Digital tools and connectivity have accelerated trade. During the pandemic, many businesses were quick to adopt digital technologies to boost productive capacity. It is estimated that the pandemic has seen a jump in the adoption of digital technology by three years. Digital tools and connectivity have accelerated trade. During the pandemic, many businesses were quick to adopt digital technologies to boost productive capacity.
We need connected enterprises that can digitize, thrive and generate jobs, tax revenues, and contribute to tackling climate change. There is significant untapped connectivity potential among Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. Worldwide, these MSMEs account for 9/10 businesses, ½ of global GDP and about 2/3 of jobs.
Broadband extension, quality and adequate services are urgent as they represent the backbone of economic, social and territorial cohesion. Even in countries that enjoy a wide digital connectivity network, rural connectivity is still an issue. Globally, 72% of households in urban areas had access to Internet at home in 2019, almost twice as much as in rural areas. Spain ranks third for digital connectivity in Europe.
Rural and urban areas are often viewed as contrasting areas with a greater level of poverty in urban areas. This impression has led to differences in policy direction across Africa and therefore become a self-fulfilling prophecy which has kept the rural community poorer than the urban one. The conventional model for providing connectivity, the basic enabler needed to break the digital divide, has not been in favor of the rural area.
Space based solutions are bringing connectivity services to more people in more places and satellite network operators like Intelstat intend to play a larger role. With the right mix of partnership, investment, innovation and services, the private and public sectors can work together to quickly develop and implement flexible, cost effective and even profitable solutions to close the global connectivity gap.
85% of the 4B people that do not use the mobile internet live in an area that is covered by mobile broadband, and they are disproportionately poorer, female and rural. The mobile industry is leading efforts to tackle the barriers with: mobile digital skills programs, affordable handsets and data services, and investments in local content and services.