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Ooredoo was recognized for its commitment to reduce digital inequality in the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s ‘The State of Broadband 2017: Broadband Catalyzing Sustainable Development’ report. Ooredoo’s commitment to reduce digital inequality stems from its core mission to make the internet accessible and enjoyable for everyone, the company said in a release.

According to the report, while 48 percent of the global population is now online, some 3.9 billion people still do not have internet access, with the digital gap growing between developed and developing countries. In addition, only 76 percent of the world’s population lives within access of a 3G signal, and only 43 percent of people within access of a 4G connection.

“The report shines a crucial light on the ongoing global challenge to help people across the world access the life-changing benefits of internet access,” said Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani, Group CEO at Ooredoo.

“At Ooredoo, we continue to invest in mobile technology, people and resources that enable our communities – in particular underserved women and youth – to enjoy the internet and use it as a means to improve their lives and achieve their full potential,” he added.

“As we deploy the power of digital technology to give people access to the services and support they need, we urge governments, operators and regulators to continue working closely together to address the deepening digital inequality in global connectivity.”

Ooredoo’s commitment to digital equality is highlighted in the report with several examples of the Qatar-based operator’s efforts to harness broadband for sustainable development.

The examples include Ooredoo Myanmar’s mAgri app Site Phyo, an app that provides farmers with localized weather information and best practices for growing and maintaining specific crops;  and Ooredoo Maldives Smart Campus, an end-to-end solution for distance education offered in partnership with Microsoft, which enables educators to maintain their curriculums online.

The report also highlights Indosat Ooredoo’s Indonesia Belajar, a digital education program that aims to use technology to help make education more available and accessible for children across Indonesia.

Delivery of this commitment rests on Ooredoo maintaining cutting-edge mobile technology across its global footprint, in both developed and developing markets. As such, Ooredoo has continued to invest in 5G-ready networks and in 2016, completed network modernization programs across all of the 10 countries it operates in. 

Issued annually, ‘The State of Broadband’ report is a unique global snapshot of broadband network access and affordability, with country-by-country data measuring broadband access against key advocacy targets set by the Commission in 2011.

The report also examines global trends in broadband connectivity and technologies, reflects on policy and regulatory developments, as well as the applications of broadband for sustainable development. It also presents several policy recommendations.