in Australia). Most of the Cambodians I met didn't have TV's, Radios, land line phones or electricity, but they all had mobile phones (lacking electricity they could take their mobile phones to the local store for recharging. Many a bamboo hut store in the local villages had a generator and sold all sorts of mobile plans and batteries etc). Mobile phones are a cheap way to stay in contact with each other, especially when some of the family have moved to Phnom Penh for work, and others are on the Thai boarder working and the rest are still back in the home village. Plus, it also gives them internet access at a very cheap rate (and I used to have a number of Cambodian friends I kept in contact with who used their mobiles for Facebook or emails etc). But, another reason for mobiles being popular, is you don't need to be literate to be able to use one (with the average Cambodian education level being 3rd year primary). Cambodia have 92 mobile connections per 100 people.

Then, there are some Malaysian youths I meet in Malaysia who, for some reason, had one mobile phone but half a dozen sim cards (so 6+ subscriptions each). I didn't fully understand the reason for this, but part of it was coverage (when they couldn't always get a signal for one provider they'd switch to the sim card of another provider), they also had different phone numbers for different groups of friends/relatives etc (which is the bit I never quite understood). There were different rates on internet/talking/sms usage, so they'd switch SIM cards depending on whether they were going to Tweet something or talk to someone. I also suspect there was some 'social' aspect to it, 'he who has the most SIM cards wins'.

Then, there are all those people with a personal mobile phones and a work mobile phones.

So, to summarise: knowing that a considerable amount of people in the third world have mobile subsciptions, and that a majority of first world people have mobile subscriptions, and a large sum of people in the world have two or more mobile subscriptions, it isn't difficult to work out that it is entirely possible for us to have almost as many mobile subscriptions as there're people on earth. I would say, that if mobile adoptions keeps increasing in third world countries and more people (in general) end up having more than one mobile subscription, we'd probably end up having mobile subscriptions exceed the amount of people on earth.

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