Only 44% Of Nigerians Have Access To Smartphones –Report

TECHDIGEST – Only about forty four per cent of Nigerians have access to smartphones, according to a new report by Alliance for Affordable Internet.

The report also disclosed that 58.2 per cent of Nigerians living in urban areas have smartphones while only 29.5 per cent of those living in rural areas have.

The organisation disclosed this in its report titled, ‘Meaningful Connectivity for Rural Communities: Geographic Barriers and Policy Strategies for Digital Inclusion.’

The organisation says meaningful connectivity is when someone has 4G-like speeds on a smartphone with daily use of an unlimited access point in place like their homes, work, or a place of study. According to the body, 81 per cent of Nigerians do not have meaningful connectivity.

It said, “To define and measure meaningful connectivity, A4AI uses four different indicators that relate to the quality and functionality of an internet connection: a 4G connection; ownership of a smartphone ownership; an unlimited broadband connection at home, work or place of study; and daily use.”

The organisation disclosed that only 10 per cent of the total population of the countries it surveyed were meaningfully connected to the Internet. It said the number rises to 14 per cent in urban areas and falls to a five per cent in rural areas.

The countries surveyed included Colombia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa.

It said among the nine countries surveyed, only about 34 per cent of the population reported having an unlimited broadband connection, which goes down to 27 per cent in rural areas.

It added that unlimited connection at home, work, or place of study is needed in these areas as a majority of people living in them do have enough data to study, work or access healthcare online.

A4AI stated, “Across the nine countries surveyed, rural areas lag behind their urban counterparts in terms of internet connectivity.

“On average, people in urban areas are twice as likely to be connected to the Internet compared to people in rural areas and the urban-rural gap for Internet use is 70 per cent. However, in terms of meaningful connectivity, urban areas have levels of meaningful connectivity that are over three times greater when compared to rural areas and the meaningful connectivity geography gap reaches 110 per cent.

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“The gaps in Internet connectivity underestimate the degree to which rural areas lag behind urban ones in the quality of the access they have. The clear trend of deeper meaningful connectivity gaps between urban and rural areas in all countries illustrates the urgency for action not just to connect rural and remote populations to the internet but to ensure this connectivity has the essential technical capabilities to be meaningful for people living in these areas.”

It added that Internet access has had a transformative effect on humanity with millions coming online for the first in the past two years.

It said Internet use is now at its highest point in history and this experience is highlighting the digital inequities that persist in access across the world.

According to the report, only one in 10 people have meaningful connectivity across the nine countries it surveyed. It said that in urban areas, this increases to one in seven, and one in 20 in rural areas.

It said the reach and quality of Internet access in the world was a consequence of the broadband policies in place and with vast populations underserved or unserved, many countries offer underwhelming results in setting rural targets within their national broadband plans and rural inclusive broadband policies.

It added that greater connectivity can help governments across the world to accelerate the achievement of their goals in education, health, governance, and economic development.

Source: Punchng.com

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