In the developing world, people use mobile phones to do business and stay in touch with the world. To power those phones, many are turning to solar off-the-grid power
The study by computer firm Cisco found that the explosion in mobile phone use is a prime factor driving tens of millions people in the developing world to set up off grid power, says the study.
Meanwhile UK technology consultancy Mobile Experts says in a separate report that mobile telephony is driving the growth of a new microgeneration industry in the developing world -based on renewable energy.
The Cisco report examines the factors affecting global demand for mobile phones. It says that the demand for mobile telephone services has outstripped grid-bound electricity supply in 32 countries.
It predicts that by the end of 2015 the “off-grid, on net” population will reach 138 million. The trend will be visible at regional level for the first time this year when the total number of mobile users in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia exceeds the total on-grid population.
And by the end of 2013, it predicts that the number of mobile users in the Middle East will exceed the Middle Eastern on-grid population, with the same phenomenon occurring in South Asia by 2015.
Cisco describes the explosion of mobile telephony in the developing world as “astonishing”.