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The Mobile Economy 2019

By the end of 2018, 5.1 billion people around the world subscribed to mobile services, accounting for 67% of the global population. Of the 710 million people expected to subscribe to mobile services for the first time over the next seven years, half will come from the Asia Pacific region and just under a quarter will come from Sub-Saharan Africa.

4G will soon become the dominant mobile technology, surpassing half of global mobile connections in 2019 and reaching 60% in 2023. 5G is now upon us, bringing with it the promise of a host of exciting new services.

As the boundaries between mobile and the wider digital ecosystem continue to blur, and as data monetisation poses a continued challenge, many operators are moving beyond their traditional telco businesses to explore new opportunities in a fast-changing competitive landscape. In IoT, mobile operators are looking to expand their role in the value chain. Meanwhile, an increasing number of telecoms operators are entering the content space or strengthening their existing content offerings. Operators across the globe are also growing their focus on AI, with applications including chatbots and digital assistants, network operations/planning and AI-as-a-service. And, while the ubiquity of smartphones means they remain the focal point of the consumer internet economy, the range of connected devices is now greater than ever. Today’s digital consumers (using PCs and smartphones) are set to become tomorrow’s augmented customers, adopting emerging technologies such as AI via smart speakers and immersive reality.

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