Communication technology has shifted from a luxury to a basic human need, especially for millennials and young people where communication has become very important.
We know that connectivity improves everyday life, from the little things many of us are used to using digital wallets in communities without traditional banking, smartphones to navigating through cities, and portable devices to track our health and fitness, to the great things we never thought. as the ability of physicians to make an accurate diagnosis of a remote patient.
Unfortunately, this reality remains a dream for more than a third of the world’s population who are unable to benefit from the social, economic and environmental benefits that accompany broadband connectivity. With the required investments in infrastructure, ecosystems and policies, many people can enjoy these benefits and change the world.
While previous generations of mobile networks made communication via voice and certain basic data possible, 4G has changed the way we live, interact and do business. Fourth-generation communications technologies, in addition to smartphones and their applications ecosystem, have generated a new application economy of more than six trillion US dollars, or seven percent of global output.
The trend towards digitization has accelerated with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. During these challenging times, we made possible and shortened two years of digital transformation within a matter of months and the pace of acceleration set the standards for the speed of innovation.
The confluence of the global pandemic and digital acceleration has increased our ease in online collaboration and communication tools that use technology to reduce distance and simulate physical presence. And while we can not eliminate the need for human contact, millions of people now feel comfortable replacing real events with virtual events, opening up new possibilities for how we work and live.
Online virtualization will become part of the new world in what some call the metaverse and others Web 3.0, the light industry, entertainment and media are ready to lead this transformation.
With 5G, the transformation of asset-heavy organizations will lead to a new form of industrialization based on digitization.
The convergence of the physical and digital world will offer a large number of product development and configuration benefits that enable control of physical objects in the virtual world. ‘Digital twins’ (virtual replicas) will be used in operational automation to help with predictive maintenance in smart factories and to optimize logistics flow.
Connecting in the future will enable real-time collaboration, regardless of location, thus expanding access to talented and knowledgeable experts around the world that make brain drainage a thing of the past.
Mobile technology drives economic development
The role of mobile technology as a catalyst for innovation and social and economic development cannot be overemphasized. Studies by Ericsson and Imperial College London have shown the clear link between mobile broadband penetration and GDP growth. a 10 percent increase in mobile broadband penetration leads to a 0.8 percent increase in GDP. This effect is even greater in low-income countries, enabling major leaps in economic development through investment in mobile broadband infrastructure.
A catalyst to address climate crises
Despite these economic benefits, digital transformation also contributes to the urgent climate challenge facing humanity, especially through the energy consumed by the networks and data centers we build and operate.
While the ICT industry accounts for 1.4 percent of the global carbon footprint, Ericsson research shows that ICT solutions can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 percent.
The most important pillars of transformation
We see three main pillars to enable digitization: the need for a robust and reliable network infrastructure; conducive regulatory environment to encourage investment; The evolution and growth of ecosystems. Digital transformation at its core requires an infrastructure that is scalable, reliable, dynamic, resilient and secure, with lower power consumption.
Flexible and scalable infrastructure
Fast-growing countries in the Middle East such as the United Arab Emirates are investing heavily in their infrastructure capabilities to enable economic diversification and growth in an effort to diversify their economies. These countries are now investing in undeveloped Industry 4.0 initiatives (GreenfieldIndustry 4.0).
Governments need to stimulate widespread, high-quality infrastructure deployment. The short-term price of the spectrum should not take precedence over the long-term value generated. Developed countries in the Middle East have led the way in this and are beginning to bear fruit by improving performance in various global infrastructure leadership indicators.
Spectrum policy that drives development
From the point of view of government and regulators, the greatest means is the availability of sufficient and harmonized spectrum in a cost-effective manner. Frequency spectrum is the lifeblood of mobile communication. Spectrum is a limited national resource and limiting it will slow down the pace of digital transformation.
It is essential to maximize spectrum availability and establish a clear, reliable and long-term schedule for its allocation. Unused or little used spectrum adds value to the country and the long-term visibility of spectrum licenses is essential to encourage infrastructure investment.
Furthermore, spectrum licensing provisions should stimulate investment as well as flexibility in the use of spectrum assigned to various technologies to reduce costs and speed up work performance. It is important to adhere to the principle of technology neutrality, to stimulate investment in infrastructure and to enable innovation.
It will become the norm for a wide range of collaborators to work towards a common goal, ending the inherited ideas of competition and traditional boundaries by focusing on true interconnectedness.
Ericsson is committed to open standards that enable mobile innovation to flourish. We will bring partners together to collaborate, innovate, stimulate new ideas and develop ways to unravel the networking capabilities that enable the expansion of digital innovations. However, countries must ensure neutral technology policies so that they can benefit from the innovations that new generations of technology bring.
An opportunity to make rapid progress
The digital transformation of emerging economies offers a great opportunity to be a major player in the upcoming Fourth Industrial Revolution based on world-class digital infrastructure and platforms for innovation. Governments, regulators, the telecommunications industry and application ecosystems play key roles in enabling this incremental change in development.