Current landscape and potential of mobile computing research in the least developed countries

Ahmed Imran, Val Quimno, Mehdi Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the huge potentialities, the actual growth of information and communications technology (ICT) in the least developed countries (LDCs) is still hindered by a number of factors beyond the infrastructural constraints. However, over the last decade, mobile computing has emerged as an important means to bridge the longstanding digital divide between LDCs and first world countries by accelerating the diffusion of various services (government, business, health, education and environment) through mobile devices. These services can be classified according to their domain of application, such as m-agriculture, mfinance, m-banking, m-commerce, m-government, m-health and m-learning. The overreaching goal of this paper is to explore mobile applications and services in LDCs and to assess the extent of research that has permeated in this area within the LDCs. The research questions that this paper seeks to answer are: what has existing research in LDCs identified regarding mobile technology applications, services and usage, and what are the typical characteristics and trends of mobile computing technology innovation and services within LDCs? The paper presents a comprehensive literature review of 480 articles on mobile technology application and services in the LDCs from the basket of Information Systems literature. The review draws on the current landscape of mobile computing studies in the LDCs to analyse and evaluate research trends, focus, regional priorities and gaps. Through the meta-analysis of secondary data, the paper highlights some interesting comparisons about mobile technologies among the LDCs as regards to research themes, focus areas and applications. Also, based on an assessment of current state of research, the paper identifies gaps and potential research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalElectronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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