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5G Technology is Key to Closing the Digital Divide: Qualcomm Report

See media release on Qualcomm newsroom.

SAN DIEGO, CA – Dec. 14, 2022 – As it continues to play a major role in the world’s digital transformation, 5G technology also holds the potential to close the digital divide, ushering in a more connected and intelligent tomorrow, Qualcomm Incorporated said today in a new white paper. The report – “5G and the Digital Divide” – calls for making the closing of the digital divide a top policy priority and explains how, although the divide has been narrowed, it still persists around the world. Getting all stakeholders aligned on unleashing the full potential of 5G technology is key to intelligently connecting everything everywhere, the report states.

“Qualcomm® 5G technology has the potential to close the digital divide and create transformational change, particularly for disadvantaged and underserved populations,” said Kirti Gupta, Vice President, Technology & Economic Strategy, Qualcomm Incorporated. “As a leader in advanced 5G solutions, it is our responsibility to ensure the world understands the importance and potential of this technology. With everyone pulling in the same direction, the world will benefit greatly from the widespread implementation of 5G mobile and FWA technology.”

The digital divide refers to inequalities in access to and use of high-speed internet and other digital technologies. The digital divide is the new face of inequality, and 37% of the world’s population still remains offline (Source: Measuring Digital Development – Facts and Figures 2021, International Telecommunication Union). The three principal factors behind the digital divide are:

  • The lack of internet connectivity where people live, work, or learn,
  • The lack of affordability, and
  • The lack of digital skills to navigate the connected world.

5G technology, including mobile and fixed broadband solutions, can alleviate these issues. 5G is paving the way to faster mobile broadband speeds and more reliable connections, benefiting those in less developed economies with limited fixed infrastructure, where mobile is the main source of connectivity and plays a key role in economic growth. 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), or 5G home internet service, has become an alternative to fiber for fixed broadband, because it is a highly affordable solution for households and businesses due to lower deployment costs and increased market competition.

5G FWA will close the digital divide by reducing costs and improving coverage, capacity, and speed. According to the report, if 5G FWA is fully deployed by 2032, global GDP will increase by $3.3 trillion, with middle- and low-income economies seeing their GDP per capita increase by 5% or more. This will provide 850 million people with access to high-speed internet at home for the first time.
Other benefits of using 5G mobile and FWA technology to close the digital divide include:

  • Expanding education access and outcomes,
  • Improving efficiency and reach of public services and policies,
  • Expanding access to health care services and information,
  • Improving financial inclusion and reducing financial transaction costs, and
  • Generating environmental benefits, such as accelerating the deployment of smart energy devices in rural areas.

Read the white paper and learn more about how Qualcomm and 5G technology working to close the digital divide here.

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm is enabling a world where everyone and everything can be intelligently connected. Our one technology roadmap allows us to efficiently scale the technologies that launched the mobile revolution – including advanced connectivity, high-performance, low-power compute, on-device intelligence and more – to the next generation of connected smart devices across industries. Innovations from Qualcomm and our family of Snapdragon platforms will help enable cloud-edge convergence, transform industries, accelerate the digital economy, and revolutionize how we experience the world, for the greater good.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including our QCT semiconductor business.

Qualcomm is a trademark or registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm branded products are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Qualcomm patented technologies are licensed by Qualcomm Incorporated.

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