What to Expect from the GSMA Asia Pacific Policy Leaders Forum 2023

Asia Pacific (APAC) countries continue to advance to become fully-fledged Digital Nations. To support this growth, digital policy in APAC is developing rapidly. The region’s diverse economies boost a variety of policy approaches to connectivity, digital transformation and data, with many pioneering their path and best practice. Across three sessions and one roundtable, the Policy Leaders Forum (PLF) APAC, taking place on 7-8 September during M360 APAC in Seoul, will explore policy issues that require active collaboration from policymakers, regulators and the private sector to shape vibrant and sustainable digital nations in APAC.

Policies for a Digital Future

Recent advances in generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) have sparked both excitement and concern about the future of this technology. People are excited about the potential of GenAI to revolutionise industries, boost the economy, and scale humanitarian efforts. The concerns arise from the need for more preparation to effectively address the rapidly evolving societal harms that could arise with its adoption.

The first session of PLF APAC will explore the opportunities and threats of emerging technologies such as generative AI, web 3.0 and post-quantum network computing. Experts will discuss strategies for policymakers to harness the benefits and mitigate the risks for society. We will also hear about Gen Z’s emerging technologies aspirations from a young AI researcher.

Securing fair returns in a challenging business environment

Telecoms infrastructure is the foundation of digital economies in APAC. The ever-greater volume of data is being transported over continuously evolving networks. Yet the mobile industry faces a paradox: although connectivity is one of the most critical economic enablers, connectivity providers face challenges due to declining revenues and shrinking investment resources to meet the growing demands. Macroeconomic conditions further compound this situation.

The second PLF session will discuss alternative ways for the mobile ecosystem players to partner with governments to create enabling business environments that support fair investment returns. We will also learn from India’s and South Korea’s policy approaches towards building a level playing field in a competitive marketplace.

Strategies for building inclusive Digital Nations

Governments worldwide are making concerted efforts to integrate digital technologies, connectivity and digital services into every sector of the economy. The vision is to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth by putting digital at the heart of nation-building and socio-economic development.

During the final session of day one, the GSMA will launch its eighth annual Digital Societies report. The presentation will delve into the report findings, such as the five key components of a Digital Nation: Infrastructure, Innovation, Data Governance, Security and People, and the aspirations of governments in APAC against these components. Further, the session will consider the role of emerging technologies in building Digital Nations, and the steps to ensure that the development and application of these technologies happen safely, responsibly and sustainably.

Two prominent ICT Ministers will share their strategies and experiences in APAC. Experts will also examine how industry collaboration and the right policy environment can address challenges in a fast-changing, complex technology and business landscape.

Effective spectrum pricing and assignments for the 5G era and beyond

Effective spectrum pricing is critical to encourage the investment required to expand mobile access. There is a growing recognition among regulators and policymakers that spectrum awards are more than just a means to maximise state revenues; they are key to unlocking the digital growth of nations.

This roundtable session on day two of M360 APAC will discuss best practices for spectrum pricing, evaluate the impact of spectrum costs on sustainable investment and policy objectives, and share international examples and practices on rational pricing and well-designed spectrum assignments.

The Policy Leaders Forum is open to all attendees at M360 APAC. Find out more about the event and register here. Join the conversation by following and using the hashtag #PLF23.