Ammbr and The Connectivity Dividend
It may sound surprising to many but a lot of people worldwide are still not connected or are not connected well. I was up at 5 am in my hotel room in Dubai, looking through some numbers. I looked at “The State of Broadband 2017” published by ITU and Unesco and kindly made available by The EconomicTimes(https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/etanalytics/reports/3g-4g/the-state-of-broadband-broadband-catalyzing-sustainable-development/). Also referred to were two other excellent data sources-ICT Facts and Figures 2017(https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/facts/default.aspx) from the International Telecom Union and the Speedtest Global Index published in Forbes Magazine(“Speedtest Ranks Internet Access Speed In More Than 100 Countries” by Kevin Murane, August 14, 2017, Forbes.com). There are 660 Million people without Internet access in India alone. The penetration of mobile internet as a percentage of the mobile subscriber base is below 20% in South Asia. This is potentially a very big market. But are there not a lot of other players here already? The answer is there are other players who provide telecom and WiFi capabilities but not what Ammbr does. Ammbr is made up of a physical network of nodes. It provides access to high quality mesh-based Internet connectivity on demand via a distributed and open marketplace. End user gains access through a mobile app where he/she can load tokens. Self-sovereign digital identity is used for people who do not know one another, to transact in confidence. At many levels, then, this is a game changer.
Well over three decades since the inception of mobile communications and close to ten years of smartphone penetration, connectivity remains elusive for many and sub-optimal for many more. For example, despite considerable growth for over seven years, active mobile broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants in APAC, Africa and Arabia lag behind Europe and America by quite a bit(for instance, 26 for Africa and 52.2 for Asia Pacific versus 85.2 for Europe). Then there is the quality of internet connectivity. The Speedtest Global Index for mobile broadband puts India at 111, Ghana at 110, Indonesia at 102 and Philippines at 94. Clearly there is considerable room for improvement.
Looking at it from another perspective, it is an exciting opportunity. For many, the ability to get “good class” and affordable mobile Internet connectivity itself may suffice and would be a considerable achievement for the market. But we can look further. In the developing world, content, payments and logistics are arguably big drivers of business. An Ammbr node in every neighbourhood will enable online and offline trading clusters to emerge. Businesses such as trucking and transport require always-on connectivity. Independent and regional content players crave a market sans intermediaries. Ammbr is architecting the connectivity dividend. This is the beginning.