When supporters promote mobile technologies and its ability to change how we live, the question of access inevitably comes into the conversation. In Canada, we mostly rely on two major mobile network providers because they give us the most extensive network coverage. With widespread smartphone adoption and the rise of the mobile workplace, people want to be able to access their data from anywhere in Canada by using cloud content management systems like WebPal. Many Canadians are hesitant to move to smaller, more affordable providers because their access may not be as reliable when travelling to cottage country or other remote areas. But a new smartphone app is hoping to make mobile access even more pervasive by creating a network for users to share their internet access.
“Every smartphone is a computer and a router, so we though it was time to interconnect all of these devices together to make general access more ubiquitous,” said Micha Benoliel, co-founder and CEO of Open Garden. Now, instead of dealing with expensive roaming charges when you are travelling, you can connect with people with the app who are in close proximity to you.
Areas like Haiti, which is still in a state of restoration after the deadly quake in January 2010, has many issues regarding access that need addressing, and banking is one of those issues. Most banks are located in the capital, where “a simple transaction can take half a day,” and the few bank machines that do exist are often broken, empty or hotspots for muggings. A mobile banking initiative that has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. government hopes to solve this issue by allowing people to “save and move money through mobile phone accounts.” Adoption has been slow, but that is the case with most new technology initiatives. It’s just one more step towards to mobile access for all people around the world.