Mobile Device Planning

There is a lot to consider when making your plan to deploy your mobile devices at scale. This section provides some practical guidance to help you prepare for your device deployment.

How many devices should you buy?

When planning to purchase devices for a project, it's advised to buy an extra 10% on top of your total user count to compensate for potential losses, breakages, or for use in training and technical support. Historical data suggests a 2-3% rate of loss or theft over three years.

Will you have network coverage?

For selecting a data plan, ensure the network provider offers robust coverage in your project area. Consulting local residents or conducting field tests can help determine the best provider.

Below are some tools that you can use:

How much data should you purchase?

Many projects find that a monthly data allowance of 100 MB is sufficient. To estimate usage, consider that each form submission is roughly 7-10kb. For instance, submitting 20 forms daily over 25 working days requires about 5MB per month. For example, for a project where the FLW submits 20 forms a day, 25 days a month: 20 forms x 25 days a month x 10kb/form = 5MB 

How will you charge your devices?

Device charging is crucial, especially in areas with limited electricity. Solutions include home charging for those with electricity, providing solar chargers, or establishing central charging stations, which are cost-effective but have higher theft risks. In some cases, reimbursing charging costs may be necessary.

How will you manage your devices?

Device management requires a clear contract and protocol to outline phone use and procedures for lost or damaged equipment. For comprehensive guidance, Dimagi's toolkit on device management at scale offers valuable resources.

How will you control how phones are used?

Below are some apps that we have used to support device management