MWC: Mobile must “reform society”


Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao addressed Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona today to urge the industry to drive societal change through deployment of mobile technology and by adoption of an open and unified approach to collaboration.

Colao said emergence from the recent economic recession in the West represented an opportunity for the mobile industry to “reform society” for better working and living practices.

He paid tribute to the job the market has done to develop faster mobile networks and smarter software and hardware.

But he said the mobile industry will remain perceived as a “mature market and a tax target”.

Colao outlined a “required framework” to make mobile a real force of good in society that requires modernising and protecting from the kind of economic battery of 2008/9 – and not a market that merely sells gadgetry and makes money.

He said openness in technical collaboration, common and simple standards, some insurance against monopolistic power in any part of the value chain, and continued technological investment that is free of state intervention can be harnessed to see mobile technology makes lives better and easier in all markets.

“Technology gives us an opportunity to redesign our society,” he said.

“All this acceleration [of networks, devices and applications] offers optimism and a hope for redesign after the crisis… We have a great revolutionary role to play in society – but only if we get some things right first.”

He remarked: “This is the first Mobile World Congress of the new decade… The next five years should be a new seeding phase for this industry.”