Industry association the GSMA claims mobile operator data revenues will overtake voice revenues globally by 2018, driven by a surge in demand for connected devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
The GSMA’s new report, developed in partnership with PwC, highlights a number of statistics it says will “revolutionise people’s lives over the next five years.”
Touted benefits in developed countries include: a saving of $400 billion in healthcare costs in OECD countries from mhealth services, a saving of one in nine lives through emergency calling services via so-called ‘connected cars’; a reduction in student drop-outs by eight per cent or 1.8 million children, thanks to meducation services; and a reduction in carbon emissions by 27 million tonnes (the equivalent of planting 1.2 billion trees) via smart metering technology.
In developing countries, the report argues that mHealth could help save one million lives in sub-Saharan Africa; mAutomotive technology will improve food transport and storage, which could help feed more than 40 million people annually – equivalent to entire the population of Kenya; mEducation could enable 180 million students to further their education; and intelligent transport systems could reduce commute times by 35 per cent, giving commuters back a whole week each year
“Mobile data is not just a commodity, but is becoming the lifeblood of our daily lives, society and economy, with more and more connected people and things,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “This is an immense responsibility and the mobile industry needs to continue collaborating with governments and key industry sectors to deliver products and services that help people around the world improve their businesses and societies.”