Digitisation offers people a whole world of possibilities. That's why Telefónica has set out to expand our telecommunication infrastructures and develop innovative solutions that let us to bring connectivity and digital services closer to everyone.
This digital inclusion must take place regardless of location, digital literacy, economic status or user capabilities.
Promoting Universal Access
At Telefónica we are working in these areas to promote connectivity and make sure no one gets left behind:
It is estimated that half of the population —some 3.8 billion people— are not connected to the Internet.
Connectivity is our main ally in reducing the digital divide and contributing to the progress of the communities where we are located. To further this vision, at Telefónica we are deploying innovative, more efficient networks, investing more than €8.1 billion per year.
The effort made to expand 4G networks, with coverage exceeding 76% of our footprint, along with the marketing of smart phones, the growth in mobile data usage, and the deployment of fibre to 82.7 million properties and households, has made it possible for countless individuals and companies to benefit from the digital society.
In addition, we are making a special effort to connect people who still do not enjoy Internet access, or whose connectivity is very limited, in isolated and hard-to-reach regions. Thanks to our "Internet for All" project we have already connected 3,000 communities in remote areas of Peru, benefiting some 600,000 people.
We are working towards reinventing the way networks are designed, deployed, operated, maintained and marketed to continue extending our mobile Internet coverage. And we do it through an open approach, collaborating with cross-sectoral stakeholders: Internet companies, local operators, entrepreneurs and public administrations.
At Telefónica we try to minimise the barriers to accessibility in digital solutions: we are working to facilitate access to our basic services (television, devices, applications and web portals) for people with disabilities.
In recent years, we have launched several programmes that have made us an international benchmark in the sector. Thus, Movistar+ is the first private television in the world to offer content for the hearing and visually impaired through 3 accessibility systems:
- Sign language embedded in the scene.
- Subtitles for the deaf: distinguishes the dialogue by colour and subtitles the sound effects.
- Audio description: provides a narrative description of the scenes, respecting the dialogue and the original soundtrack.
As part of our efforts to bring connectivity to the entire population, we are aware of the importance that the cost of the service has for a large part of the population.
Although the costs of adopting fixed broadband, and especially mobile broadband, have fallen significantly over the last decade, we continue to work on new business models that allow us to offer increasingly affordable rates. Examples include pay-per-use mobile service, exclusive broadband bundles (charge per day) for low-income customers, and service bundles for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
At our Foundation and Telefónica Digital Education, we work on training people in digital skills and competences needed to access the Internet and digital services and increase their chances of getting a job.
In addition, initiatives such as GURU and Client Schools are making it easier for our customers to access digital experiences and helping them to take full advantage of the possibilities of technology.
Relevant services and content
At Telefónica we develop mobile financial services, health solutions (e-health), Big Data applications to assess pollution in cities or manage epidemics, and Smart-Agriculture applications that contribute to the socio-economic development of local communities.
Digital inclusion has a direct impact on communities, allowing them to build fairer, more prosperous and sustainable societies