the 1990s it was the Internet. So far in the new
millennium it is wireless communications. New
technologies are getting more information to more people
faster than ever before - and the possibilities are
phones are bringing telephone access to developing
countries at an incredible rate. Many countries in Asia
and Africa are abandoning the concept of copper wires
and going digital wireless from the beginning. According
to Worldwatch Institute, there are more mobile phone
connections than fixed line connections in Africa
trend is reflected in the fact that the annual growth
rate of telephone access in low- and middle-income
countries has actually surpassed the growth rate of
this digital access, many end users are accessing
wireless Internet technology at a clip that makes the
mind reel. Headlines that would take weeks to reach
outlying areas of less developed countries now take
virtually no time at all.
the late 1980s, if a person in Paris wanted information
on what was happening in Denver, they would probably
rely on a newspaper mail subscription that was
consistently six or more weeks late. Today they can go
online in Paris (or Timbuktu) and read today's headlines
before the paper is delivered to the local subscribers!
ratio of Internet users in developing countries has
increased more than twofold between 1995 and 2001.
Whereas one person in forty had Internet
access in 1995, that ratio in 2001 was one in seventeen.
Considering the fact that wireless access is just
beginning to be offered, this trend should accelerate
introduction of simple, cheap computers that can access
the Internet via wireless is opening new vistas of
opportunity to marketers and PR executives alike. As
technology allows information to flow seamlessly across
borders, the narrowing of the digital divide will be
offering global news flow and PR options unlike anything
ever witnessed before.