Internet access is considered to be a key enabler of human rights and governments around the world are committed to provide universal and affordable Internet access by 2030. There are over 1,000 mobile operators across the world that have invested trillions of dollars into network infrastructure. Large tech companies have been investing billions in attempting to reach the unconnected through the use of a number of new technological approaches. However, in 2021, nearly half of the population of the world is still not connected to the Internet according to United Nations estimates.
In 2021, nearly half of the population of the world is still not connected to the Internet according to United Nations
This lack of connectivity is not simply a matter of being unable to make phone calls or send messages. In the modern world, where there is a rapid shift to move the majority of services online, this digital divide is causing a lack of access to basic services such as education, healthcare and commerce.
The technology to deliver wireless Internet access using 3G has been available for 20 years since its commercial launch in 2001, however, the current approach of mobile operators has meant that they have been unable to bridge the digital divide. Large tech companies have also been unable to solve the problem and, most recently, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has shut down its Loon project due to it being commercially unviable. World Mobile propose a solution to this problem by addressing key issues in the current business models of existing network operators. Existing network operators are only expected to reduce their 60% operational costs at a CAGR of just -0.21% between 2019 and
2026. World Mobile solution is to provide affordable connectivity in rural communities that is sustainable both in terms of economics and also in terms of energy consumption.
The World Mobile project addresses both of these issues, firstly, the energy consumption of current operators constitutes between 20 – 40% of network operating costs and the World Mobile project provide a lower power-intensive architecture combined with a solar and battery solution to significantly reduce these costs. Secondly, they introduce the concept of a sharing economy, which not only has the benefit of reducing operational costs such as maintenance, security and leasing costs, but also creates a self-sustaining model, as node operators become incentivised in the growth and expansion of the network and its services.
In their aim to increase efficiency of the communications network, they have identified that the use of smart contracts is an important part of the strategy. There have been a number of studies into the use and benefits of smart contracts in telecommunications and it is our intention to demonstrate their potential in our solution. It can be quite a challenge for legacy telecommunications operators to incorporate blockchain and smart contracts into their business as it fundamentally disrupts their decades old business models which operate on a centralised infrastructure.
- References: World Mobile white paper