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date: 02 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The rapid uptake of mobile phones in the global South—that is, developing countries located primarily in the Southern Hemisphere—is a fact that is often repeated in popular discourse as well as academic research. In the years since it became a favorite factoid, there have been shifts in some of the most well-known patterns of use, with new data being created and collected. To a large extent, communication and information researchers have yet to fully address the opportunities and challenges regarding these changes. This chapter outlines some of the shifts in usage trends, what kinds of data they generate, and what kinds of questions they can help answer about social and economic ties, mobility and location, and innovation and design. These can strengthen theorizing new communication practices and generate greater knowledge about life in a networked age for those in resource-constrained environments.

Keywords: mobile phones, data, global South, research, mobility, innovation

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