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In everyday life activities, telecommunications means play a very important role in connecting people and facilitating their daily needs. In their long history of social life people, as social beings, always need to be in contact with each other and as far they go in their mobility they develop their ways to keep connected. From the first land line telephone that was invented in 1875 to its least developed shape as smart phone the mobile phone is the faster spreading technology in the human history (Michael De Gusta 2012). In the 19th century an early form of telecommunication technologies was introduced to Sudan, which was the telegraph (El Gaddal, 1992, p. 53). At the beginning it was used only for the governmental purposes but gradually, it started to integrate into the social life when people in urban centers discovered that they can use it to communicate with their family members, relatives and friends who are living in other places (De Brujin, 2008, p. 5). This led to the first contact between the Sudanese people and telecommunication technologies, which developed with the different emergent technologies from the telegram to the current mobile/instant means of telecommunication as mobile phones and e-mail. These technologies do not stand as separate bodies out of the social life. As they are used by people, they are also integrated to their notion of life and affect their daily life. Among those means of telecommunication mobile phone emerged as a device that provides users with access to many ways of use that it was designed for on the one hand, and on the other hand it also opens the field, through interaction, to “creative” ways of usage. Mobile phone was introduced to Sudan in 1997 when the first mobile phone operator, the Sudanese Mobile Telecommunication Company (formerly MobiTel, currently ZAIN), was founded. Mobile phone got social attention as a new technology that could open unknown spheres for the Sudanese people to connect to each other and other benefits they could get out of it. Since then mobile phone assemble the widely spread mean of communication, not only in Sudan, but in the entire history of human kind (De Brujin, 2008, p. 12). In addition to the essential usage of the mobile phone as a mean of communication, worldwide, it has been used in many creative ways. Many of the recent studies highlighted those dimensions in different aspects. One of the very obvious examples is how people, specifically in Africa, started using the mobile phone as a banking device through which they can transfer money and save it since 2005. Later with the introduction of the smart phone this invention was adopted as mobile phone applications. In contrast with the international interest in mobile phone studies, this field is barely touched in Sudan. In Sudan, De Brujin et al, 2012, and Brinkman et al, 2009, showed many changes in the structure of the small scale income generating activities Sudan in different ways; some of the cases were small business fields that were “revolutionized” by the introduction of the mobile phone, and other were totally based on mobile phone trading as shown in the results of those studies. On the other hand, the studies showed an emerging mobile phone based income generating activities; i.e. the studies showed cases of students investing in mobile phone credit transactions and credit cards trading. In addition to the above mentioned fields, there is also some other professions that are remarkably affected by the introduction of the mobile phone; emerging, flourishing, shrinking, or even disappearing. For example in the 1990’s Sudan, the communication centers/shop were a fashion in business and widely spread. This business totally disappeared in less than 10 years of the introduction of the mobile phone. Mobile phone is a new field of study and, in the Sudanese case; even general literature on transport and communication is scant. It thus comes in the course of this research, new elements and aspects of the mobile telephone business in Sudan rising up that will require further study in the future. 2. The Statement of the Problem: Mobile phone is a relatively cheap technology of communication as it does not need high investment in infrastructure on one hand and running costs in on the other hand, in contrast with reflections from the Sudanese experience, it has high revenues that led the sector to be on the top of Sudanese economy as shown by figures in many studies and reports. This newly introduced technology triggered new kind of business i.e. gadgets’ and accessories’ trading, credit transfer activities, whether as “airtime” for personal usage or a sort of mobile phone banking. From a pilot survey that was conducted by the researcher in 2007/2008 there are many emerging fields of business that help people in the low scale to maintain their livelihood and generate income. Such activities/business doesn’t affect the individual level only, but spread into the whole structures of the society and upon those activities there is an emerging social relations. Mobile phone based business doesn’t affect the individual level only, but spread into the whole structures of the society. This sector is opening spheres of socio-economic changes that reach the class structure and social transformation by allowing wide sector of the society finding their own ‘’invented’’ ways of living making. These fields are going to be discussed here in coverage of the lack of studies in this field. The study will provide an analysis of the new social relations that are generated by the mobile phone business. This study will not discuss the macro economy level rather than a sociological analysis of the new social relations that are generated by the mobile phone based business. 3. Research Questions: The above leads us to formulate the following main questions: What kinds of social relations that are generated by the emerging of the mobile phone based business in the Sudanese society? Is there an expected role for the mobile telephone technology to create new forms of social relations/interaction that make remarkable effect? How local communities are able to deal creatively with the newly introduced technological innovations and how the social settings are able to respond? 4. Theoretical framework: In the discussion of the social relations and networks that are generated by the mobile phone technology, there is a need of further studies at the micro-level of analysis of this link. Those elements are playing together as “sets of interconnected nodes, which process financial and other values flows with the help of new technologies. They are self-configurable, complex structures of communication and power, which cooperate and compete internally and externally according to interests expressed within the nodes using ultimately a binary logic of inclusion/exclusion. They have the capability of self-renewal in the sense that they may introduce new actors and content as conditions change. Their dynamic nature makes then flexible, scalable and survivable, which are continuously changing techno-economic environment. (Castell, 1996) At the theoretical level, the contributions of Castells are one of the remarkable theorizing attempts to provide understanding of the links between technology and social settings. Castells is investigating the connection between technology, economy, and society and how these were reflected in urban structure (e.g. Castells 1985; 1989; Portes et al., 1989; Mollenkopf and Castell 1991) In his works, Castells provides a kind of determinist analysis on the role of communication in forming/reforming social life. He approached communication in the context of societal changes and power structures. Using the concept of “network” he stats clearly: “these networks, which could not exist on such a large scale without the medium provided by new formation technologies, are the emerging organizational forms of our world, and have played a fundamental role in ensuring the restructuring processes…” As a departing point this study will take Castells approach of network analysis to explore the social relations that are built on mobile phone business. 4. Methodology: The geographical limits of the study will be the capital of the Sudan, Greater Khartoum. The targeted research community will be the mobile phone dealers i.e. end users in small scale business that based on mobile telephone as source of income. This term is limited to “dealer” that are not mobile phone traders/sellers but having business depend on it. This means their ability to use their mobile telephones to create new ways of generating income that were unknown before its existence. At this level it is proposed to have a stratified sample composed of “mobile phone dealers” of both genders in their different socio-economic settings. A sample of 25 interviewee is planned to cover their activities and this sample will cover a variety of activities with balanced selection of genders to define any differences based on gender if any. Observation and structured interviews are the tools to be used to collect data at this level of identification. Then the sample will be formulated according to the discovered fields of activities. At one level of the study that concerns the mobile telephony sector, data here will be required from institutions, stakeholders and research here will mainly depend on sources stated below: a. The official reports and statistics from and about companies, governmental bodies and other intuitions. b. Media and archives: newspapers, websites and national archives. Special attention is paid to the historical context of communication in Sudan. This aspect of the research is based on a literature review of the history of communication in Sudan.


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