Mobile 360 Latin America 2016: “It’s impossible to imagine a world without mobile technology”
GSMA Mobile 360 Latin America, held in Mexico City, brought together CEOs and key corporate leaders from the Latin American digital ecosystem, with a programme focusing on innovation. The discussions addressed some of the hottest topics, such as the Internet of Things, identity services, mobile money, connected cars, 5G, enriched messaging (RCS), mobile content and opportunities for Latin American start-ups.
With more than 780 participants from 41 countries (53 per cent of whom were directors or higher executives), the event started on Tuesday 20 September with an opening session on the State of the Industry led by Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, who highlighted the role of the industry in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. “It’s impossible to imagine a world without mobile technology; it impacts nearly everything and everyone in our lives. Mobile technology will continue to be the primary means of access to the internet in Latin America, and is a key driver of development and inclusion,” he said.
Granryd then introduced the talk by Daniel Hajj Aboumrad, América Móvil CEO, who explained how the operator is meeting the relentless demand for data across its footprint, while looking ahead to 5G, a technology that “will come with IoT and has huge capabilities to handle more data with less latency plus better transmission”.
Next up was the keynote by Mauricio Ramos, Millicom CEO, who analysed the challenge of mobile internet pricing for the industry. “We must price data efficiently, or we fail as an industry and fail society too. It is fundamental to understand how to price data,” Ramos said.
The Director General of the GSMA was moderator during a conversation with Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Mexico, and Carlos Morales Paulín, Executive President and CEO of Telefónica Mexico, who praised the potential offered by the Mexican market while highlighting the importance of regulatory reforms that have made the country more competitive.
The opening of M360 Latin America was completed by Mario Fromow, Commissioner of the Federal Telecommunications Institute (FTI), who detailed the regulator’s priorities for the future, and Mónica Aspe Bernal, Secretary of Communications, Secretariat of Communications and Transport (SCT), who said: “By holding Mobile 360 in Mexico for the first time, the GSMA is recognising the growing importance and the potential of the mobile market in Latin America and generating spaces for dialogue that will allow us to harness innovation and start-up opportunities for the development of the region”.
The mobile economy and Latin American start-ups
During the conference, the Head of GSMA Latin America, Sebastián Cabello, launched the new report The Mobile Economy Latin America 2016, developed by GSMA Intelligence, which details the latest data for the regional mobile ecosystem. The report reveals that the mobile ecosystem across Latin America and the Caribbean generated $255 billion in economic value, equivalent to 5 per cent of the region’s GDP, and forecasts an increase to more than $315 billion by 2020, or 5.5 per cent of expected GDP.
The second day of Mobile 360 Latin America continued with panels on NFV and the Road to 5G, the Mobile Content Ecosystem in the region, Media and Advertising, and Mobile Money. The main conference ended with Spotlight on Innovation, after which six Latin American start-ups made their pitches. IoTnet Mexico came out on top thanks to votes from the audience, winning an invitation to make a pitch at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona.
The event included a third day for GSMA Latin America Plenary Meeting #44, where the Working Groups of experts from mobile operators (REGU, BARG, TECT and SEGF) held their sessions to share good practices and encourage collaboration among stakeholders in the mobile industry. The day before the meeting, the REGU group started off with a seminar on WRC-15: Ensuring the future of 5G in Latin America, plus another seminar on Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the Mobile Ecosystem in the region.