The GSM Association (GSMA) has released its Mobile Internet Connectivity Report for 2023, which provides insights into the state of mobile internet and smartphone adoption and usage around the world.
According to the report, smartphone ownership is on the rise, with 55% of the world’s population now owning a smartphone. Mobile internet usage is also growing, with 4.6 billion mobile internet users worldwide.
Also, 4G is the dominant mobile internet technology, but 3G is still the most common mobile internet technology in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, billions of people still remain unconnected, despite the growth in mobile internet usage.
The report also identifies several barriers to further expansion of mobile internet users, including affordability, access to infrastructure, digital skills, safety concerns, and availability of relevant content. These barriers disproportionately affect poorer, less educated, rural, and female users.
Another key finding of the report is that 600 million people continue to rely on the internet via feature phones. This is due to factors like digital skills, literacy, safety concerns, and a lack of relevant content.
The GSMA also called for urgent action to accelerate digital inclusion and remove the barriers that prevent people from connecting to the internet. This includes making mobile devices and data services more affordable, expanding mobile internet infrastructure, and improving digital literacy.
The sources for this piece include an article in GizChina.