When it’s just mobile only
The internet in Africa is a bit different from the wireless, 3G, 4G, LTE bandied networks we keep babbling about in the developed world.
With a dearth of infrastructure, the vast majority of people (an estimated 1.5-billion globally, according to the UN) have no electricity. More people in Africa have a mobile phone than access to electricity. That means, for a phone to be functional, it needs decent battery life. These feature phones have anywhere up to a week. Secondly, many have the two other must-have features: an FM radio and a torch. Radio remains the killer app in Africa, especially for mass communication.
The kind of services African’s use on their feature phones are also a bit different from the shiny applications around social media updates that we obsess and complicate our life with in the developed world.
They use services which helps them check on whether medicine is authentic or expired like mPedigree;
Their farmers use feature phones to find out where they can get the best price for their produce using services like Farmerline
In a severely conflict driven society they use open source web2.0 mashups to do real-time live mapping of disasters or elections (Ushahidi); and for communities to communicate with each other like Mxit and FrontlineSMS
This is a country which because of its historical, political and economical inequalities, allowed the utility of mobile to serve its purpose, than get caught in technological diatribes.
Africa is not mobile first.
It is not mobile also.
It is simply.