LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 NORTH AMERICA: Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer of the GSMA, opened the event by highlighting the impact that mobile can have on the lives of people worldwide, before shifting the focus to the strength of the mobile industry here in North America.
Noting the industry’s aim of bringing more people to the mobile internet, the executive said: “Connecting another 1 billion people by 2020, we’re talking about deep and pragmatic connections here. Building out the necessary infrastructure to allow people to access the mobile internet. It’s not balloons. It’s not drones. Those things can be part of the conversation, but it’s real, capital investment to connect the next billion people to the internet.”
“What does that bring? It allows people in emerging markets to get access to crop information, so they can sell their products more effectively, so they can sell their products in global markets. IT allows people to get into the banking system for the first time – there are significantly more people with a mobile phone than with a bank account in the world. And it opens up health and learning opportunities for young people in these emerging markets,” he continued.
Noting the publication of the GSMA’s North America Mobile Economy report, O’Hara said that “this is of course one of the most advanced markets in the world. About 345 million connections, 251 million individual subscribers. 97 per cent of the population are covered by 4G LTE networks.”
“Really importantly, mobile contributes about 3 per cent to GDP, employs about 1.5 million people, and contributes about $63 billion to public funding,” he continued.
“We work for an incredible industry globally, but also particularly here in North America,” O’Hara said.