Exploring the Contribution of Design to Mobile Technology Uptake in a Remote Region of Australia

  • Fiona Brady
  • Laurel Evelyn DysonEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 490)


Some of the most remote communities in Australia have participated in a technological revolution since the arrival of mobile phone networks in 2003. We follow this journey in four largely Indigenous communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands, from the first 2G network, to 3G, and finally to mobile broadband and smartphones, looking at its impact on communication, Internet access, new media use and social networking. In seeking to understand this phenomenon, we conclude that aspects of the design of the mobile system have contributed, including the flexibility of the technology to adapt to the needs of varying social groups, the small portable nature of the devices which allows them to serve a traditionally mobile people and to be kept as personal devices, a billing system which serves low income people, and the multifunctionality of the technology which provide entertainment while also supporting their use of Facebook.


Mobile phones Mobile broadband New media Social media Indigenous people Aboriginal people Mobile design 



We would like to thank the people of Dauan, Wujal Wujal, Lockhart River and Kowanyama who have shared their experiences and thoughts about mobile technology with us over the years. We further thank the mayors, councillors and managers of the four communities who facilitated our research.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BloomfieldCape TribulationAustralia
  2. 2.University of TechnologySydneyAustralia

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