Álvarez- Pallete Inaugurates MWC 2024 with Open Gateway as Absolute Protagonist

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

During his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress, José María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman of Telefónica, said 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 for 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 carriers have joined the initiative, totaling 239 networks, representing more than 65% of global mobile connections. “The future is already here. It is happening. Incredible new products and services are already flowing through our networks,” he said.

Examples such as Chat GPT have seen unprecedented adoption rates. But it has also seen the massive deployment of technologies such as drones, robots, IoT, sensors and extended reality. “For all of these,” Alvarez-Pallete explained, “attributes such as speed, capacity, signaling or localization are key. API-centric models are already essential.” On the first anniversary of the launch of Open Gateway, the first generation of APIs is now available. Six countries, including Spain, Brazil, Germany, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and South Africa, have launched their first APIs with the joint commitment of the most relevant operators in each country. In addition, a total of 40 networks have commercially launched at least one API, meeting needs such as increasing security, monitoring cameras or drones to detect anomalies, or improving security to help banks fight fraud.

In his speech in Barcelona, José María Álvarez-Pallete emphasized the strong collaboration between telcos, big tech, aggregators, software developers and all members of the ecosystem committed to co-creating the digital future. “It is time for a global alliance and fair governance to achieve a sustainable and beneficial value chain; it is time to use shared resources responsibly; it is time for a new regulatory scenario,” he said.

Overcoming old regulatory models

The telco industry is an active part of the co-creation of the new digital era, and Telefónica’s chairman insisted on the need for the sector to have its own 21st century regulation that overcomes the old regulatory models, and with a much more balanced ecosystem. “Collaboration embodies the power of what can be done when we come together. And that’s what the GSMA is doing. That’s Open Gateway. And I’m proud to belong to the GSMA. Vision and reality merge into a new world of diversity, curiosity, intelligence, innovation, progress, sustainability, well-being and humanity. We are proud of what we have created.”

Before the many MWC attendees, Álvarez-Pallete guaranteed that operators will continue to evolve their networks, because none of the new services are going to settle for less speed, less capacity or lower latency, lower computing or processing capabilities. “This is an unstoppable process in which it is as important to embrace the new as it is to bid farewell with honors to technologies such as 2G, 3G or copper,” he explained.

He also acknowledged that this new vision presents challenges and that, for this reason, the industry is driving the responsible use of networks and innovation in new investment models that promote sustainability. In the last eight years, Telefónica’s traffic has increased ninefold. In the same period we have managed to reduce energy consumption by 9%. “Responsible use of networks should be the leitmotiv of any technological development,” proposed the company’s chairman.

Telefónica celebrates its 100th anniversary

José María Álvarez-Pallete ended his speech by recalling Telefónica’s upcoming centenary: “A company only celebrates its 100th anniversary if its purpose is to serve society and it adapts to continue to achieve this, 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 about people”.

The telecommunications industry is in the midst of a transformation towards the new era of Earth Computing, where networks will be proactive and liquid. Open Gateway is a key initiative to achieve this transformation, and collaboration between all players in the digital ecosystem is essential. 21st century regulation and sustainability are also key aspects for the future of the sector.