INTERVIEW: GSMA director general Mats Granryd (pictured) highlighted the need for public-private partnerships to address issues preventing people from using the mobile internet in locations where access is widely available.
In an interview during MWC21 Barcelona, Granryd noted the number of people without a mobile internet connection comprises 500 million living in areas with no 3G or 4G coverage and 3.3 billion living in areas covered by mobile broadband but not able to use it.
“There’s a huge amount of work to be done. There are 3.8 billion people who are not connected online, while there are 3.8 billion who are connected.”
He explained addressing the usage gap is more about making sure people can afford mobile broadband services than expanding infrastructure. There is also a need to ensure consumers can access relevant content and have the skills necessary to use the technology.
While acknowledging it is mobile operators’ duty to deliver the connectivity, “to a larger extent it is the responsibility of private-public partnerships, as everyone needs to step up to bridge this gap”.
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