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GSMA Celebrates Digital Nations at Mobile 360 Asia Pacific in Singapore

02/08/2022

2 August 2022, Singapore: The GSMA will open its doors to the fifth edition of Mobile 360 Asia-Pacific 2022 today at the JW Marriott South Beach Hotel in Singapore. Innovators, governments and decision-makers will take to the stage to discuss 5G and how it can empower digital nations to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. They will work to unearth the opportunities that new technologies, such as the metaverse, are set to bring to Asia Pacific's economy and wider society as illustrated in the GSMA's seventh annual Digital Societies Report, published today.

Opening keynote addresses will be delivered by governmental ministers, Singtel, Axiata, the International Telecommunication Union, Qualcomm, and Huawei. They will discuss how nations must embrace a digital strategy to accelerate the development of infrastructure and create favorable conditions for digitalisation and further support the post-pandemic global economy in the region.

In keynote 1, Building Digital Nations , Dr Janil Puthucheary, Singapore's Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Health will share key learnings of capabilities, partnerships and collaboration required to build effective and successful Digital Nations.

Dr Puthucheary said, Singapore's vision of our digital future requires a multi-faceted approach. We need to make early investments to ensure the continued relevance of our underlying digital infrastructure, and at the same time, recognise the need to drive research in digital technologies with transformative potential. As we enhance our infrastructure and research capabilities, we also review our regulatory frameworks in a consultative and collaborative manner to keep pace with technological advancements. This includes deepening collaborations with other Governments and industry partners globally and regionally. It is equally important that we continue to build digital capabilities so our enterprises and workforce can maximise opportunities in the digital economy.

Pioneering the next frontier of connectivity

The agenda for the remaining days of Mobile 360 Asia Pacific will focus on three key themes: innovation, connectivity and digital policy. Underpinned by the insights outlined in the GSMA 2022 Digital Societies report, the varied speaker line-up will examine how the industry can look to reach new milestones in this new era of hyper-connectivity, how to create a roadmap for delivering networks that meet society's demands, and the policies driving digital revolution.

This will be supported by the launch of the 5G in Action in Asia Pacific case studies report which highlights the innovative progress made within the industry by using 5G to enable digital transformation.

Our region is bold and diverse in its approach to connectivity, and I look forward to discussing how we harness the full power of advanced technologies to drive societal development. As we approach this new era of widescale immersive technology, it's critical that we continue to foster industry collaboration so that our digital nations prosper in a safe and sustainable way, said the GSMA's Head of Asia Pacific, Julian Gorman.

The GSMA will also announce the winners of the Mobile 360 Digital Nations Award during the event. Winners must have demonstrated the mobile industry's vital role in providing access to critical information, delivering digital inclusion, connecting the unconnected and supporting economic growth.

GSMA Digital Societies Report, Asia Pacific 2022

The seventh annual Digital Societies Report shines a light on the progress made by countries within the APAC region in becoming fully fledged digital societies. The report also calls for further collaboration to encourage a consistent approach to integrating digital services into every sector of the economy. Singapore, the host city state for Mobile 360 Asia Pacific, is at the front of the pack, leading the charge towards fulfilling digital nation ambitions by introducing one of the most successful digital identity programmes, Singpass. The digital ID service has amassed 4.5 million users, representing 97% of citizens and permanent residents above the age of 15.

Similarly, South Korea have the highest score for digital citizenship in the Digital Society Index, with the pandemic resulting in a sharp increase in the use of e-government services from less than 50% in 2011 to 90% in 2021.

As outlined in the Digital Societies Report, countries from across the APAC region can begin to support the realisation of digital nation ambitions by developing five key components: infrastructure, innovation, data governance, security and people.

Other key insights from the report include:

Asia Pacific is home to some of the world's most successful digital identity programmes. One example is India's Aadhar which now has more than 1.3 billion registered users. More recently we've also seen how, in Vietnam, 59 out of 63 localities have launched programmes on digital transformation to be rolled out over the next five years, including 41 localities that are also developing smart city services.

Digital technologies and services can help provide new growth opportunities for businesses of all sizes across Asia Pacific, contributing significantly to the region's economic recovery. A report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that Asia Pacific could reap an economic dividend from digitalisation of more than $1.7 trillion per year, or more than $8.6 trillion over the five years to 2025.

Recent developments in the use of digital technologies have powered social and economic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic. Indonesia is undertaking a comprehensive programme for the recovery of the tourism sector, which saw 409,000 job losses. The programme includes initiatives to extend 4G network
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