Key Trends in Mobile-Enabled Water Services: What’s Working and What’s Next

The GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Programme improves access to basic energy, water, and sanitation services in underserved communities using mobile technology and infrastructure. The program's goals include leveraging mobile technology and infrastructure to enhance access to affordable and reliable energy, clean and safe water and sanitation services in underserved communities. The program receives support from the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID).

The M4D program has provided funding to 50 organizations across four continents since 2013. Of these, 14 grants have been awarded to organizations trialling mobile-enabled solutions that facilitate delivery and payments for water services. Over the last five years, many business models in water services evolve and mature, and others struggle. This report identified three key trends in mobile-enabled water delivery that have been tested in a range of countries and have potential to scale. The report explores these in light of broader industry trends, as well as in-depth lessons collected from our grants and one-to-one interviews with entrepreneurs in the water sector.


The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.