EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Hans Vestberg wants the industry to maintain technology standards when it comes to global connectivity, in light of emerging innovations for internet access like drones, satellites and balloons.

In a drive to provide internet usage in unconnected parts of the world, technology giants like Facebook and Google have been busy developing new infrastructure to address hard to reach places, with laser equipped drones and helium filled balloons set to come to the fore.

Vestberg, however, was quick to point to the industry’s 7.4 billion subscriptions in response, as he spoke of the need for standardisation and harmonisation to truly drive uptake of new technologies like 5G, and fuel lower prices in emerging markets.

“What has made this industry really successful is the fact that we use the same technology across the world,” he said. “We use the same type of equipment in Africa that we do in the US, and through that we can bring the cost down, and that also goes for the handset. So if we are going to penetrate the next three billion people, it’s enormously important that we use the same technology.”

Speaking to Mobile World Live, Vestberg also provided an update to the company’s strategic partnership with Cisco, announced at the end of last year, as well as his personal take on the Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent merger.

“There has been a brutal transformation in the industry,” he said.

Click here to watch.