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Posted by Clement Teo on May 7, 2014
“The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.” This popular quote hit home at the Global Mobile Internet Conference panel on meeting the challenge of global connectivity that I moderated this week. Internet.org is a global partnership between technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities, and experts who are working together to bring the Internet to the two-thirds of the world’s population that don’t have it. Founding partners include Facebook, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Nokia (now Microsoft Mobile), and Opera.
What it means
The potential of bringing unconnected users to the mobile Internet is clear. A Deloitte report claimed that expanding access to the 4 billion people who live in developing countries would increase productivity in those areas by as much as 25%, boost GDPs by US$2.2 trillion and increase GDP growth by 72%, add more than 140 million new jobs, and lift 160 million people out of extreme poverty. Your choices in this mobility-, data-, and multiplatform-driven space will determine how successful you will be at reaching currently unconnected users and thus significantly influence your future growth.