Innovation and investment by the mobile industry continue to have an enormous impact on the lives of billions of people around the world. Mobile doesn’t just deliver connectivity, it empowers people through an ever-growing range of mobile-enabled services.
Currently there are five billion unique mobile subscribers globally, which means that more than two-thirds of the global population is now connected to a mobile service. By the end of the decade, almost three-quarters of the global population will have a mobile subscription, with around one billion new subscribers added over this period.
The GSMA leads several programmes in key growth areas that present significant benefits for consumers and clear opportunities for mobile operators. From supporting the development of mobile identity solutions to helping operators prepare for a 5G future, these initiatives are laying the foundations of an increasingly connected, mobile world.
Each of the initiatives covered on the following pages has its own public policy considerations, and relates to one or more of the public policy topics presented in this handbook.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to have a huge impact on our daily lives, helping us to reduce traffic congestion, improve care for the elderly, create smarter homes and offices, increase manufacturing efficiency and more.
IoT involves connecting devices to the internet across multiple networks to allow them to communicate with us, applications and each other. It will add intelligence to devices that we make use of on a daily basis and in turn deliver positive impacts to both the economy and broader society.
We are set to see rapid growth in IoT over the coming years. According to GSMA Intelligence, the number of cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) connections is expected to have reached just under one billion by 2020. However, this will still represent a small portion of the overall market, as Machina Research predicts that the total number of IoT devices will have grown to 22.6 billion by 2020.
The GSMA, through its IoT programme, is encouraging the development of the nascent IoT ecosystem by working to define industry standards, promote interoperability and encourage governments to create a supportive environment that will speed the growth of IoT globally.