5G could widen the gap between haves and have-nots

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For all the hype and potential benefits that stem from 5G, there are few parts of the world that will actually see deployments in the next few years. Other countries are still moving to 4G, or even struggling to offer any level of internet connectivity. The Alliance for Affordable Internet's (A4AI) 2017 affordability report found that only 19 countries can say they have affordable internet. Overall, the digital divide between rich and poor was found only to be widening. A new set of advantages for the connected only look set to leave the unconnected even further behind. "5G has great potential," said Sonia Jorge, executive director of A4AI. "It is fantastic. But in the markets where we work, it's a very small opportunity still." The focus of 5G carriers isn't on the unconnected but rather on bringing better and more sophisticated services and products to those already connected. While Jorge sees the potential for 5G costs to come down, there's still a long way to go. After all, the price of a 5G device and service has to realistically be cheaper than 3G for anyone to use the service. "The possibilities of great exclusion are very real and we're already seeing them," she said.


5G could widen the gap between haves and have-nots