Right now 90% of the world’s population has mobile broadband coverage. However, the ITU (the UN agency specialized in telecommunications) recalls that this data does not mean that all people have access to technology on equal terms, which continues to be a brake on the social and economic development of the planet.
Technology has already become the basis of any type of activity and, therefore, a key factor for the advancement of humanity. Each of the Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations in 2015, with three basic objectives such as eradicating poverty, combating inequality and solving climate change, have a common accelerator in technology.
Thus, technology has made possible access to new digital financial services, which allow many people to take part in economic activity. It also facilitates access to information, health services, education, business and employment opportunities for women, improves the management of energy and natural resources …
Technology has made possible access to new digital financial services, which allow many people to be part of economic activity
A good example of the progress promoted by the telecommunications sector is mobile banking on the African continent, where more than a decade ago Vodafone began offering digital banking services, later being followed by Orange with its own approach. Today, these types of mobile services allow residents to send and receive money among themselves, make commercial payments, access credit, benefit from public subsidies and health-related services. All this in a vast continent that lacks a network of offices like the ones we know in Europe.
In addition to the above, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report, the application of the most innovative technologies could also help reduce greenhouse gases by up to 15% in 2030, which would eliminate the current carbon footprint of the European Union and the United States.
Barriers that limit the advancement of ICT
Companies in the ICT sector have invested heavily in R & D & i to democratize technology, making the most advanced trends available to a large part of the population, both in price and ease of use. No one can doubt that the most positive part of globalization, in which all people have access to the same information and the same resources to train, communicate, do business or take care of their health and their environment, is now possible thanks to the advancement that technology has experienced in the last twenty years, making possible unprecedented social and economic progress. However, despite this technological availability, all is not yet done. A large part of the world’s population, hospitals or schools still do not have access to these tools,
For these advances to materialize and begin to bear concrete results, it is necessary to have the support, mainly, of governments, but also of regulators, multisectoral associations, standardization bodies, companies, investors and universities and NGOs, in order to overcome some barriers that slow your progress, such as:
· Restrictive laws that do not promote the use, development and implementation of technologies and applications at the infrastructure, commercial and end-user level.
· Lack of public-private collaboration policies aimed at stimulating innovation and business growth.
· Interoperability of technologies, which is solved through the development and promotion of standards, which also offer protection against different risks.
· Lack of investment in physical infrastructures prepared for the use of these new technologies. The availability of mobile broadband is useless if schools, hospitals, organizations or companies are not connected.
· Lack of support plans for start-ups capable of developing applications focused on local needs.
· Lack of training plans on technology aimed at both users and professionals with the aim that they can take full advantage of the available solutions.
Many and very varied are the centers of power that have influence when it comes to promoting the process of social transformation through the adoption of new technologies, but without an adequate legislative framework that includes financial and fiscal support measures, which expedite the spectrum allocation, which facilitates the installation of the necessary physical infrastructures and encourages the activity of service providers and application developers, neither companies, nor organizations, nor people will be able to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits offered by the new technologies.
On the other hand, the implementation of the Recovery Plan recently approved by the European Union represents an excellent opportunity to tackle the multiple challenges related to sustainable development. It is about 1.8 trillion euros dedicated, to a large extent, to research, innovation, climate and digital transition, protection of biodiversity and gender equality.
Technology has a transformative power, which places it at the center of all the Sustainable Development Goals published by the UN, as well as those included in the Recovery Plan for Europe. For all of them, technology has an answer. By promoting its implementation, the progress of the world is promoted and the improvement in the living conditions of the population. For this reason, it should stop being considered as another commercial good to become a fundamental right of people.