Welcome to our top picks of GSMA news from MWC in Barcelona: a new dawn; a new mobile day; broadband for all; towards the end of poverty; the World Bank; ICANN; identity and authentication and some actual progress with RCS.
A(nother) new dawn for mobile – ecosystem generated $3.6 trillion in economic value in 2017
Two-thirds of the world’s mobile connections will be running on 4G and 5G networks by 2025, according to the new 2018 edition of the GSMA’s ‘Mobile Economy’ report. It is forecast that 4G will account for 53 per cent of global mobile connections by 2025 (up from 29 per cent in 2017), while 5G networks will grow to account for a further 14 per cent, following the launch of the first commercial 5G networks this year.
The Broadband Commission’s recommendations to address digital exclusion
An Expert Group of members of The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development today released the report “A New Deal: Investing in Our Common Future – Policy Recommendations to Close the Broadband Gap”. The report contains recommendations for policymakers, regulators and the private sector to address the “unacceptable, persisting digital exclusion” of half the world’s population.
“In our increasingly digital world, connectivity is the difference for many people between accessing employment, education, healthcare, e-banking and being left behind,” said Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General and Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission. The report is here.
The GSMA and internet governance – nothing says ICANN like an MoU
The GSMA and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU aims to enhance collaboration and raise awareness about Internet governance issues that are of common interest to both organizations and their communities.
Over the years, mobile networks have evolved to become a critical infrastructure for Internet services, especially in developing countries. The goal of the MoU is to advance the organizations’ shared objective of fostering the continuous expansion of interoperable networks and the deployment of information and communication technology.
The World Bank and the GSMA will use big data, the IoT, analytics and probably AI to end poverty
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announced that the institution would partner with the GSMA and mobile network operators around the globe to harness big data from the Internet of Things (IoT) to help end extreme poverty and unlock new drivers of economic growth. The expansion of mobile networks has created a global infrastructure that generates enormous amounts of data that is invaluable for social and economic development, it said.
GSMA shows that mobile money generates direct revenue of $2.4 billion
The GSMA has unveiled its seventh annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’, offering a current snapshot of the mobile money landscape and highlighting the impact that greater financial inclusion has on lives, economies and innovation.
RCS begins the ‘fight back’ and now boasts 159 million MAUs
Interconnection of additional RCS operators and hub providers continues and the number of network interconnections is forecast to exceed 140 by the end of March 2018. Momentum for RCS is growing around the world with over 159 million current active monthly users, and the potential for continued growth is also significant. “In the space of a year we have aligned the industry behind a single, interoperable profile, which has resulted in a significant number of operator launches and a rapidly growing monthly user base” says Alex Sinclair, CTO of the GSMA.
Mobile Connect expands as operators join identity and authentication initiative
The GSMA announced that mobile network operators (MNOs) in China and South Korea are among the latest to deploy Mobile Connect to provide identity and authentication services to their customers. “We are seeing the number of operators offering safe and secure digital identity services to their customers rapidly expanding,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA.
GSMA makes progress with Big Data for Good initiative
The GSMA has achieved significant progress in the first trials of its Big Data for Social Good initiative by Bharti Airtel, Telefónica and Telenor, creating a blueprint for future deployments that leverages mobile operators’ big data capabilities to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
GSMA and UK work on Humanitarian innovation
Through M4H, the public and private sectors will leverage new technologies to create durable solutions that improve access to and use of mobile-enabled services, enhancing emergency preparedness, response and recovery. “Technology and innovation have a huge role to play in improving the lives of millions of people in the developing world,” said Penny Mordaunt, International Development Secretary, DFID.
Brands sign up to GSMA’s RCS service
The GSMA announced that multiple global brands including 1-800 Contacts, 1-800-Flowers.com, Booking.com, ITV, Snaptravel and Subway have launched live trials of RCS Business Messaging based on the GSMA’s Universal Profile for Advanced Messaging (UP).