Predicting the Future of Mobile-Enabled Energy and Water Services

Today, MECS has released its 2013 Annual Report,  “Predicting the Future of Mobile-Enabled Community Services”.  The report contains key insights and themes drawing upon a year of work, research and convening. This year’s report focusses on the wealth of information and insights about the growth of the sector that was derived through the launch of the MECS Innovation Grant Fund. The insights derived from analysing the pipeline of Concept Notes and Applications provide the industry with a look into the future of mobile-enabled energy and water services for underserved communities.

Interest in the use of Mobile is growing and global

The MECS Innovation Grant Fund received a total of 187 Concept Notes from across 3 continents and 35 countries, illustrating that the use of mobile for energy and water access is growing outside of East Africa.  The £2.4M fund was 12 times oversubscribed with applicants requesting a total of £29M in grants.

Sector variances exist: Energy and Water are not at the same stage of maturity in the use of mobile technology

While the mobile channels used by water access and energy access organisations are similar, the sector experience in the use of mobile technology varies significantly. Promising examples of mobile solutions for water service delivery exist, but there is a need to accelerate learning and expansion of these models.

Pay-As-You-Go dominates energy proposals

78% of all energy-only Concept Notes proposed a Pay-As-You-Go-Service.  While there is vast interest in the use of mobile to facilitate these services, the business models and customer value proposition vary significantly.  

The role of Mobile Operators is evolving

The analysis points to the changing nature of relationships between 3rd party innovators and mobile operators.  Mobile Operators are increasingly flexible in the ways they consider partnerships, developing light-touch engagements to test new partnerships and more integrated partnerships, such as co-created services, once a high-trust relationship is built.

The full report is now available for download. Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing some of the main findings from the report on the MECS blog; stay tuned! Feel free to post questions and comments on the blog or email us at

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