Mobile World Congress officially underway

The annual Mobile World Congress has officially kicked off in Barcelona and aims to unite the brightest minds in the mobile and wireless industry. In the opening address, the point was made that while the industry has taken some positive steps, more needs to be done particularly in terms of connectivity.


Franco Bernabe, chairman of the GSMA and CEO of Telecom Italia (image: Charlie Fripp)

“There are over 9,7-billion mobile connections in the world and 3,9-billion mobile subscribers. But investment in the industry must ensure optimism, and the competition must strike a balance. The future of mobile depends on mobile operators having access to more spectrum bands, as the move to LTE will require a lot more spectrum,” said Franco Bernabe, chairman of the GSMA and CEO of Telecom Italia during the welcoming keynote.

He said LTE still needs to fully evolve. “The full potential for LTE is 2×10 Mhz, so it is critical that spectrum is harmonised. Once it reaches that stage, it will make mobile service more affordable, and it will also make sure that hansdets will work across any country’s border effortlessly. The launch of the iPhone 5 made this posible, and we are quickly entering a world where everything is connected via mobile,” he said.

But with all the connnectivity, a number of challenges have emerged, including security. “The mometum is growing, and it has been projected that 1-billion handsets will be sold by 2017. The mobile industry has been commmited to the growth of technology, but mobile identities has developed critical issues over the last couple of decades. As consumers make greater use of online services, it has become more complex with ID theft an increasing burden – it has been established that the average user has 26 different online names, but only five different passwords for those accounts.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor