Man in traditional headgear sitting and using a smartphone, embodying the GSMA Connected Society vision.

Connected Society

Accelerating digital inclusion for underserved population groups in low- and middle-income countries.

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. Of the 3.4 billion people who remain unconnected to mobile internet, 3 billion of them live in an area already covered by mobile broadband but do not use mobile internet services.

We work with mobile operators and their partners to address the barriers to mobile internet adoption and use in LMICs, focusing on underserved population groups.

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All our latest news, reports and research in one place.  

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The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity

By the end of 2022, the number of people using mobile internet increased to 4.6 billion people. But the growth rate at which people are adopting mobile internet has slowed, and significant digital divides persist.

A person wearing bangles operates a smartphone at a fish market, embodying the concept of a Connected Society as envisioned by the GSMA.

GSMA Mobile Connectivity Index

The MCI measures the performance of 170 countries against key enablers of mobile internet adoption: infrastructure; affordability; consumer readiness; and content and services. 

Three women in a GSMA meeting, one holding a smartphone with an attention-focused expression.

GSMA Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit

MISTT is a set of free resources for teaching people the basic mobile digital skills they need to access and use mobile internet. It has been used to train more than 70 million people.

A person wearing a wireless earbud using a smartphone in our connected society.

Assistive Tech

Our mission is to drive greater access and use of mobile technologies for persons with disabilities in emerging markets and maximise opportunities for social and economic inclusion.

Two individuals, representing a Connected Society, in orange shirts working with electronic devices outdoors.

GSMA Innovation Fund

The GSMA Innovation Fund accelerates digital tech solutions that address key global challenges. Connected Society rounds focus on rural connectivity and mobile internet adoption.

Mobile Digital Skills Alliance

The Alliance is a learning, communications and collaboration network that brings together key stakeholders in response to the mobile digital skills gap in LMICs.

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This initiative is currently funded by UK International Development from the UK government and by the Swedish International Development Coorporation Agency (SIDA) and is supported by the GSMA and its members.
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