Mobile Apps Market in Afghanistan

Mobile industry in Afghanistan is in its initial stages and the industry is growing wide and wide from root sectors to government, private and education sectors. Recent development has been made in Mobile apps which is listed as bellow;

1. Paywast – An SMS based social networking system allowing subscribers to create open and closed groups and communicate among each other. A premium version of the system allows organizations to create their own private groups and communicate messages among employees.

Category: Mobile Social Networking
Mobile Technology: SMS

2. MTN Life Style Services – The MTN Lifestyle Services center is a call center where MTN subscribers can call to get professional advice and consulting on the following issues:

a. Health / Mobile Health
b. Legal Services / Mobile Lawyer

The MTN customers can dial into the specified numbers (e.g 5050) to benefit from these services. The service itself is free and the only charges that the customers pay are the normal call charges.

Category: LifeStyle (Health, Legal)
Mobile Technology: IVR

3. M-Paisa (http://www.roshan.af/Roshan/M-Paisa.aspx) – m-paisa is a mobile to mobile money transfer service started by one of the leading GSM operators in Afghanistan. They have been in operation for last 2 years or more with some success of adoption.

Category: Mobile Money
Mobile Technology: Built inside the SIM, SMS (?)

4. ExpressPay Mobile Kiosk – An innovative service by Marikh Telecom utilizing mobile technologies allowing citizens to pay and receive various types of services through a mobile kiosk. Services currently rendered are purchase of mobile phone credits from selected GSM operators (Etisalat, Roshan, MTN and Afghan Telecom). The company plans to introduce various other payment services such as utility bills payment, tax payments and more.

Category: Mobile Payment
Mobile Technology: GPRS, POS Device

5. M-Hawala (www.etisalat.af) This is a similar to m-paisa service, recently started by Etisalat Afghanistan, another GSM operator in Afghanistan

Category: Mobile Payment
Mobile Technology: Not enough information

6. 456 Service – This is an SMS and IVR based service started by Tolo.tv and its related media network. The service is used for mobile voting, mobile surveys, listening to news, music, and many other services.

Category: Infotainment
Mobile Technology: IVR, SMS

7. 455 Service – Also started by Tolo.tv and its related media network. It is a business directory service recently started. Businesses register with this service and anyone could call to get information about a business, its address, contacts etc.

Category: Business Directory
Mobile Technology: IVR, SMS

8. SMS Alert service by Banks -A few banks including Azizi Bank, Ghazanfar Bank, Kabul Bank has implemented 1 way SMS alert for any account related activities. E.g when a deposit is made or withdrawal is done, an sms alert is sent to the account holder.

Category: Alerts
Mobile Technology: SMS

9. SMS Banking – A few local banks have implemented basic SMS banking services, which allows customers to learn about their bank balance. This has very limited use.

Category: Mobile Banking
Mobile Technology: SMS

10. 3131 Service – This is a service started by Kabul Bank. Kabul Bank account holders can call this number to purchase air tickets to various destinations with special discount. The bank would directly debit the caller‟s (bank customer) bank accounts.

Category: Phone Banking
Mobile Technology: IVR

11. SMS Job Alerts – This is a project in progress by our local partner, NETLINKS. Registered users on www.jobs.af website will get job alerts on jobs matching their profile. They can also apply for those jobs provided they have a complete resume on www.jobs.af. Jobs.af upon receipt of the SMS from the users will apply for that particular job on behalf of the jobseeker. The same service will also be extended to the government‟s jobs portal (www.jobs.gov.af), which is a portal, used by The Civil Service Commission of Afghanistan.

Category: Alerts
Mobile Technology: SMS

12. Da Breshna Sherkat SMS Bills Notification – Da Breshna Sherkat which is a government owned enterprise is developing an SMS application to alert its users on their electricity bills and payments.

Category: Alerts
Mobile Technology: SMS

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Links Posted By Big Facebook Pages Have A 0.14% CTR, 1 Click Per 1000 Fans

The click through rate for links posted to the news feed by Facebook Pages with over 100,000 fans is 0.14%, or 1 click per 715 impressions according to a new study shared with us by analytics provider EdgeRank Checker. Pages receive 0.00093 clicks per fan, or roughly 1 click per 1000 fans. These figures should give marketers an idea of how many Facebook fans they’ll need to accumulate to drive significant traffic to external websites, a core way of deriving return on investment from the social network.

Facebook only started providing link click metrics to Page admins at the beginning of October. Until then, marketers had to use links with tracking tags or URL shorteners that can reduce CTR in order to determine the referral traffic their Page posts were driving.

For comparison, links posted by Pages have nearly 3x the CTR of Facebook ads which average 0.05% CTR, and they top online display ads which average a 0.1% CTR according to Webtrends.

Facebook Pages can be a useful marketing channel for brands, especially those that organically accrue Likes from passionate customers such as entertainment, consumer packaged goods, fashion, and automotive companies. To drive significant referral traffic, though, most brands have to invest in advertising in order to beef up the fan counts of their Pages.

Most major brands have at least 100,000 fans, and Posts by Pages with few fans have a much higher CTR as you can see in the graph below. Therefore, I excluded them to avoid skewing the data. For all Pages with over 1,000 fans, including those with few fans, link posts still only have a 0.35% CTR, 1 click per 280 impressions, 0.00236 clicks per per fan, and 1 click per 424 fans.

EdgeRank Checker’s data is based on 84,000 link posts by over 5,500 Pages in October. The study also looked at which days of the week were the best for Pages to post on. It found that posts on Wednesday receive the most clicks and shares, while posts on Friday receive the fewest.

If they spend the time and money, brands like Porche, Netflix, and Old Navy can drive around 2,000 qualified clicks a day for free. Facebook Pages can’t completely replace the need for paid advertising, but they can become an important component of a savvy online marketing strategy.

Battery Breakthrough Could Improve Capacity And Reduce Charge Time By A Factor Of Ten Each

It’s no secret that batteries are holding back mobile technology. It’s nothing against the battery companies, which are surely dedicating quite a lot of R&D to improving their technology, hoping to be the first out of the gate with a vastly improved AA or rechargeable device battery. But battery density has been improving very slowly over the last few years, and advances have had to be in processor and display efficiency, in order to better use that limited store of power.

Researchers at Northwestern Universityclaim to have created an improved lithium ion battery that not only would hold ten times as much energy, but would charge ten times as quickly.

It’s probably safe to call it a breakthrough.

Inside Li-ion batteries, there are innumerable layers of graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms. Lithium ions fill the spaces between these layers, and when the battery is being charged, these atoms must creep their way physically to the edge of the sheet in order to get down to the next layer and make room for more ions. The rate of recharge is limited by how fast these ions can go from layer to layer. One solution tried before was replacing the carbon sheets with silicon, which for some chemical reason can hold many times the lithium ions — but the silicon would expand and contract with the charge cycles, quickly breaking.

Professor Harold Kung, researcher at NU and lead author of the paper (published this month in the journal Advanced Energy Materials), has discovered not just one, but two techniques for improving this charge process. His lab decided to combine the strengths of both materials, carbon and silicon, by populating the area between the graphene sheets with silicon nanoclusters. These little clusters greatly increase the amount of ions that can be kept in the battery, and because they are small and the graphene is flexible, their size changes are manageable. Thus, the charge capacity of the battery was improved by, Kung says, a factor of ten.

But that’s not all. Kung’s lab also thought of perforating the graphene sheets, allowing ions to take a “shortcut” to the next layer. They call these 10-20nm holes “in-plane defects,” and they essentially rust them out. The result? Charging is ten times faster.

A possible downside is a faster degradation process; after 150 charges and discharges, the batteries showed only a 5x improvement to capacity and charge speed. Of course, those 150 charges would be the energy equivalent of 1500 charges of today’s batteries.

Naturally this huge leap in battery power and efficiency won’t be in your phones next week; they estimate they could be on the market in three to five years — cold comfort to iPhone 4S owners who are only getting seven or eight hours of on time. But the process is changed enough that existing manufacturing techniques are likely insufficient.

The full paper, In-Plane Vacancy-Enabled High-Power Si-Graphene Composite Electrode for Lithium-Ion Batteriesis available to subscribers here.