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Why Cyber Cafes Can Thrive in a Mobile Internet World

By Wayan Vota on May 11, 2012

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With the advent of cheap mobile phones and mobile data plans, there is the belief that mobile phones are pushing cyber cafes out of business. Well according to a Global Impact Study with surveys of public access ICT users in five countries, found that Internet café users do indeed have access to computers and the Internet at their homes, and yet they still visit public cyber cafes.

Why do users who have Internet access at home frequent public access ICT venues?

The Global Impact Study says:

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For many it is because public access venues offer better equipment than at home, which could also mean a faster Internet connection. Another significant reason is to see friends or be with other people in the venue. In Brazil, where users enjoy the highest percentage of Internet access at home, these are the two main reasons users visit public access venues.

As the chart shows below, there are significant percentages in the “other” response, particularly for Chile and Brazil. Some of these “other” reasons include free access, not having to compete with their family members for computer and Internet use at home, software and services provided at the venue, and the convenient location of the venue.

So before you think cyber cafes are dying, you should learn how Internet cafes can thrive in a modern mobile Internet world

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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