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DigiWorld 2013: 4G and 5G crucial for telecoms industry revival

DigiWorld Summit 2013 has officially started, and who better to begin affairs than IDATE chairman François Barrault and IDATE CEO Yves Gassot?

Barrault kicked off proceedings with a short but emotional speech about the show as a whole, dedicating this year's conference to former Swisscom chief Carsten Schloter, who spoke at last year's event and passed away earlier this year.

According to Barrault, the main theme of DigiWorld 2013 is hope. Despite all the negativity that has plagued business of late – referring mainly to the economic crisis – he believes it is important to remind the world that there is a bright future ahead. 'The digital gold mines' intends to underline that point.

Gassot then took over the reins. "Is this the end of the telecom industry?" was his opening line. "Certainly not." Gassot believes that the telecommunications industry is at a crossroads, and has to push on by reinventing its 'footprint' and business models.

Things like fibre technology, 4G and 5G are, according to Gassot, the best way forwards at this point in time, and telecoms firms need to deploy them as effectively as possible.

"Some players are seeing their revenues erode and wondering where the value is," said Gassot. "Others are questioning [the digital ecosystem's] real contribution to growth.

"Yet the multifarious innovations surrounding the Internet and digital technologies are unearthing rich new veins ripe for mining."