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The future of mobility will see the integration of a combination of technologies that will facilitate the ultimate experience for commuters in urban cityscapes, with focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. Seaports, logistical hubs, and airports will be fully automated to enhance greater interoperability between trading country partners for boosting economic developments. The way we move and connect is going through a rapid evolution.

Keeping pace with the changes, network operators are constantly innovating to provide well-rounded solutions to meet the requirements of urban mobility systems.

A viable prospect

Conversely, network operators and system integrators should strategize for investment opportunities coming from the expanding mobility sector.

The mobility as a service (MaaS) market size is projected to reach $40.1 billion by 2030 from an estimated $3.3 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 32.1% from 2021 to 2030. The growth of this market is influenced by factors such as increasing smart city initiatives, growing adoption of on-demand mobility services, the need to reduce CO2 emissions, improved 4G/5G infrastructure, and the penetration of smartphones. Therefore, the mobility as a service market is expected to witness significant growth in the future.

For instance, micro-mobility operators are expanding their offerings in the UAE. Networks supporting such operations require connectivity that is fast, stable, and reliable. Micro-mobility companies will require collaborations with telcos that can provide them with optimized connectivity. The global electric scooters market is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 7.7% annually to about $42 billion by 2030, as per Grand View Research.

Another mobility sector that is growing is connected cars. With innovative technology and software upgrades, the connected car industry is getting smarter. Communication networks will play a key role in the functionality of smart cars. This calls for productive collaboration between network operators and manufacturers to work together to explore the potential of this industry.  

Modern cars can share data and are opening up more and more to data sharing across brands. By adding the information shared between cars over a mobile network, the manufacturers are now further elaborating on the business potential and the new ways driver experience can be improved. This data is also used for advanced assisted driving. Technology such as C-V2X, or ‘Cellular Vehicle to Eveything’ makes information sharing available for all connected cars. For example, Ericsson uses Connected Vehicle Cloud to connect more than 4 million vehicles across 180 countries - around 10% of every connected car in the world. Using this powerful cloud solution the company can connect billions of cars, across borders for the next generation of cars.

The amount of data coming from these vehicles will need everything from 5G to machine learning and edge computing.  Dubai's Autonomous transportation Strategy seeks to achieve 25% of transportation in an autonomous way, including aerial taxi.

Mobility for all

Enhanced connectivity in the urban landscape seems to be a boon for the mobility sector’s growth; however, there are still 2.9 billion people who do not have internet access. In less developed countries, internet adoption is at 19.5%, well below the 35% target that the Broadband Commission has set for 2025. As a sign of progress, the number of people using the internet jumped 17% between 2019 and 2021, meaning 782 million people made the life-changing move from unconnected to connected. Yet, the divide is massive.

Telecom operators and their stakeholders have a huge responsibility as well as the opportunity to bring about the benefits of sustainable mobility technologies to these parts soon. Universal connectivity must be made the privilege of every citizen of the world as 50% of the population lives outside big cities. Providing equal opportunities and access to health care, education, entertainment, public services, employment, and travel will warrant a well-functioning mobility sector backed by advanced network systems.

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