In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Lucy Hood, executive director of the Institute for Communication Technology Management at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, writes about increasing smartphone adoption by minority groups:
This smartphone revolution has made wireless data the fastest-growing service category in the 300 million cellphone market, with average revenue per user growing more than 20% from 2009 to 2010. Latinos and blacks are disproportionately higher users of data services, according to CTM surveys. For example, minorities are twice as likely as the average user to access health information via smartphones. Use of m-commerce—buying via a phone—is 50% higher among blacks and Latinos.
Later in the piece, Hood encourages regulators to keep up with rapidly changing technology:
[N]o one metric can begin to capture the complexity of today’s marketplace for Internet connectivity. Officials who still cling to such statistics as fixed-broadband access, and regulators who make policy around them, overlook the emerging reality brought about by rapid technological progress, business innovation and a dynamic wireless market. The smartphone revolution enables people to take matters into their own hands and find effective ways to narrow the digital divide.
Hood’s full op-ed is definitely worth checking out.