A Biographical Study of Mobile Telephones in Africa: Zambia as a Case Study

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Almost without exception, African countries inherited dated telecommunications infrastructure, which led to high costs on users. Therefore, telephonic communication was restricted by the technology and cost of service. The introduction of mobile telephones altered the situation. Value Added Services led to development of communication patterns and niches of users utilizing mobile technologies in a variety of ways. Theoretically, the phenomenon is guided by Africans’ assessments of the technology itself, specifically the perceived usefulness and perceived ease-of-use as depicted in the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). The research observed that the degree and impact of trust, perceived usefulness, and perceived ease of use changes with experience. In addition, the trajectory of the technology is moving from large to small and from expensive to cheap. And lastly, that simplicity of the user technology appeals to societies, which hitherto were constrained by the infrastructure and cost of service. This research confirms that Africans in general and Zambians in particular certainly have overcome the difficulties associated with inherited telecommunications infrastructure. With mobile telephony being available to everyone, even when they do not own a handset because of the ubiquitous payphones, offers an opportunity to leapfrog into the information age without the cost associated with large communication infrastructure rollouts.


Keywords: African Countries, Telecommunications Infrastructure Telephonic Communication, Mobile Telephones, Value Added Services, Mobile Technologies, Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease-of-Use, Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)., Perceived Usefulness, Information and Communication Technology
Stream: Human Technologies and Usability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Musonda Kapatamoyo

Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Mass Communications Department, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Edwardsville, Il, USA

I received my doctorate and a master’s in mass communications from Ohio University and joined the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Department of Mass Communications in 2007 where I teach advanced multimedia and Web design.
My research interests include; critical analysis of media, culture and technology; exploring world media systems; and comparing efficiencies of various technologies for communication. My publications, research and conference presentations included the multimedia use in mass media and convergence of electronic media technologies.

Ref: T08P0407