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World Economic Forum for Latin America 2018: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is calling

From left to right: Eduardo Ricotta, president of Ericsson Brazil; Marcos Jorge de Lima, Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade of Brazil; and Eduardo Navarro, President and CEO of Vivo, at World Economic Forum for Latin America 2018

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending the World Economic Forum for Latin America 2018 (WEF #la18) in São Paulo, Brazil, as part of a delegation led by Eduardo Ricotta, Head of Ericsson in Brazil, and Stella Medlicott, Head of Marketing, Communications, and Government and Industry Relations for Ericsson in Europe and Latin America. We had the opportunity to participate in debates and presentations on the importance of the digitalization of industry for more than 700 Latin American business leaders and government representatives. I encourage you to check out the recordings of the live broadcast on the Forum’s website.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The main objective of the gathering was to help organizations navigate and shape the economic, political and technological transformations to come. Many of the conversations and meetings explored how the Fourth Industrial Revolution can help Latin America maximize its potential and foster its entrepreneurial spirit and thriving start-up ecosystem.

Ericsson’s representatives took the opportunity to emphasize that information and communication technology (ICT) has a fundamental role to play in accelerating the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For ICT to truly achieve its potential, we know it’s imperative that governments and policymakers collaborate with the private sector to create a vibrant and empowered ecosystem.

The role of 5G
One of the key points on our agenda was to spread the word about how 5G brings new revenue opportunities. The second edition of our report “The 5G business potential – Industry digitalization and the untapped opportunities for operators” analyzes the 5G business opportunity and shows that industry digitalization investments will generate an estimated USD 619 billion revenue opportunity for telecom operators by 2026, and that telecom operators can profit from an additional 36 percent revenue potential by 2026 from 5G-enabled market opportunities.

Another important aspect of our participation in São Paulo was sharing what we know about how ICT development impacts upon every part of society. At Ericsson, we see that ICT is poised to deliver deep societal transformation – specifically, greater inclusion, social equity and environmental sustainability – that will boost overall growth and prosperity for all. It’s encouraging to see that what was once seen as “only” technological infrastructure is increasingly being recognized as social infrastructure that connects not just people but also communities, economy sectors, industries, and much, much more, in a way that is seamless and intuitive.

New connectivity and digital inclusion project
During World Economic Forum in Latin America 2018 we announced our agreement with the Brazilian government and the Brazilian operator Vivo to work together on a connectivity and digital inclusion project that aims to help the many Venezuelan immigrants that arrive in Brazil every day due to the severe economic crisis in their home country. One important component of the project is to improve local infrastructure in the city of Pacaraima, the main entryway to Brazil from Venezuela, through the implementation of 3G and 4G technologies that will make the process of registering Venezuelans much more efficient.

The project is also connected with the Reference Center for Refugees and Migrants that is currently being established at the Federal University of Roraima in a partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Brazil’s Federal Police, with the purpose of improving the service offered to the Venezuelans and to the local population.

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To learn more about Ericsson’s sustainability work, check out our Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report 2017 at: www.ericsson.com/sustainability-report

Written by Rodrigo Varanda

Rodrigo Varanda is based in São Paulo, Brazil, and is a member of the External Communications Team for Market Area Europe and Latin America. During his 13 years at Ericsson he has worked for brief stints in Sweden and Chile, focused on media relations and stories to build the Ericsson brand and to support business growth and company transformation.