GSMA, Facebook forge link to connect the unconnected

GSMA, Facebook forge link to connect the unconnected

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The GSM Association and Facebook have announced a joint initiative to connect billions of people around the world who have no access to Internet-based communications services. The initiative is expected to focus on reducing the total cost of ownership of mobile phones.[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”GSMA”]Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA says that “while there are nearly 7 billion mobile connections worldwide, there are only 3.4 billion people that currently have mobile phones. Mobile will offer many around the world, particularly in emerging markets, their only access to the Internet and the information and communications services it enables. Connecting the next billion is a major goal of the GSMA and we are pleased to be working with Facebook and internet.org to make this a reality.” [/blockquote]

Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA says that “while there are nearly 7 billion mobile connections worldwide, there are only 3.4 billion people that currently have mobile phones. Mobile will offer many around the world, particularly in emerging markets, their only access to the Internet and the information and communications services it enables. Connecting the next billion is a major goal of the GSMA and we are pleased to be working with Facebook and internet.org to make this a reality.”

Elliot Schrage, VP Communications and Public Policy, Facebook adds that, “we launched the Internet.org partnership last year as a contribution to addressing the challenge of ensuring everyone has affordable access to the Internet. Mobile operators are key to meeting this challenge and we are pleased to be able to work with GSMA on making sure that mobile Internet can be delivered in a sustainable and affordable way.”

According to a statement issued by GSMA, the two parties will work with governments in developing markets to address key factors that have impacts on affordability and availability. The collaboration is expected to focus on creating a sustainable environment for mobile infrastructure investment and usage including the elimination or reduction in existing mobile-specific taxation or refraining from imposing new such tax regimes.

The partnership will also address issues such as evaluating the establishment of local Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), fostering the development of local Internet content and examining the effectiveness of Universal Service Funds that will improve affordability and help to connect the world’s population to the Internet.

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Kayode Oladeinde Technology Journalist at Technology Times. Mobile: +234 (0) 7031526929