LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 LATIN AMERICA, MEXICO CITY: America Movil chairman Carlos Slim Domit (pictured) highlighted the key role technology, and specifically telecoms, plays in driving one of the most disruptive periods in human evolution.
Picking up on the theme of technology as an enabler of societal progression detailed earlier by GSMA director general Mats Granryd, Slim Domit noted connectivity is fuelling the next major change in civilisation.
What he dubbed the “connectivity age” is delivering access to communications and services which are increasing social inclusion, in turn “generating profound disruptions and modifying the moulds” of society.
While this era may bring with it “more challenges” and risks, he added it also brings “opportunities, because it is based on inclusion and general welfare”.
The executive cited prepaid mobile services as an example, noting around 80 per cent of users in developing markets are on such plans, making it “one of the biggest catalysts” for inclusion and growth, particularly as the cost of connectivity has fallen over time.
Slim Domit highlighted the importance of network coverage: America Movil’s Mexican telecoms units Telmex and Telcel are expanding their networks into areas of the country previously unconnected, with a 700MHz-based shared network enabling broadband connections.
Its networks are open to competitors at non-discriminatory rates as all operators see the “urgency of providing connectivity to the whole country”.
Doing so “fosters cultural, health” and employment opportunities: “we have a better social inclusion as never before today with the connectivity”, he said, highlighting programmes America Movil backs that offer remote education and employment training, along with access to predictive health schemes covering chronic illnesses.
However, while Slim Domit noted technologies including AI, big data, analytics and IoT will promote inclusion, he argued the industry can only do so much on its own.
Governments must play their part with “intelligent policies that foster innovation”. Regulators, professionals and companies have “a collective responsibility” to promote universal connectivity by aiding technological development “to channel it in the right way and turn it into an overcoming tool”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back