Monday, October 12, 2009

Mobile revolution helps Hispanics

The Hispanic Institute and Mobile Future recently released an in-depth report on mobile broadband's impact on the Hispanic community. The study, Hispanic Broadband Access: Making the Most of the Mobile, Connected Future, outlines developing opportunities made possible by Hispanic Americans' adoption of mobile technology.

Today, Hispanics are second only to African-Americans in their use of mobile broadband, accounting for more minutes used and a higher percentage of mobile device ownership compared to the general public. As a Hispanic-American, I am proud our community is leading the way in wireless adoption, and I'm excited to see how this adoption can be applied to bolster the community as a whole — from entrepreneurial opportunities and health care to education and law enforcement.

Mobile technology has evolved and expanded exponentially over the past 25 years. Applications and services offered today were conceived at an incredible rate in order to meet consumers' continued demand for real-time communications solutions. The Hispanic community has embraced the mobility, efficiency and speed of mobile technology. In fact, more than half of America's Hispanic population uses mobile Internet, a significant proportion compared to other ethnic groups. And in 2008, Hispanics outpaced the general population (42 percent to 35 percent) in accessing and downloading digital media — including music, video, movies, television programs, video games and podcasts. These aren't just dry statistics. As the report advocates, this development offers a new platform to reach a growing population in our country.

The comprehensive study illustrates how advancements in wireless broadband are democratizing both educational and entrepreneurial opportunities by connecting students to additional resources and mobile education tools and connecting small-business owners to suppliers and customers — freeing entrepreneurs to grow and run their business where they choose. The report also outlines important medical advances in remote monitoring and telemedicine, allowing patients to track everything from blood sugar and fitness levels to medication. As a veteran officer for the Houston Police Department, I would add to the list the remarkable impact wireless has had on law enforcement and first responders.

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