GSMA CMO Michael O’Hara (pictured) highlighted the huge potential for change presented by the evolution of the mobile industry in Latin America during a keynote.
O’Hara said the mobile industry is opening up “massive opportunities” to change industries, in turn changing the way we “live and work”. He cited a smart water meter rollout in Chile as an example, describing the project as “a simple, but effective, use of mobile IoT technology”.
“The utility is rolling out to all of their consumers to measure water consumption. But equally importantly, it can tell if there are leaks in the system or issues at a subscriber’s house, because the water consumption will increase,” he said.
Other examples include the deployment of cameras, microphones and sensors in street lights in Mexico City, a project O’Hara said “really opens up a world of possibilities” in terms of “tracking of how many people are on the streets, how many cars are on the streets, what speeds those cars are doing.”
“But it also allows you to monitor environmental issues, save energy by turning the lights on and off at the right times, assist in the prevention of crime, and even some cool applications like telling motorists where [parking] spaces are available,” O’Hara continued.
Initiating a debate which was picked up by other speakers here, the GSMA executive highlighted the importance of having “the right regulation in place for the digital age”.
“Specifically, we need to ensure that mobile operators have timely and predictable access to harmonised spectrum with the right conditions to allow them to continue to reach all of the population of this region,” he said.
“We need to allow sensible consolidation between operators, while protecting competition, to ensure the right level of investment to continue the buildout of 4G networks and those 5G networks in the future.”
“And we need equal competition between mobile operators and internet companies, something we call ‘same service, same rules’, to ensure that the same services offered by an operator or internet company are regulated in the same way,” O’Hara said.