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.

For the first time, more than half of the world’s population – just over 4 billion people – are using mobile internet. But while the reach of mobile networks has expanded in recent years, there is still a ‘coverage gap’ of 450 million people who live in areas that are not covered by a mobile broadband network.

What’s more, 3.4 billion people live within the footprint of a mobile broadband network but are not using mobile internet. The unconnected disproportionately live in low- and middle-income countries and are more likely to be poorer, less educated, older, rural and women. While increasing mobile broadband coverage remains an important issue to address, reducing the ‘usage gap’ is key to close the digital divide.

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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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