5G and AI Will Transform Mobile Industry

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Mobile industry leaders from the GSMA, CTIA and Sprint kicked off Mobile World Congress 2018 with the opening keynote “A Connected Future.” Speakers discussed the transformative impact of emerging technologies on industries and society, and the race to be the first operator to launch 5G.

5G and AI will transform societies

By 2025, there will be over 1.3 billion 5G connections, according to the GSMA. But what will that look like on a day-to-day basis?

“For consumers, 5G will deliver exciting, immersive experiences, transforming the way we consume content,” said Granryd. “We will see things like 360-degree, 8K video streaming, virtual reality, facial recognition, and connected cars.”

But 5G isn’t the only technology poised to transform the mobile industry. AI is also becoming increasingly popular on mobile devices, from virtual assistants like Siri to Alexa.

“Personal digital assistants of the future will understand our every need,” said Granryd. “They will have deep understanding of environment and surroundings, instead of [relying on] keywords and screens that are dominating our lives today.

AI and 5G are interconnected ultimately interconnected, said Granryd.

“AI will help to process the enormous quantities of data gathered,” said Granryd. “To be truly life-changing, AI requires high connectivity.”

The race is on

Who’s going to be the first to launch 5G in the United States? All four main operators in the United States are jockeying for the title.

But it’s not a race against each other they should be worried about. It’s a race against the rest of the world.

“We can’t afford to lose this race,” said Meredith Atwell Baker, President and CEO of CTIA. The United States is] competing with nations that approve new wireless sites in weeks or even days.”

Baker highlighted the positive impact of the U.S. being the first to launch 4G, which created millions of jobs and encouraged the growth of some of the biggest companies today. But maintaining a 5G lead will require more investment and support from policymakers.

And operators want very much to stay in the lead.

“We cannot afford to lose the leadership position,” said Marcelo Claure, Executive Chairman of Sprint. “Companies that use 5G to disrupt industries are always going to win.”

Looking backward—and ahead

All of the keynote speakers reflected on how far mobile networks have come, and where they think they’re headed.

“I’ve seen this industry evolve from basic fundamentals, from how to connect and reach out to people, to completely transforming ecosystems,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, GSMA Chairman and Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprise.

Mittal continued to say that operators need to support 5G to drive further change.

“The ecosystem around 5G needs to be developed, so that the magic of 5G takes us to another level, and it’s fully unleashed,” said Mittal.

But ultimately, unleashing 5G connectivity is all about delivering a better future for society.

“A connected society is a happy society,” said Granryd. “In an era of intelligent connectivity, the ways we can positively impact society are truly endless.”