MWC 2024: José María Álvarez-Pallete: “Networks are becoming proactive and liquid thanks to Open Gateway”

TyN Magazine from MWC – Barcelona – José María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman of Telefónica, said today during the opening speech at the Mobile World Congress that the industry “has once again transformed its vision into reality. A year ago, we shared a vision for the industry, for the future of our sector, a massive revolution coming from a new era, the era of Earth Computing, in which networks are becoming proactive and liquid”. Twelve months after the launch of Open Gateway, 47 operators have joined the initiative, a total of 239 networks accounting for over 65% of global mobile connections. “The future is already here. It is happening. Amazing new products and services are already flowing through our networks,” he declared.

This is the case of Chat GPT, whose adoption rate is the fastest we have ever seen. But there is more, drones, robots, massive IoT, sensors or extended reality. “For all of them, explained Álvarez-Pallete, “attributes such as speed, capacity, signalling or location are key. API-centric models are already essential”. Because on the first anniversary of the launch of Open Gateway, the first generation of APIs is now available. A total of six countries, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and South Africa have launched their first APIs involving all relevant operators within the territory. And 40 networks have commercially launched at least one API, addressing needs such as increasing security, monitoring cameras or drones for detection of anomalies, or building-in security for banks to combat fraud.

In his speech in Barcelona, José María Álvarez-Pallete emphasised the strong collaboration between telcos, big techs, aggregators, software developers and every industry player to create the digital future together. “It is time for a global partnership and a fair governance to deliver a sustainable and beneficial value chain; it is time for a responsible use of shared resources; it is time for a new regulatory landscape,” he said.

“We are proud of what we have created”

The telco industry is becoming active co-creators of the new digital era, and Telefónica’s Chairman has insisted on the need for the sector to have a 21st century regulation that goes beyond the old regulatory models, and with a much more balanced ecosystem. “Collaboration embodies the power of what can be done when all come together. And that’s what GSMA is doing. That’s Open Gateway. And I am proud of belonging to GSMA. Vision and reality merge in a new world of diversity, curiosity, intelligence, innovation, progress, sustainability, welfare and humanity. We are proud of what we have created”.

Addressing the many MWC attendees, Álvarez-Pallete guaranteed that operators will continue to evolve their networks, because not even one of these services is going to require less speed, less capacity or slower latency, or less computing or processing capabilities. “This is an unstoppable process in which it is just as important to embrace the new as to discharge with honours legacy technologies like 2G, 3G or copper,” he explained.

He also acknowledged that this new vision presents new challenges and that, for this reason, the sector is fostering a responsible use of the networks and innovation in investment models to enhance sustainability. In the last eight years, at Telefónica we have had a 9-fold traffic increase. In the same period, we managed to reduce our energy consumption by 9%. “Responsible use of networks should be a leitmotiv in all technological development”, proposed the company’s chairman.

“We are a relevant sector”

José María Álvarez-Pallete ended his speech by recalling Telefónica’s upcoming Centenary: “A company only gets to turn 100 years old if it serves a purpose for society and adapts permanently to keep on serving, as is the case with Telefónica. The fact that several companies in our sector are centenarians is proof of this. We are a relevant sector because we care relevant to people”.

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