Giving people access to mobile phones without the need to own one

by: Mirjam Visser, 2010-10-27 09:11:16 UTC
Sustainability Aspects: MXShare is a platform which when installed in the core of a mobile network enables people who cannot afford to buy a handset to have a fully functioning Cloud Phone which they access using other people's shared phones.

The Story

Using the MXShare

The platform enables mobile operators to realise very low cost mobile phone services for the one billion people in BoP who use mobile phone services today, but cannot afford or do not wish to buy a handset. These people share phones with family and friends, use street side payphones managed by agents or community phones. Today these people are anonymous users, who find it difficult to make and receive calls and near impossible to receive private text messages or mobile payments. With a Cloud Phone they are an identified subscriber, with their own phone number and prepaid phone account.

Once launched by the operator, people subscribe to the service by visitng their local village payphone agent or airtime voucher vendor to purchase a mobile number. Subscribers access their Cloud Phone using someone else’s borrowed handset or a street side payphone. They simply enter a network code which then activiates the communication with the MXShare platform and enables the CloudPhone service on the handset. The functionality that the person now has access to is very similar to that they would have received if they had purchased a SIM only solution; however the subscriber does not have the complication of swapping SIMs in phones, or having to carry around a SIM card which can be easily lost or stolen. The system requires no special handsets, SIM cards, or additional client software; it works instantly on all basic mobile handsets available today in Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia. Further since all information is transmitted between the handset and the MXShare server using secure channles the user does not have any privacy issues of leaving information on a borrowed handset. Not only does the system enable real time communication when the subscriber is logged in, but the system also manages the subscriber’s offline activity, tracking missed calls, sending notification alerts to friends or nearby village phone operators.
As standard the phone owner who is sharing their handset always receives a credit as a thank you for sharing, either a one-off fixed amount or a percentage of the cost of the call or transaction as an incentive to share the handset. We therefore call the service Sharepaid (as opposed to prepaid or postpaid). Sharepaid enables people in the rural communities to be connected. It helps them access jobs, raise incomes, and access family members working away from home in an affordable and easy to use manner.

Product: MXShare
Designer: Movirtu
Manufacturer: Movirtu
Category: Mobile network service


Using the MXShare
Using the MXShare
By Movirtu

Comments by our Users

Be the first to write a comment for this item.


@ D4S, a platform by designers for designers, sharing ideas and knowledge on sustainable design
Learn more |  Leave Feedback
We are not-for-profit and want a trustworthy, independent site without advertisements.

If you like to use D4S please donate to enable us to pay hosting fees and extend the site. Thank you for your support!
Join us on LinkedIn