Connected Society

Connected Society Programme

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 SDGs.

In 2018, almost 300 million people connected to mobile internet for the first time, bringing the total connected population to more than 3.5 billion people globally. But over half the world’s population is still not connected to the internet and there are significant disparities in its availability and use across regions.

While the reach of mobile networks has expanded significantly in recent years, there is still a ‘coverage gap’ of over 750 million people who live in areas that are not covered by a mobile broadband network. There is also a ‘usage gap’ with 3.3 billion people covered by mobile broadband networks but who are not using mobile internet services.

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The Connected Society programme is currently funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and is supported by the GSMA and its members.
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