Disruptive innovation to connect the unconnected
The digital inclusion space in developing world markets is full of creativity and ambition. The GSMA recently launched a Digital Inclusion Innovation Portal, which is a unique platform to discover and track technological and strategic innovation within mobile internet connectivity, affordability and accessibility that are taking place across these markets.
The portal intends to inspire actors across the mobile industry and beyond to explore new routes and opportunities for partnerships around digital inclusion initiatives, from gaining insights of other organisations’ projects. Visitors are offered a rounded introduction to each innovation through up to date information, visuals and videos, as well as analysis of the solution’s potential impact and replicability in emerging markets.
The portal tracks Innovation in Network Coverage that show potential for improving the economics and efficiency of connectivity in rural areas, specifically looking into initiatives within Last Mile Connectivity, Backhaul and Power.
Endaga’s CCN1 – a satellite “network-in-a-box”, is one of the innovative solutions featured, designed to bring voice and data services to remote and previously uncovered areas through a community owned and driven model. The portal also offer insight into VNL’s wireless mobile and broadband communication system of low-powered base-stations, which is optimised for providing affordable connectivity to networks of rural and remote villages. Google X’ Project Loon – high-altitude connectivity balloons that transmit connectivity directly to users’ LTE devices, is also among the solutions featured, as well as Ballard’s methanol fuel cell technology that has been an important innovation for remote mobile service delivery, providing cost-efficient and reliable power supply for telecom sites.
The online tool also features innovation in Consumer Affordability & Use, presenting promising approaches for making smartphones and mobile data services more affordable and for enhancing local relevant content generation and improving consumers’ digital skills.
One of the initiatives showcased is the Pamoja partnership of Google Android and Orange. They jointly launched an affordable digital communication package in several markets across Orange’s MEA footprint, offering a high-quality smartphone at the low-price point of USD 40, bundled with data and preloaded with popular content apps. Another example among the handset initiatives is Mobisol’s affordable smartphone loan scheme in Rwanda, which is offered to customers based on an alternative credit assessment model. Mobisol partnered with MTN Rwanda and TECNO Mobile for this pilot programme. Other initiatives featured include Curious Learning’s global literacy project that provides an ecosystem to create, distribute and improve free mobile learning software for children, and Google’s and Tata Trusts’ Internet Saathi programme, which provides digital skills training for women who live in rural villages in India via a peer-to-peer training approach.
The selection of innovations featured on the portal will grow over time, and will be kept up to date with new initiatives and refreshed content every few months in order to capture the latest trends of promising industry approaches.
Is your organisation running projects or launching products to enhance digital inclusion? We are interested in hearing from you, please get in touch at email@example.com.
Enabling rural coverage: regulatory and policy recommendations to foster mobile broadband coverage in developing countries
This report responds to the need of tackling the regulatory barriers preventing operators from extending ...Read more
A lack of basic digital skills is one of the key barriers to internet adoption across the world. In order to ...Read more
Reforming mobile sector taxation in Argentina: A path towards a more efficient tax system, greater digital inclusion and increased prosperity
Mobile telephone services play an increasingly important role in supporting and delivering development, ...Read more
Adoption and use of mobile internet is far from universal or equitable, with women, those with less ...Read more
Millicom and the GSMA: Driving digital inclusion in Rwanda through the Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit
This post was guest-authored by Mohamed Dabbour, EVP Millicom Africa. The views expressed do not necessarily ...Read more
Can mobile operators help their customers understand the internet? Lessons from a pilot with Tigo Rwanda
Across the world, the internet is increasingly central to people’s lives, one of the key ways in which ...Read more
Mobisol: ‘Electrification is more than lights’ – An innovative approach ensuring smartphone affordability for rural African communities
This post was guest-authored by Henrik Axelsson Lilja, CEO, East Africa at Mobisol Group. The views expressed ...Read more
This blog was written by Julia Burchell and Mariana Lopez On Thursday 9 November, the GSMA Mobile for ...Read more
This post was guest-authored by Emily Heaphy, Connected Society Intern & Geography student at Sheffield ...Read more