MWC 2016 LIVE: Zuckerberg warns mobile industry not to ignore the unconnected

Mark Zuckerberg Mobile World Congress 2016

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, warned Congress delegates not to overlook the task of connecting some four billion people that still don’t have access to the web.

Under questioning, he expressed “disappointment” that the 5G industry focus was on connecting things rather than the unconnected, and that there was a danger of just providing “faster connections” for rich people.

If that trend continued, argued Zuckerberg, there was a likelihood of making only a small dent in the unconnected number when Congress meets in 2020. “We need to finish the job of internet access,” he said.

Internet.org, a Facebook initiative launched three years ago to connect the world’s population, has made significant progress, insisted Zuckerberg, despite a major setback in India where the Free Basics service was banned.

Free Basics offers users free access to a certain range of data services – including the social network – but not the full internet. Much to the delight of ardent net neutrality supporters, who felt Free Basics and its use of zero rating unfairly manipulated internet usage, India’s authorities ruled against it.

Zuckerberg, however, gave no sign of wanting to change the Free Basics model. “Every country is different,” he said pragmatically, pointing out that Free Basics was still available in 38 countries and that it was responsible for attracting 19 million more people to the internet who didn’t have access before.

“I can’t think of any other project that has had such a big impact,” said the Facebook CEO.

He also claimed that 50 per cent of Free Basics users, after using the service for a month, opted for a paid data package from operators.

Aside from Free Basics, Zuckerberg emphasised other aspects of Internet.org, plus his desire to cooperate with operators and other ecosystem players to work together to lower infrastructure costs for expanding internet access into difficult-to-reach places. This, he suggested, might feed into lower data prices for consumers.

Zuckerberg expects to ramp up tests of solar-powered drones, equipped with laser technology to provide internet access, starting later this year, and that he would be in talks with operators about ways to deploy them.

The Facebook CEO also flagged Telecom Infra Project, a newly-launched engineering-focused initiative from Facebook designed to bring together operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other tech companies to develop new approaches to infrastructure.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Europe on the Move: Commission completes its agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility

90% of fish stocks are used up – fisheries subsidies must stop

Everyone has ‘a moral imperative’ to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities, says UN chief

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

EU Parliament and Council: Close to agreement on the bank resolution mechanism

Brexit negotiations: back to square one, tougher words, no good faith

EU unfolds strategy on the Egypt question

“If the job market doesn’t exist, then even the most brilliant Youth Guarantee cannot ensure a job to these young people”, European Youth Forum Secretary General Giuseppe Porcaro on another Sting Exclusive

The importance of pre-departure training for a better understanding of global health issues

Beware the fragility of the global economy

New skills agenda for Europe needs real investment

More solidarity and interaction between generations needed to challenge age stereotypes and ingrained ageism

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Mood changes in Europe in favour of growth and jobs

8000 young people in the EP in Strasbourg: “a breath of fresh air for EU democracy”

EU Commission draws the wrong conclusions

The UK to split if May’s hard or no-deal Brexit is pursued

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

Why EU’s working and unemployed millions remain uncertain or even desperate about their future

The financial sector cripples Eurozone growth prospects

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

Switzerland to introduce strict restrictions on executive pay

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty an ‘essential pillar’ of international peace, says UN chief

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

“Is Europe innovative? Oh, Yes we are very innovative!”, Director General of the European Commission Mr Robert-Jan Smits on another Sting Exclusive

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

On the detention of children in the United States of America

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

Eurozone: Sovereign debt decreases for the first time since 2007

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Argentina Accepts KP Amendment

A reflection of health inequity in recent epidemics

Intel @ European Business Summit 2014: Better decisions now, the new business dashboard 

MEPs to vote on overhaul of road transport rules in July

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

Q&A on the 19th China-EU Summit to be held on 01-02 June 2017 in Brussels

Hollande decisively rebuffs Merkel’s and Rehn’s austerity policies

EU and Japan agree on free-trade deal and fill the post-TPP void

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

Climate change update: will the UN member states regain momentum despite the little progress at COP23?

Global health challenges require global medical students

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

Youth employment crisis easing but far from over

“A divided Europe is not in China’s interests”, Ambassador Zhang of the Chinese Mission to EU welcomes Brussels

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

ZTE @ MWC14: ZTE excels in all areas at this year’s Mobile World Congress

The gender gap of medicine in 2018

The IMF overstates the risks for Eurozone and downgrades the threats for the US economy

Conflicting statistics and bad banks haunt the Eurozone

Utmost hypocrisy emitted by EU’s energy regulation

How secure is blockchain?

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

Eurasian Union begins: the giant modelled on the EU is Moscow’s biggest challenge

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s