The impact of wireless and mobile technology on the South African society
Potgieter, Jacobus Petrus
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The most revolutionary changes in the technology industry arena are occurring in homes, businesses and schools. It's a technological revolution, spurred by converting the world's knowledge into digital form through increasingly inexpensive means of performing the conversion; and the speed and ease with which the information can be processed and transmitted. The primary objective of this study is to determine and understand the impact that wireless and mobile technologies have on the South African (SA) society. The study achieves an understanding of the impact of current wireless and mobile technologies on the SA society, specific to the enterprise, public and private sectors within SA. A literature study was undertaken to understand the general wireless and mobile technologies available within SA and to determine their impact on the SA society. The literature presented the following results: 1. Mobile devices used by society: • Cellular phone • Handheld computer/PDA • Smartphone • Laptop/notebook 2. Wireless technology used by society: • Cellular network • Personal area wireless network (Bluetooth) • Short range Wireless network (WiFi) • Long-range Wireless network (WiMAX). Some of the primary impacts of wireless and mobile technology on society, as indicated by the literature study are: • Improvement in efficiency and productivity • Improvement in product and service quality • Improvement in cost efficiency. Empirical research was conducted through a structured questionnaire as measuring instrument to determine the impact of wireless and mobile technology on society within SA. The results from the questionnaire provided answers to the research objective within the South African context. From the literature review and empirical study it was possible to make certain conclusions and recommendations on how to leverage off and optimise the benefits of wireless and mobile technology to the South African society. SA needs to take cognisance of the tangible and intangible benefits of wireless and mobile technologies. A clear understanding of the benefits will improve acceptance and investment of such technologies. The SA society should increase the utilisation of wireless and mobile technologies to increase and leverage off the benefits of these technologies. This implies an increase the financial investment in such technologies.