The GSM Association (GSMA), says it has launched a new online tool to connect offline citizens to the mobile Internet.
According to the body that represent the interest of mobile telephony industry across the globe, the mobile connectivity index supports the effort of the mobile industry and the wider international community to deliver universal access to the Internet.
Produced by the GSMA’s Connected Society Program, the tool measures the ability of 134 countries, representing more than 95% of the world’s population to connect offline citizens to the mobile Internet
According to GSMA, each country is measured on the four key enablers for driving mobile Internet adoption that include infrastructure, affordability, consumer readiness and content.
”Scores for each of these four key enablers are available for each country and combined to produce a single composite measure for a given country, reflecting the strength of the foundations to support widespread adoption of the mobile internet, and the scores will be updated on an annual basis”, GSMA says.
According to GSMA Intelligence, there were approximately 3.2 billion people accessing the mobile internet at the end of 2015, representing about 44 per cent of the global population out of which about a third were accessing the internet using 2G networks and two-thirds were using mobile broadband (3G/4G).
This leaves approximately 4.16 billion people, about 56 per cent of the global population, still not on the mobile internet, explaining further that among this segment, 2.5 billion people (34 per cent of the global population) live within the footprint of a mobile broadband network but do not access services, while approximately 1.6 billion (22 per cent) live outside of a mobile broadband network footprint.
“Already more than 3 billion people worldwide are accessing the internet via mobile, but this still leaves more than 4 billion people offline and excluded from the powerful opportunities for social and economic development that the mobile internet enables,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA.
“Mobile is the primary enabler of connectivity in developing world markets where the high cost of deploying fixed-line networks means that internet penetration is low”, the GSMA D.G. further said.
Granryd describes connectivity to the mobile internet as an important foundation upon which the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals depend for their delivery, providing a platform for reducing poverty and improving healthcare, education, commerce, information sharing, employment and innovation
According to him “the launch of the GSMA’s Mobile Connectivity Index will provide valuable insights that will inform projects designed to support the ambition of universal access to the internet.”
”The Mobile Connectivity Index is accessible through a freely available web-based interface that allows users to explore in detail the performance of individual countries, compare countries against each other, and investigate the different dimensions and indicators that feed into each of the enablers, and can be found at www.mobileconnectivityindex.com”