In an exciting move, World Mobile has successfully introduced its first aerostat in Mozambique. This development marks a significant stride towards bridging the digital divide and expanding mobile connectivity in this southeast African nation.
Mozambique's 2022 internet usage statistics are a stark reminder of the digital gap that persists in developing nations. With a mere 23 percent of the population having access to the internet, and a staggering 62 percent residing in rural areas, the challenges are evident. The lack of connectivity has far-reaching consequences, affecting access to essential services like healthcare and education, as well as economic opportunities. The World Bank reports that nearly three-quarters of the unconnected population can't afford internet services or the necessary devices, such as smartphones or computers.
World Mobile's entry into Mozambique represents a pivotal step in addressing this digital inequity. Their approach aims to create a mobile network that is not only accessible but also affordable and sustainable. The launch event, which took place near the rural village of Massinger, marked the beginning of several weeks of flight operations. These operations are pivotal in collecting data through specialized radio payloads.
This data will serve as the foundation for World Mobile's deployment of additional commercial aerostats, not only in Mozambique but also across Africa and other underserved regions globally. A staggering 3.6 billion people, roughly half of the world's population, still do not use mobile internet, with approximately 400 million of them residing in areas with no mobile network coverage. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to half of the 5% of the world's population lacking mobile internet access.
World Mobile's aerostats are deployed at an altitude of around 300 meters, tethered to the ground. These aerial marvels provide last-mile connectivity via custom radio payloads. Essentially, World Mobile customers can connect directly to the payload using internet-connected devices, much like connecting to a traditional cell tower. These aerostats offer standard cellular connectivity, covering a radius of up to 130 kilometers, effectively overcoming the typical obstacles of terrain, infrastructure, and cost that often hinder mobile network expansion.
What sets World Mobile apart is its blockchain foundation. This unique approach offers unparalleled transparency, efficiency, and security compared to traditional mobile network operators. Beyond this, World Mobile's implementation of blockchain technology fosters a distributed sharing economy, opening doors for individuals and business owners worldwide to operate nodes on the network. In doing so, they bring their communities online and earn revenue, truly democratizing the world of telecommunications.
"We are delighted to announce the launch of our first commercial aerostat in Mozambique, a landmark achievement for World Mobile, for Africa and the rest of the world. Our vision is to connect everyone, everywhere while advocating for economic freedom and dignity. With our aerostats, we can profitably bring internet access to millions of people who have been left behind by the digital divide. "
— Micky Watkins, World Mobile, Chief Executive Officer
Gregory Gottlieb, World Mobile's Head of Aerial Platforms, highlighted the scalability, reliability, and adaptability of their aerostats to different environments and use cases. He believes these innovations have the potential to transform the telecom industry in Africa and beyond.
World Mobile's initiative is receiving support and recognition, with Alex Sinclair, the Chief Technology Officer of GSMA, praising the effort. He emphasized the importance of industry collaboration and innovative technologies, like those introduced by World Mobile, in closing the digital divide and enhancing the lives of millions through connectivity.
In a world striving for digital inclusion, World Mobile's aerostat launch in Mozambique represents a significant step towards realizing this goal, bringing connectivity to those who need