Figure 1 – 4G coverage of population by region, 2019
Figure 2 – The top barriers to mobile internet use in surveyed low- and middle-income countries, by region, 2018
Figure 3 – Investment needed to achieve universal access to broadband connectivity by 2030 (does not include devices). Total: $428 billion
Figure 4 – Investment requirements by region (does not include devices). Total: $428 billion
Figure 5 – Growth in GDP from increased connectivity only, cumulative by developing country region. Total: $8.7 trillion
Figure 6 – Economic benefit versus cost of achieving universal internet access, by region (costs excl. devices)
Figure 7 – Investments across the G20 countries ($ billions)
Figure 8 – Potential distribution of investments to reach universal internet access, 2021–2030
Figure 9 – Potential distribution of investments to reach universal internet access (discounted), 2021–2030
Figure 10 - NPV of global project to achieve universal internet access by various stress scenarios, 2021–2030
- ^ So far adopted by the UN Broadband Commission, the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), Nigeria, and Ghana.
- ^ A4AI’s review into meaningful connectivity identified smartphones as the predominant means by which people access the internet (89 per cent based on a survey conducted across Colombia, Ghana and Indonesia), as opposed to only 2.3 per cent of respondents that used another device without a mobile phone. A smartphone is a mobile communication device distinguished by its operating system, its ability to download third-party applications, and its touchscreen of at least three inches.
- ^ A feature phone is a mobile communication device that has the functions of a basic phone and some internet capabilities, even if limited to pre-selected applications or to basic HTML pages. These devices commonly have a 12-key touchpad or a tactile keyboard.
- ^ See GSMA’s ‘Figure 1: Stages of digital literacy’ for steps to becoming digitally literate, and ‘Figure 3: Percentage of female and male respondents who cited technical literacy and confidence-related barriers to using a mobile phone, in Accelerating Digital Literacy: Empowering women to use the mobile internet, 2015
- ^ See [ITU/A4AI; GSMA; World Bank]
- ^ However, the full methods and data for calculating these figures have not been made public, and there have been many high-profile debates that dispute the government’s claims of savings from Aadhaar. See https://thewire.in/economy/the-curious-case-of-the-world-bank-and-aadhaar-savings ; https://qz.com/india/1519209/why-india-cant-cite-world-bank-to-brag-about-aadhaar.
- ^ In our roundtable discussions with industry experts, there was debate as to whether the extreme poor could afford to pay even a small portion of their income on internet access. If, for example, the cheapest smartphone in today’s prices was offered as a repayment plan over nine or 12 months, this would be the equivalent of 3.5 per cent or 2.6 per cent of the extreme poor’s income. Disagreement remains as to whether the extreme poor can afford this, but one key argument was that the extreme poor still make choices as to how they spend their income. Based on the evidence of MPesa’s use and its impact on lifting people out of poverty, particularly female-headed households, there is an argument that if the extreme poor experienced the benefits of the internet as they did with mobile money, they would see its utility and be willing to invest in its access. See our blog on "Can Universal Internet Access Be Sustained Beyond 2030?" for further insights.
- ^ For full breakdown of devices investment analysis, see Annex A
- ^ While no current standard World Bank discount rates are available, a previous Bank Handbook on Economic Analysis of Investment Operations, 1998 has cited this figure “as a notional figure for evaluating Bank–financed projects”, which correlates with the rates used in many World Bank infrastructure projects today.
- ^ A4AI’s Affordability Report 2019
- ^ A4AI make a similar recommendation. Malaysia and Costa Rica offer examples of such use of their USAFs.
- ^ See Annex A for how this investment could achieve universal access to a device.
- ^ See World Economic Forum Internet for All: A Framework for Accelerating Internet Access and Adoption, pp.19–20
- ^ See World Economic Forum Internet for All: A Framework for Accelerating Internet Access and Adoption, Figure 9 and ‘Spreading Skills and Awareness’ section, pp.18–21 for a framework to increase digital literacy
- ^ ODMs mass produce mobile phones which they sell to retailers, often telcos, that then market these devices under their brand name. These devices are prolific in developing countries and are often the cheapest devices available. See A4AI’s From Luxury to Lifeline: Reducing the Cost of Mobile Devices to Reach Universal Internet Access.
- ^ This includes the ITU’s estimate of $428 billion USD to cover 4G infrastructure expansion, affordability of data, and digital skills and content, and TBI’s estimate of $18 billion USD to address device affordability. See Annex A for breakdown of device affordability.
- ^ Connects international internet traffic (usually through undersea or terrestrial fibre-optic cables) to the national high-speed, high-capacity backbone network connecting the country’s bigger cities and major population centres.
- ^ A distribution network that connects the national backbone to a point in a locality/geographic area (PoP) for broader distribution out to the last-mile network.
- ^ Based on DACC GNI as of 2019, World Bank. GNI based on current USD prices while investment figures are undiscounted. Consequently this per cent contribution figure will be lower.
- ^ Excludes China and India. However, the exclusion is based on a high-level estimate of their representation in the total portfolio, as estimated by ITU in Connecting Humanity, 2020 (see Annex B, p.25). This has been extrapolated as a direct per cent reduction across all investment components, including device access, which was not included in ITU’s analysis. It does not account for the unique internet access challenges in these countries (see Callout Box The G20) and, consequently, further analysis is required. Note of comparison: if China and India were included, DACC contributions to close the digital divide would be 0.03 per cent of GNI.
- ^ This includes the ITU’s estimate of $428 billion USD to cover 4G or equivalent infrastructure expansion, affordability of data, and digital skills and content, and TBI’s estimate of $18 billion USD to address device affordability. See Annex A for breakdown of device affordability.
- ^ The speed you will get from mobile broadband is dependent on many other factors, including how far you are from a mobile phone mast and how strong the signal is.