I get that this was tongue in cheek but I don't think its appropriate to understate how transformative mobile communications technology is for poor populations. From receiving improved agricultural information to early warning systems to avoid storm related tragedies this technology is life changing. It's not about keeping these charged so they can chat, it's about keepting them charged so they can continue to dramatically improve their lives.
More importantly though, the point here is that energy is transformational even at watt level. What we have done far too often is demand that the poor receive the grid and enormous amounts of electricity. What that means in effect is nothing at all since grid extension has been a spectacular failure in many parts of the world. So it's really about getting a small, but transformative amount of energy into their hands on a time scale that matters - now.
Building this distributed infrastructure into an energy system that is modular and can scale as demand increases is indeed a challenge. But it's not an argument to avoid the roll out of technologies that chan change lives.