A4AI report: Expensive mobile devices keep billions of people offline

According to a new report published by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), billions of people are denied meaningful access to the Internet because mobile devices which have become an essential first step for getting online are too expensive. A4AI reached this conclusion by looking at affordability of mobile devices in 70 low and middle-income countries. According to the report, 2.5 billion of people live in countries where the cost of the cheapest available smartphone is a quarter or more of the average monthly income. 

For instance, in Sierra Leone, the average person needs to save six month’s salary to buy the cheapest smartphone available. In India, the price of the cheapest smartphone from the leading operator Jio constitutes 206% of the average monthly income. To think that this is the situation in a country with some of the lowest priced Internet data in the world, proves the conclusion of the research that high cost of mobile devices poses a major barrier to access.