Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Back in Barcelona, telecoms bosses stake claim to digital future

Stock MarketsJun 28, 2021 08:11AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
4/4 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker walks past a sign ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) at Fira de Barcelona, in Barcelona, Spain June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Albert Gea 2/4

By Clara-Laeila Laudette and Supantha Mukherjee

BARCELONA (Reuters) -Telecoms bosses toasted the return of Barcelona's Mobile World Congress on Monday with an agenda to put the industry at the centre of digital development and inclusion in a global reboot following the coronavirus pandemic.

Having kept networks humming while people were locked down at home, telecoms executives said the pandemic had shown how vital connectivity was to those with access to the latest technology, and more so for those the billions who lack it.

Cancelled last year at the last minute when COVID-19 first began to spread across the globe, the annual event is being held in a hybrid format with around 30,000 visitors, compared to the more than 100,000 that usually attend, with others online.

"We are back to business, back to Barcelona and back together," said Mats Granryd, head of the GSMA industry association that hosts the biggest telecoms get-together at the Catalan capital's sprawling Fira trade fair grounds.

With the acceleration of digitalisation during the coronavirus crisis, cybersecurity and data governance are taking centre stage, the chiefs of Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), Deutsche Telekom (OTC:DTEGY) and France's Orange said, adding that building trust with consumers was key.

"For too long progress in technology meant only advancement at any cost - but real progress comes when we move towards an equitable future, not when we just make shiny new things," Stephane Richard, Orange CEO and GSMA chairman said in a keynote address from the event's main stage.

Saddled with high debt and weak revenues, telcos are hoping to capitalise on the social credit derived from their role connecting societies and individuals during the pandemic to position themselves as the 'good guys'.

"Data cannot be extricated without compensation - it's called digital dignity," Telefonica CEO Jose-Maria Alvarez-Pallete said. "I have a right to know what my data is worth."

The trio also called for an overhaul of regulation in the European Union, saying fragmentation across the 27-nation bloc put them at a disadvantage against rivals like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)'s WhatsApp messaging service.

"Connectivity today is needed. But, in 2030, connectivity will be a human right," Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges said.

With visitors armed with negative COVID-19 tests, FFP2 face masks and a digital contact tracing badge, the industry hopes the event will create a blueprint for the future.

But several big names including Ericsson (BS:ERICAs), Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Samsung (KS:005930) are staying away this year.

"I promise next year that Deutsche Telekom and all of us will be back again in Barcelona," said Hoettges, who joined by video link from the company's headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

CYBERSECURITY

Richard said that a third of European businesses had reported cyber-attacks last year, a potentially fatal occurrence for smaller firms lacking the software to protect themselves.

"Cybersecurity is a constant race... no-one can be protected any longer behind a closed digital wall," Richard said, a position echoed across the panel, who suggested next-generation 5G mobile networks were both a solution and risk.

Most telcos are betting big on 5G, with partnerships announced at MWC spanning the cloud, software-as-a-service and traditional mobile and broadband operations.

"In China, 5G is on the fast track of development, with the deployment of nearly 850,000 5G base stations and 330 million 5G cell phone users," China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) Chairman Yang Jie said via videolink. He predicted that China's digital economy would represent half of its GDP by 2025.

Back in Barcelona, telecoms bosses stake claim to digital future
 

Related Articles

Casino says it plans to sell renewable energy unit
Casino says it plans to sell renewable energy unit By Reuters - May 16, 2022

PARIS (Reuters) - French retailer Casino said in a statement it has launched a process to sell its renewable energy unit GreenYellow with a view to a potential transaction by the...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email