Technology Impact
The convergence of technologies – broadband, cloud, IoT, and AI – comes together under the banner of Intelligent Connectivity to put AI to work accelerating the development of new technologies and applications, disrupting established business models and turbocharging economic growth. 5G’s much anticipated speeds will soon complement Intelligent Connectivity with real-time capabilities to activate autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, and an array of other as yet unimagined applications.
5G
5G's rapid rollout will create new economic growth.

If 5G’s introduction conforms to what we’ve seen in the launch of previous wireless generations from 2G to 3G to 4G, then we can predict a spike in global GDP growth. With each new wireless generation, businesses worldwide have been quick to take advantage of the improved broadband experience to introduce new products and services, optimize operations, and boost productivity to drive growth.

Typically, this growth explosion occurs as a new generation wireless network reaches 10% global market penetration. What is different for each new wireless generation is the timeline it takes to reach 10% global penetration. For example, it took seven years for 3G to cross the 10% global penetration mark in 2009, but only six years for 4G to do the same. We expect 5G to reach the 10% tipping point in only four years.

Unlike the launches of 3G and 4G technology, 5G will have more than 40 5G-ready devices, mostly smartphones, already available in the market in 2019. In addition, 5G semiconductor devices and routers are already available on the market today, in advance of 5G network availability. This up-front 5G infrastructure is expected to give the technology a strong head-start and shorten its adoption timeline.

Cloud and IoT
The formula for success is simple: Governments should invest in Intelligent Connectivity’s enabling technologies with a particular focus on Cloud and IoT – the two prerequisite technologies that AI needs to be effective.

Cloud provides the data storage and computational capabilities and IoT delivers the data that AI systems require to scale and deliver analytical power. Another precondition for AI readiness is a strong installed base of IoT, which collects and creates the massive datasets that AI systems need to develop insights and expand their capabilities for machine learning. This year we found that when a nation’s cloud readiness score and IoT readiness score cross the 50 and 45 mark respectively, AI’s impact on their economy begins scaling up.

Another major finding of GCI 2019 is that a country is required to achieve ICT investment of between 3% to 4% of its GDP to achieve the cloud and IoT readiness levels needed to create the tipping point for AI to take off. Policymakers planning for the long-term benefits of deploying AI need to be aware that a solid foundation in these two technologies is the key to activating the AI capabilities necessary to drive strong economic growth.

Technology convergence
As the technologies that underpin Intelligent Connectivity converge, they will spur a wave of innovation that will profoundly change business and everyday life.

The core value of the Intelligent Connectivity platform is its ability to make AI accessible. This is an important breakthrough as AI opens economic growth possibilities by accelerating the development of new technologies and applications, enabling business leaders to re-imagine industries and helping entrepreneurs create innovative new business models.

Fisheries

Prior to the availability of the new connectivity, interaction among stakeholders was limited to direct, one-on-one communications. Bringing 3G and 4G mobile apps into the mix, however, is now empowering fishermen to directly monitor trends in prices and demand and thus to disintermediate some local distributers. One immediate saving derived from the new mobile technology in fishermen’s hands is reduced waste. It’s estimated that if a fisherman can reduce the time and work spent on catching and processing fish that consumers are not currently interested in buying, they can increase revenue by as much as a 40%.

With Intelligent Connectivity, we have begun to see monitoring of the entire fisheries value chain, usually via a regulatory agency. This new connectivity in the fisheries value chain optimizes different parts of the system to achieve longer-term value add, and ideally, build sustainability into the system. Select fisheries that have adopted such holistic management practices have seen revenue improve in a range of 50% to 220% in just a few years.



Healthcare

The world today faces a daunting shortfall of 7 million skilled medical specialists, and this is particularly acute in developing nations. The challenges facing doctors and other healthcare professionals can be overwhelming, ranging from managing massive volumes of paperwork, which in turn limits face-time with patients; keeping up with the latest research; rising costs; and the increasing likelihood of errors. Intelligent Connectivity, however, is enabling innovative new technologies such as virtual nurses, health assistants, robotic nurses, automated diagnoses, and treatments that have the potential to revolutionize the practice of medicine.

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