Portugal: Mobile Phones in Schools
At the end of the second quarter of 2008, there were 14.3 million Mobile Telephone Service (MTS) subscribers in Portugal. This is a nearly five percent increase in the total number of subscribers compared to the previous quarter and an increase of more than fifteen percent compared to the same quarter the previous year. Over 1.83 billion calls were made, and the average number of messages sent per subscriber reached 137 per month - an average of over four messages per day.
With these impressive numbers, the Portuguese lead the European countries. The mobile phone penetration rate recorded in Portugal, which is 128.8 per 100 inhabitants, remains significantly above the EU average (114.4 per 100 inhabitants).
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“Our lives are increasingly performed within a mobile context”, comments Carla Ganito, who lectures Digital Communication and Marketing at the Human Sciences Faculty of the Portuguese Catholic University. “There is unanimity regarding the profound impact of mobile communications in the way we live, interact with others and see the world. We live by the mobile phone and construct meaning through it. Education is no exception. Mobile phones are part of the life of societies on five continents and, despite their cultural differences, the populations seem to converge on a common set of practices, concerns and negotiations of time, space and identity concerning the use of mobile communications.”