Latino Adoption and Utilization of the Mobile Landscape

Advocating for a national movement to address digital literacy among Latinos

By Frankie De Soto
Published on LatinoLA: August 3, 2011

Latino Adoption and Utilization of the Mobile Landscape

This article was originally posted on solpersona.com.

In my earlier post, Jason Llorenz, Executive Director of the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership, explained the benefits of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger for the Hispanic community. I wanted to continue the discussion about mobile utilization so I interviewed Mr. Llorenz about the current relationship between Hispanics and mobile technology. The Q&A is below.

Q:. How do you feel about the rate of adoption of mobile technology among the Hispanic demographic?

A: Hispanics are leading the way in adopting mobile tech -- from smartphones to tablets, Hispanics are benefitting from innovation and using the mobility of new devices to connect, communicate and do business. It's fascinating, and one of the reasons why our national leaders are working to realize policies that continue to spur innovation and quality services, while driving prices down. Wireless is, for many Hispanics, an onramp to the Internet --we want to this to continue, while pushing for more and better programs that support digital literacy.

Q: Do you sense that US companies are now paying attention to the growing Hispanic population and are developing more effective online media and mobile campaigns to capture their market?

A: Certainly, companies understand that Hispanics are more mobile and more digital. We are seeing today that smart marketing includes more online content that is both bilingual and bicultural -- and smartly leverages social media, which Hispanics are embracing.

Q: Aside from the AT&T/T-Mobile merger do you feel any other media technology adoption or policy changes need to take place that will benefit the Hispanic demographic?

A: We need a national movement to address digital literacy among Hispanics. While Hispanics over-index in our use of mobile, there continues to be a large gap in adoption of home, wireline high-speed Internet. That must be addressed -- so that families can ensure their children have all of the tools they need to participate in digital opportunities. Many advocates are anxious to see the reform of the Universal Service Fund (USF) which, today, supports a very old goal of bringing telephone service to every American. That fund (which all users pay into) must be updated so that it helps to achieve our goals for universal broadband -- hopefully including opportunities to drive down cost for low income people.

Q: What are you working on now that will help benefit Hispanics to adopt and utilize today's mobile landscape?

A: We are working to educate communities and advocates on policies that spur investment in state of the art technology, and to evangelize the opportunities offered by broadband Internet. The economic opportunities of the future will be increasingly digital. We want to ensure all Latinos are ready for that future, with the tools and skills needed for success.

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About Frankie De Soto:
My current studies are focusing on social media for business and online communication applications as well as marketing communications which in part encouraged me to begin my blog as well as pursue my love for Hispanic online media research and practice.
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