Yesterday, a quarter million people in Africa joined the global communication network when they bought their first mobile phone.
The number of new mobile phone accounts has been growing at a rock solid 10% per quarter for the last five years -- an exponential growth curve. If the trend continues, 80% of Africans could have a mobile phone within the next three years. That's half a billion new people gaining the ability to instantly communicate beyond their immediate surroundings, to share news, to conduct businesses, to connect with people anywhere in the world -- not just through voice, but also through data: SMS, e-mail, and the web.
Of course there are political, cultural, and technical issues to be overcome to maintain this phenomenal growth rate. The curve will inevitably flatten and slow as the market saturates.
Never the less, another quarter million people will become connected today.
And the day after.
What is this leading to?