Before we can move to the concept of Open ICT4D, it is helpful to place it in the context of a few recent trends. The first trend is the emergence of a new generation of information and communication technologies. There are two main platforms for these technologies. First are mobile phones that operate over the telephony infrastructure and employ applications such as Short Message Service (SMS). Increasingly, devices such as mobile phones and handhelds provide access to the telecommunications and Internet infrastructure in the developing context. The second technology is the Internet and the World Wide Web (Web) with the increasing availability of communication access-points and new web-based social tools (Web2.0). Web2.0, in particular, is a set of Web-based tools that allow for a more interactive and collaborative social activities. Note that as technologies increasingly converge, it may be that mobiles or handhelds, rather than the personal computer, will be the standard platform for accessing the Internet in the future. The second trend is the fairly consistent reduction in cost of digital content, arguably monotonically approaching zero. This is due to the increased ease and efficiency of copying and disseminating electronic content, in part enabled by new technologies such as peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing.

Next: New range of potential social and creative activities using ICT4Ds

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