It is no surprise that 5G has taken centre stage at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 as countries, including Australia, look to enable the smooth deployment of 5G over the coming years. Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA opened the event by talking about the year of Intelligent Connectivity and how 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT will set the stage for future technological development.
“Fuelled by the availability of high-speed connectivity, the mass-market adoption of smartphones and the power of machine learning. AI will deliver a new category of products and services, many of which will not be tied to existing devices.”
Chris Althaus, Chief Executive of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association is currently in Barcelona attending the event. On show are innovations aimed at Creating a Better Future: autonomous cars, connected homes, health solutions...and even astronauts! He has come across everything from virtual assistants to surgical robots, taking part in demonstrations and discussions on what the future will bring and how to ensure intelligent regulation.
As part of the MWC the GSMA released their Mobile Economy report which measures the mobile industry’s increasing role in contributing to economic growth and social development. Globally, mobile accounted for 4.5 per cent of GDP in 2017, a contribution equivalent to $3.6 trillion in economic value added. They forecast that this will increase to $4.6 trillion, or 5 per cent of GDP, by 2022 as countries around the globe increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency.
In terms of social development mobile technology is being positioned to address the challenges of access, cost and quality of service in key sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, utilities, education and financial services. Following the mobile industry’s commitment to helping deliver the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) two years ago, the report notes that the industry is making an important contribution across all 17 SDGs as a result of three key trends: better networks, greater connectivity and increased use of mobile-enabled services.