The analysis performed in this study was performed using Crowd SiteIntel. Click here to request a demo.
According to the ITU, there are 2.9 Billion unconnected or under-connected people across the world. At M2Catalyst, our aim is to identify exactly where they are in urban, rural, and remote areas.
Access to mobile broadband is viewed by governments, the telecom industry, corporations, educational entities, and citizens alike as critical for the progress of humanity. Can children excel academically without adequate access to mobile broadband? Can adults work remotely and maintain their jobs without it? Can citizens take advantage of the many health services that are offered via the web without it? The answer in each case is a resounding “No, they cannot.” Hence, the necessity (and urgency) to bridge the digital divide.
In the previous M2Catalyst Digital Divide Studies, we analyzed the rural and agricultural regions of the world and identified tens of millions of locations (down to 1 square KM areas) where people are unconnected or under-connected. In this new Urban Digital Divide study, we will focus on city centers around the world where disadvantaged citizens have either no access or very limited access to mobile broadband.
The Urban Digital Divide: 2 Major Brazilian Cities
The M2Catalyst Urban Digital Divide Global Study begins with the analysis of areas within 2 major cities in Brazil. The first is in Sao Paolo; comparing Heliopolis and South Central. The second area in this study concludes with the analysis of two areas in the Rio De Janeiro metropolitan area; comparing Rocinha and Leblon. We analyzed the mobile network performance in disadvantaged neighborhoods versus the wealthier areas in each city. Focusing solely on 4G and 5G signal strength, we found in each of these areas, as demonstrated in the screenshots below, a great disparity between the Quality of Service for the economic haves (3, 4 or 5 bars) and the economic have-nots (one bar or no service).
Sao Paolo, Brazil
The Heliopolis chart and map indicate a high need for network
improvements while South Central shows a low need for them.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The Rocinha chart and map indicate a high need for network
improvements while Leblon shows a low need for them.
Thus, even though mobile network operators have invested enormous amounts of money and have done an admirable job in rolling out 4G and 5G, much work still needs to be done to achieve Quality of Service parity between the rich and poor within Brazil's urban environments.
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