Wireless Connectivity Provides On-ramp
Why wireless connectivity creates opportunity
By Clint Odom
Two years into the pandemic, Latino communities are being continually challenged by the lingering effects of COVID-19. Between higher mortality rates, increased job losses, and greater disruptions to education and academic achievement, too many people are finding themselves on the wrong side of various social and economic divides. There is a bright spot, however, when it comes to digital engagement, not just with respect to closing the digital divide, but also in the ways that adoption and use of wireless technologies can help bridge some of the social and economic realities many Latinos face.
A recent study by Abitron Inc., The Nielsen Co., and Scarborough Research found that Latinos have generally adopted smartphones at a rate that outpaces the overall American population. While the Pew Research Center has found that roughly 65% of Latino adults currently have a home broadband connection, 85% are smartphone users and another 53% have a tablet computer or similar wireless device at their ready disposal.
The early and consistent adoption by Latinos of wireless technologies presents a huge opportunity for increased connectivity – making the kinds of connections that people need to succeed and thrive in our current environment. The pandemic has forever reshaped our landscape, with people increasingly turning to online sources to enhance their educations, explore new job opportunities or pursue entrepreneurship, and to take part in various programs and get access to services that can improve their health and wellness. With wireless technologies provided a preferred mode of access, many Latinos have readily accessible opportunities to positively change their lives, right at their fingertips.
For its part, T-Mobile is working hard to provide even more beneficial wireless access points for people. Now that the federal government has transitioned its Emergency Broadband Benefit into a more permanent Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP), T-Mobile is the nation’s largest provider of cost-effective wireless services. T-Mobile participates in ACP through its subsidiaries Assurance Wireless and Metro by T-Mobile, and currently has 1,634,477 people enrolled in this program – that’s 15.1% of the program’s 10,820,057 total enrollments and 24.4% of wireless enrollments.
People who participate in the company’s ACP offering, receive free unlimited high-speed data, minutes, texts, and free 10GB mobile hotspot data (up to 4G LTE speeds) along with a free android smartphone. People interested in learning more about this program or receiving its benefits should visit Assurance Wireless today.
Similarly, T-Mobile is also rolling out a new 5G wireless home internet product that will help further bridge the digital divide. Currently available to more than 30 million households across the U.S. – 10 million of which are in rural communities – this new service provides ultrafast, affordable connectivity in places it didn’t previously exist.
With Latinos over-indexing in the use of mobile devices, and needing to rely on technology that goes with them where ever they may be, T-Mobile’s network has the potential to not only bridge the digital divide, but it can also help close some of the socio-economic divides that plague Latino communities across the country. One company certainly cannot change all the dynamics impacting Latino communities in America at this moment, but T-Mobile is certainly well on its way to making a critical difference at a time when it matters most.
Clint Odom is VP of Strategic Alliances and External Affairs at T-Mobile.