LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 LATIN AMERICA, BOGOTA: Millicom chief Mauricio Ramos (pictured) trumpeted the benefits of bridging the digital and virtual worlds while noting there can be no digital commerce without high capacity networks.
“The digital world, with all of its connected computing power, is beginning to interact and enhance and develop and even control the physical world, and its production and transportation capabilities. Digital can now control self-driving cars, or interconnect parking meters with consumers, or help control the security or the heating in our homes,” he said.
“Imagine the enhancements in productivity that will come from smart factories.”
Underpinning this is the fact that “in the economy of the fourth industrial revolution, the key good produced, the common denominator, is the bit. That unit that carries data. But a bit, marvellous though it is, is useless if it cannot travel. Because when it travels, it can be transferred, accumulated, shared, used to interact with the physical world,” Ramos said.
“Here’s the punchline: bits travel only on networks. High capacity networks. Interconnected networks. Mobile networks. The digital economy, the fourth industrial revolution, rides on networks.”
For all the positives this will bring to the industry, there is also a hard reality: “For us in the developing world, there will be no digital economy, there will be no fourth industrial revolution, there will be no digital commerce, and there will be no digital citizens, without high capacity networks.”
To enable this, Ramos said “we must rethink the framework that enables the construction of these digital highways.”
Spectrum should “be used for the good of a digital society, not for fiscal purposes”, with the understanding if this is not the case there is “an opportunity cost to the digital society that is being paid”.
“Modern regulatory and tax frameworks should address all players in the digital ecosystem in the same manner,” he said.