LIVE FROM MWC21 LOS ANGELES: Stephanie Lynch-Habib, CMO of industry group GSMA (pictured), underlined the importance of the mobile sector to the North American economy, a contribution she argued remained pivotal for the region’s growth.

In the opening keynote, Lynch-Habib explained 327 million people in North America were subscribed to mobile services by the end of 2020, 83 per cent of the overall population.

Highlighting ways in which the industry contributed to North America, she cited figures showing around $1 trillion of economic value generated in 2020, representing 4.4 per cent of the region’s total GDP, alongside supporting more than 2.1 million jobs.

The GSMA executive emphasised work remains to be done, with a usage gap still a key challenge despite progress in reducing the number of people not using mobile internet from 130 million in 2014 to 80 million in 2020.

Lynch-Habib explained efforts should be placed around increasing digital literacy and skills, which she asserted as the critical barriers to adoption.