has literally changed the world. There are roughly 3.5 billion cell phone users globally, which makes cell phones more common than personal computers with a greater impact than the Internet. Cell phones provide increased mobility, increased transparency beyond borders, and the ability for people in the developing world to have access to banking, information, and global technology like never before. The , though, is much more than a phone. If we realize that even the most simple SmartPhone of 2012 has more computing power that it took to launch NASA’s Apollo missions, we can see that the technology has numerous implications: the devise proves an Internet browsers, sending on SMS and MMS messages, email access, watching movies, listening to music, taking pictures, recording videos, and even read documents. Many applications change the way people work, think, engage in commerce, and interact with each other, at home and abroad (Hachten & Scotton 2012).
Functionally, the Smart Phone and resultant technologies have changed commercial transactions globally. This research study will focus on mobile services and how they create value and customer retention in the Iraqi telecommunications market. Of course, this has numerous socio-political and cultural implications; from religion to the manner in which phones were used by occupying forces, and now how Iraq can potentially take advantage of the technology to modernize and upgrade its economy ((Iraq Telecom March 2010)Africa and the Middle East Telecom November 2004; USA International Business Publications March 2009). Many developing countries have seen cell phone usage increase 500 fold within the last few years moving from what was once considered a luxury to what is now a basic necessity in changing such social and cultural icons as:
Banking — Cell phones allow the individual to have access to banking and microfinance regardless of their geographic area. This changes economic power from the physical, brick and mortar location, usually in large urban areas, to smaller, rural populations and increases the flow of commerce (Mahajian 2010).
Activism — Mobile phone technology offers openness and instantaneous communication to other parts of the world. If there is repression or governmental crackdowns, cell phones and video/pictures can broadcast a truer picture of events to global news and humanitarian agencies (Beneshael & Byman 2004; Shaprio & Weidmann 2011).
Education — Social networking and tools that allow information and data searches to bring technology into rural areas and, for less money than a PC, provide unique educational opportunities (Technology Transfer to the Middle East 2004).
Entertainment — Entertainment is arguably both a socializing mechanism and one that spreads culture. Access to music, movies, and classical entertainment changes the perception of the population, as well as works within the globalization process to bind people together (The World Bank 2010).
Disaster Management — Mobile technology works well to inform the population of events, work for evacuation, and aid in disaster management at both the micro and macro levels (Zimmerman 2007).
Agriculture — By serving as platforms for data (weather, pest control, crop prices, etc.) farmers can make better decisions and even work long-distance with a veterinarian ( with Network Build-Up 2004).
Health — Many rural populations are underserved by the medical profession. Cell technology allows for monitoring, emergency medicine, quicker access to triage, and even prescription information and control (Gary 2004).
Methodology & Analysis
While the primary focus of this paper will be a meta-analysis of both the literature review and economic indicators from Iraqi data, we will also attempt to provide a mixed-method study if possible. Respondents would be selected from Internet sources and given a short qualitative and quantitative survey designed to gauge relevancy to: cellphone usage and their customer base; how cellphone technology is utilized in the Iraqi business world; international or socio-cultural issues; and future trends. Data trends will be and penetration data, Internet use, carrier availability, and statistics for population purchasing behaviors (Articles on Telecommunications in Iraq 2011; Janzen 2007).
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Technology Transfer to the Middle East 2004, U.S. GOvernment Printing Office, Washington, DC.
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Zimmerman, P 2007, ‘Public Domains: Engaging Iraq through Experimental Digitalities’, Framework, vol 48, no. 2, pp. 4-22.