Mobile Phones Do Much More Than Make Calls

Ethiopian children play with a cell phone i i

hide captionChildren in in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia play with a phone in 2008.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images For The Clinton Foundation
Ethiopian children play with a cell phone

Children in in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia play with a phone in 2008.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images For The Clinton Foundation
A policeman on a camel in Egypt i i

hide captionAn Egyptian policeman on a camel uses his mobile phone during the 11th Pan Arab Games in Cairo in 2007.

Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images
A policeman on a camel in Egypt

An Egyptian policeman on a camel uses his mobile phone during the 11th Pan Arab Games in Cairo in 2007.

Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images
A woman shows two new mobile phones i i

hide captionA woman presents the T-Mobile G1 (R) mobile device by Deutsche Telekom and the i-Phone 3G by Apple in March 2009 at the world's biggest high-tech fair, CeBIT in Hanover, central Germany.

Jens Schlueter/AFP/Getty Images
A woman shows two new mobile phones

A woman presents the T-Mobile G1 (R) mobile device by Deutsche Telekom and the i-Phone 3G by Apple in March 2009 at the world's biggest high-tech fair, CeBIT in Hanover, central Germany.

Jens Schlueter/AFP/Getty Images

In Asia, Africa, Europe and elsewhere, cell phone technology has always been way ahead of what's available in the states. Around the world, people use their phones in innovative, creative ways.

For example, mobile phones help rural farmers gather information about crop prices, and bargain shoppers download coupons on the fly.

At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, LG unveiled a touch phone in a watch, and Sony Ericsson's new mobile phone (codenamed 'Idou') with a built-in 12.1 megapixel camera got plenty of attention.

Also in Barcelona, Samsung showed its Blue Earth touchscreen phone. It's made from recycled water bottles, and has a solar panel that charges the battery.

For this Talk of the World program, we're especially interested in hearing from our listeners abroad. If you live outside the U.S., tell us: In what innovative ways do you use your cellular phone?

Guests:

Natasha Elkington, journalist for Reuters. She uses her mobile phone to pay her farm manager in Kenya.

Amy Webb, principal for Webbmedia Group

Alieu Conteh, founder of Vodacom, a cell phone company in Congo

Hiram Enriquez, independent consultant focusing on mobile technologies and digital media strategy

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