Analysing the Digital Divide in Global Connectivity
Sharanya Gopinathan
THE STATE OF MOBILE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY 2022 by Anne Delaporte & Kalvin Bahia Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), 2022, 76 pp., price not stated
April 2023, volume 47, No 4

A new report by the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), an association representing the mobile industry and its operators, on the state of mobile internet indicates an increasingly connected, if still woefully unequal, world.

The report reveals that as of the end of 2021, 55% of the world’s population, or 4.3 billion people, were using mobile internet. It stated that 97% of the world’s population is covered by 2G mobile networks. At the end of 2021, 95% of the world’s population was covered by a mobile broadband network.

These heartening statistics on global connectivity merit a closer look, and that’s when the shocking inequalities come to light. The study highlighted differences in mobile internet usage based on country and income group. 3.2 billion individuals, or 40% of the world’s population, despite living in an area with mobile internet connectivity, do not use mobile internet. Of these ‘unconnected’ individuals, 94% live in low to middle income countries. In low to middle income countries, those living in urban areas were 33% more likely to use mobile internet, while men were 16% more likely than women to use mobile internet.

Continue reading this review