Digital inclusion


Wherever there are ICTs, there is development. New technologies are a source of progress for society in general. No factor – including income, disability, location, education, age, gender, ethnic origin – should prevent access to the benefits they offer. Inclusión At Telefónica, we approach digital inclusion from the perspective of social innovation; that is, we promote and support ideas (products, services and models) that meet social needs while creating new relationships or collaboration between agents and institutions.
Therefore, our objectives are to:
  • Develop alliances with public and private institutions and third-sector institutions to foster the development of solutions based on social innovation through ICTs.
  • Offer the technology, the tools and the funding required by technological social entrepreneurs through specific programmes.
  • Identify and promote new ICT solutions for social innovation through alliances with social entrepreneurs based on open innovation models.
With this approach, our annual investment exceeds 450 million euros: 129 million euros for philanthropy with a social impact, 256 million euros to comply with our obligations regarding Universal Service and 70 million euros to kick-start around 60 more social innovation initiatives in 12 countries with around 8 million beneficiaries.
In addition to these projects, there are the 68 start-ups  with a social impact that have been accelerated by Wayra since its launch.
At the company, we pay particular attention to young entrepreneurs, people with disabilities or chronic illnesses and those who live in poverty or remote areas. We also have projects to encourage educational, financial and health-related inclusion.
Likewise, we are aware of the potential of smartphones and the Internet, especially in developing countries; we understand that it is essential to offer smartphones at affordable prices and encourage an open Internet for everyone. This belief has given rise to our alliance with the Mozilla Foundation and our commitment to expanding the open-source Firefox OS system, which frees consumers and developers from the restrictions entailed in closed ecosystems.


M-Inclusion is a project co-funded by the European Commission and set in motion by a consortium led by Telefónica and comprising Futura Networks Colombia, Innovation Engineering, Econet, the Instituto Nokia de Tecnología in Brazil, the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Peru and the Universitat Politécnica de Valencia in Spain. Inclusión The initiative was rolled out in 2011 in order to create a framework for cooperation between developers of mobile solutions in Europe and Latin America and various end-user entities and bodies, as well as to define the roadmap to achieve digital inclusion through mobile technology of groups at risk of exclusion (people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, sectors with low incomes and remote populations).
At the current time, those who visit the M-Inclusion website can chat, participate in the project and access the services offered by the portal, which include open innovation, ways to find financing and partners, or the Marketplace for mobile applications, with over 4,300 apps. M-Inclusion is the first Social Inclusion Platform through mobile solutions for Europe and Latin America.
Despite the end of EU financing for M-Inclusion, the entities making up the consortium continue to be involved in the project; in particular, here at Telefónica the idea is that in the next few months it will become part of the global initiative known as Telefónica Open Future, as part of the social innovation area of the virtual Telefónica Open Future, como parte del área de innovación social de la aceleradora virtual.
During its 28-month life, M-Inclusion has won public recognition on numerous occasions. For example, it has received the AUTELSI award in the Social and Environmental Commitment category and the Corresponsables award in the Large Companies category.
Furthermore, in its final assessment, the European Commission considered the project to be a benchmark for collaboration between Europe and Latin America to be taken into account for the Horizon 2020 programme.
Further information:

Other initiatives

  • The ConectaRSE para crecer award (Telefónica in Peru) recognises the best telecommunications initiatives rolled out in rural areas with an impact on social and economic progress. Since 2011, the award has considered 397 candidates from 20 regions.
  • Intégrame (Peru) is a public-private alliance to offer telecommunications services through wireless technology to remote rural areas in the country with high levels of poverty. Since the project began in 2006, nearly 200,000 people have benefited.
  • Pescando con redes 3G in Brazil (Fishing with 3G nets/networks) is another programme that Telefónica participates in; it promotes the digital and social inclusion of isolated individuals who make a living from fishing and marine aquaculture in the Bahia region. This project joins the Conexão Amazónica initative, through which we connect people in the Brazilian Amazon with the rest of the world thanks to broadband and 3G technology.
  • Miriada X (Spain and Latin America): a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform which allows anyone to access training free of charge, without needing to be a student or degree-holder from a university and without paying registration fees. Miriada X is the leader in Spanish-speaking initiatives of this type and second in the world, with nearly 300,000 registered students.
  • Social BigData (Global): analysis of a huge amount of anonymous data carried out by Telefónica I+D that allows behavioural patterns (social, mobility, among others) and predictive models to be established, to make it easier to take decisions with a positive impact on society.
  • Saluspot (Spain and Latin America): an online, interactive community focusing on health and with the participation of Telefónica, where anyone can ask thousands of registered doctors direct questions.
  • Zuum (Brazil): a project by Telefónica and Mastercard to  bring financial services closer in an easy and direct manner to people who don’t have bank accounts for a number of reasons, such as being far from a branch or having a lack of financial knowledge. The project will be progressively expanded to the rest of Latin America.
  • Servicios B2C de Autocuidado (Brazil): the B2C Self-care Services offer advice, guidelines or solutions relating to health and wellbeing, such as nutrition, sexual orientation, childcare and even pharmaceutical information, that enable users to improve their quality of life.