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The immeasurable impact of mobile Internet

By Jean-Claude Elias - Feb 28,2019 - Last updated at Feb 28,2019

The impact of the Internet on our lives is such that it cannot be exactly estimated, measured or defined; this much is understood. There is another side of it that is as important as, if not more than, the Internet infrastructure itself – it is the mobile Internet. And this one is growing at incredible speed, with new applications and functionalities added, practically on a daily basis. A tangible proof of this world-changing, massive, global trend, is the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that was held this week in Barcelona, Spain, and that ended on Thursday.

Long gone are the days when mobile devices were used just to make phone calls. The number of applications on the Android operating system alone has crossed the 2.6 million landmark. It is overwhelming, by any measure. Even if you consider that a given batch of about 100 apps do more or the less the same thing, this still leaves about 250,000 different applications covering anything your imagination can think of.

The MWC in Spain has attracted more than 100,000 visitors. This is huge, by any standards, especially when you know that attendance was only possible on invitation, or upon buying a business pass at prices ranging from 800 to 5,000 euros apiece! Indeed, this is a highly professional, international gathering, not the kind of open exhibition where you go with kids and family to have fun, drink a soda, collect some colourful brochures and try to grab give-away gifts.

Whereas the term “mobile” would first make you think of smartphones and tablets, the concept has now extended well beyond these devices. At the MWC you could understandably see the impressive booths of Samsung, Huawei and the like, but also those of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and other carmakers, for instance. This in no way means that the celebrated German car manufacturers are changing their plans and are now designing smartphones, but simply that mobile applications are everywhere, in virtually any manufactured machine, device or appliance.

Actually the automotive world is a prime place where countless, highly critical mobile applications are being implemented. This ranges from integrated GPS and mapping, to engine management and remote troubleshooting (and eventually repair…) of any problem or malfunction that could affect your car.

Intelligent Connectivity, 5G mobile networking, AI (Artificial Intelligence), Amazon Entertainment, Humanoid Robots, Mind Hygiene and Economic Gaming are only some of the fascinating, avant-garde topics that were the subject of lectures and conferences during the congress.

The number of exhibitors was in the hundreds, with all the big names in the IT industry participating, as well as many from most other industries too, since there is now hardly any sector that is not using mobile networking or that is involved one way or another in the matter.

Among the Jordanian participants, the presence of ProgressSoft Corporation was particularly remarkable. The leading, innovative and pioneering Jordanian company is “a global provider of real-time payment solutions serving 370 banks, central banks, mobile network operators and financial institutions in 24 countries across the globe”. ProgressSoft was there with an impressive group of its top management and its business development staff, to showcase its know-how and top mobile payment products.

Whereas the core infrastructure of the Internet is mainly cabled, with fibre-optic technology essentially, actual usage by the consumer is going mobile everywhere, especially at the individual level, with the trend continuing, unabated.

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