Telecom In Egypt

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Al-Ahram reports on an Egyptian man who is making a living renting out his mobile phone:

"Not long ago, to access a pay phone the only option was your local grocer. Then pay phones sprouted on the sidewalks and today a generation of young men are taking their mobile phones out on the street offering phone services to the general public. Anwar got this business idea from a shop where he used to work, where the owner offered his customers the use of his mobile phone for 50 piasters a minute. 'I pay a monthly bill where I am charged 25 piasters per minute, so I make 25 piasters profit on every person who uses my mobile,' he added."

Howard Rheingold notes: "Today, it's a cell-phone, but in the not too distant future, it will have significant onboard computing power and a broadband connection: The mobile communications economy, by its nature, is broader than the PC or Internet economies alone."

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  1. From the article:

    “However, the mobile job does not run as smoothly as it looks. Street vendors who sell their merchandise on the pavements are subject to scrutiny at any time by the police and can have their merchandise confiscated for using public space for selling goods without a permit. Even though Ibrahim does not consider himself a street vendor, he subtly lowered the sign advertising his services when he noticed other street vendors packing up their wares and beating a hasty retreat in fear of the police.”

    Ugh. Disgusting. However, it is wonderful to see creative individuals exploit an opportunity to make money and provide a service; doubly so when we’re talking about less-than free nations like Egypt.

    Excellent blog!

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