China’s Mobile Revolution: The Rise of 3G Technology

The Times looks at the role on mobile technologies in helping survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake:

The mobile phone came of age in China last month when a devastating earthquake ripped through Sichuan province. Its vital role showed why the Chinese government has recently ordered a radical restructuring of the telecoms industry to prepare for the next generation of technology.

Victims used their phones to call for rescue, soldiers used civilian networks to organise supplies, families used text messages to exchange news of survival or loss and an increasingly angry group of citizens spread word of protests against corruption and lax building standards. The national conversation kept going thanks to a military-style logistics operation by the rival phone companies.