Mobile phone organization wants to lower the price of the internet together with tech companies

The GSM Association, the umbrella organization for the global telecom industry, has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet. The mobile phone organization will work together with large tech companies to bring the price of internet down, especially in developing countries.

The entry of the GSMA means that the Alliance for Affordable Internet or A4AI can make its voice heard more clearly among the governments of developing countries. The GSM Association consists of more than 800 mobile operators and 200 other telecom companies from 220 countries. The GSMA says it will use its influence together with the A4AI to tackle obstacles to the accessibility and affordability of internet access worldwide. “There is an urgent need for affordable smartphones and rapid roll-out of wireless broadband infrastructure in rural areas,” the GSMA said.

Mobile broadband takes a monthly bite of 20 percent or more from the income of people who live on less than 1.5 euros a day, the A4AI calculated, with this percentage in countries such as Colombia and Zambia rising to 48 and 35 percent respectively.

The A4AI has more than fifty members, including major tech companies such as Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel, the Internet Society and Microsoft. The alliance was founded in October 2013 and aims to reduce the costs of internet access in developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America. The alliance is trying to do this by lobbying governments in those countries for policy changes.