4 Challenges to Reaching 3.8 Billion Mobile Internet Users in 2020
November 26, 2014 Editor
According to new data released by GSMA Intelligence, 3.8 billion people or half of the world’s population will be using mobile devices to access the Internet by 2020. And where will almost all of the additional mobile Internet users come from? The developing world!
Mobile Internet users in the developing world will double from 1.5 billion in 2013 to 3 billion by 2020, rising from 25% today to 45% of the developing world population that will be accessing Internet services and consuming mobile data for everything from email and web browsing, to social networking and online gaming.
However, as the GSMA details in their new Digital Inclusion report, there are four critical areas that need to be addressed to enable ‘offline’ populations to access mobile Internet services:
- Extending network coverage into remote, off-grid locations, which could require government support for voluntary network infrastructure sharing, the release of low- frequency spectrum and public subsidies;
- Removing the affordability barrier by working to lower the cost of mobile ownership and ensuring that mobile internet devices and data plans are not subject to restrictive government taxes and fees;
- Tackling illiteracy and the lack of internet awareness, which are considered the main consumer barriers to mobile internet adoption, even in cases where coverage and affordability issues have been addressed. According to the United Nations, there were 774 million illiterate adults globally in 2011;
- Ensuring that mobile internet content is available on as many devices as possible in the correct languages, and is relevant to the needs and interests of local users. E- government services are emerging as a major source of local content in developing countries and are therefore seen as a key driver of mobile internet usage.
Thank you to the GSMA for recognizing that overcoming these challenges will lead to social and economic gains for mobile network operators, the broader mobile industry ecosystem, and the developing world as a whole. Now let us work together to achieve and surpass these mobile Internet usage predictions.
- Expanding the Mobile Apps Market: Making Mobile Work at the Base of the Pyramid
- What Happened to the Innovation, Disruption, Technology’ Dividend?
- Setting research priorities across science, technology, and health sectors: the Tanzania experience.
- 4 Reasons Why Global Satellite Internet Is A Fantasy
- From innovation to mass market: Lessons for the IoT
- If Digital Freedom is a Myth, How Can We Ethically Provide Access to Cutting-Edge Technology?
Subscribe to our stories
- The Strategic Role of Design in Driving Digital Innovation June 10, 2021
- Correction to: Hybrid mosquitoes? Evidence from rural Tanzania on how local communities conceptualize and respond to modified mosquitoes as a tool for malaria control June 10, 2021
- BRIEF FOCUS: Optimal spacing for groundnuts in smallholder farming systems June 9, 2021
- COVID-19 pandemic: impacts on the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa June 9, 2021
- Explicit knowledge networks and their relationship with productivity in SMEs May 30, 2021