Connected Society

Connected Society

Unlocking the power of mobile internet

Our mission is to support the mobile industry to increase access to and adoption of mobile internet, focusing on underserved population groups in developing markets.

Mobile internet is connecting people to new opportunities and life-enhancing services, driving economic growth and advancing progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the past five years, nearly 1.4 billion people have gained access to the internet through a mobile phone and by the end of 2021, 55% of the world’s population was using mobile internet. 

Mobile is the primary – and in some cases only – way most people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) access the internet, particularly for women and those living in rural areas. While mobile has been driving digital inclusion, there remain significant connectivity gaps, with 3.6 billion people who still cannot realise the benefit of the internet, either because they are not covered by a mobile broadband network or, more often, because they face other barriers to using mobile internet.


Latest Publications

Empowering persons with disabilities through digital innovation: Insights from the GSMA Innovation Fund


Wednesday 10 May 2023 | Assistive Tech | Connected Society | Digital inclusion for persons with disability | English | India | Innovation Fund | Kenya | Pakistan | Report | Research | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa |

This report shares insights from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech, highlighting important lessons for AT start-ups and other stakeholders about how digital innovations can influence how persons with disabilities use mobile internet.

Driving mobile internet use in low- and middle-income countries: Lessons and insights from the GSMA Innovation Fund


Thursday 23 Mar 2023 | Connected Society | Digital literacy | Education | Employment | English | Ethiopia | Financial inclusion for women | India | Innovation fund and grants | Mobile access and use | Mobile internet for women | Pakistan | Report | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa | Uganda | Zambia | Zimbabwe |

3.2 billion of the unconnected population worldwide live within the footprint of a mobile broadband network but are not using mobile internet. About 93% of this unconnected population reside in low- and-middle-income countries ...

Accelerating Rural Connectivity: Insights from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity


Thursday 5 Jan 2023 | Connected Society | English | Ghana | GSMA Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity | Innovation fund and grants | Report | Rural network coverage | Sub-Saharan Africa | Uganda |

This report outlines the solutions implemented by the grantees of the GSMA Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity and looks at the performance and impact of the sites deployed, as well as the lessons learnt and key recommendations.

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report 2022


Wednesday 19 Oct 2022 | Asia and Australia | Connected Society | East Asia and Pacific | English | Europe and Central Asia | Global | Latin America & the Caribbean | Middle East and North Africa | Mobile access and use | Report | Research | Resource | South Asia | State of the industry and trends | Sub-Saharan Africa |

Growth in mobile internet adoption continues and is nearly entirely driven by people living in low- and middle-income countries. Across the world, 55% of the population was using mobile internet at the end of 2021.

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The Connected Society programme is currently funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and is supported by the GSMA and its members.
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