The GSMA, a telecom industry group, declared on Wednesday the formation of a global alliance involving companies, organizations, and financial institutions. This coalition aims to enhance the accessibility and affordability of smartphones for the world's most impoverished communities.

The alliance will include mobile operators, vendors, and prominent global entities like the World Bank Group, the ITU (a United Nations agency), and the WEF Edison Alliance, as stated by the GSMA in a recent announcement. The group will explore methods to reduce the initial costs of entering the digital economy for low-income groups, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The GSMA highlighted that handset affordability is frequently cited as the primary obstacle preventing individuals from accessing the internet. Mobile connectivity is often the sole means for people in low and middle-income countries to access the internet, yet 38% of the global population resides in areas where mobile internet is inaccessible due to high costs and skill deficiencies.

The coalition intends to work together to boost access to affordable internet-enabled devices, aiming to bridge the 'Usage Gap'. This gap currently impedes approximately three billion people worldwide from fully realizing their potential in the global digital economy.