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Scaling business and programs in emerging markets

New Research Report Identifies Women as a Significant Untapped Segment for Mobile Broadband Opportunities


Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, Vital Wave Inc. and the GSMA's Mobile for Development mWomen Programme today announced the launch of a research report entitled "Transforming Women's Livelihoods Through Mobile Broadband," which evaluates an untapped opportunity for the mobile industry to convert approximately 800 million women to smartphone ownership and mobile broadband usage.

The report centers on the unprecedented opportunities that mobile broadband can provide to women across all socioeconomic classes, with a focus on women in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria. Key findings from the report include:

  • The vast majority (80%) of working women in the study used their mobile phone for their jobs and considered them an important tool for their work lives.
  • Three-quarters of smartphone users interviewed for this study said that they could not go back to using a phone without mobile broadband.
  • For those women without a smartphone, two-thirds said they have some interest in owning a smartphone with mobile broadband, and would be willing to pay for a mobile data plan.
  • Limited awareness of the value of the Internet is a perceived barrier for smartphone uptake by women who participated in the study.

The report outlines three specific goals as a way to accelerate mobile broadband adoption which includes expanding Internet use to show the value of broadband connectivity and customizing messaging and offerings to user segments of working women in the developing world.

Individuals and companies working within the mobile ecosystem have the opportunity to take steps on their own, while also working with other industry players, government institutions and non-governmental organizations, to increase awareness of the benefits of mobile broadband access among this untapped segment. The global trend toward smartphones and mobile broadband increases job opportunities, professional growth and entrepreneurship potential for the 800 million women around the world. This helps these women to become empowered and independent, and brings a positive impact to their communities.

To view the full research report, please visit:

Vital Wave, Inc. engages multinational corporations and development organizations to scale business and programs in diverse global markets. The firm is a leading provider of professional services at the intersection of business, development, and technology. Vital Wave draws on proven analytical methods and decades of field experience in low- and middle-income countries to achieve sustained impact and growth for its clients at the global, regional, and local levels.

To find out more about the work Qualcomm and its project collaborators are doing, please visit

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