“Digitization, together with globalization, will radically change everything, and this time it’s for real”, declared Carlos López Blanco, Director General of Public Affairs and Regulation at Telefónica, in the lecture titled “Transformation towards a digital single market: the European case” at the Andicom International Congress, recently held in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia).
With the slogan “Reinventing ourselves, the transformation is here”, Andicom, the largest ICT Congress in Latin America, brought together more than 2,500 people from the ICT sector to address the massification and use of digital technologies, focusing their discussions on the significance of the digital transformation.
The event was also attended by David Luna, the Colombian Minister of ICT, who launched the event, and Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia, who brought it to a close, together with other internationally renowned speakers.
The Telefónica executive made public Telefónica’s positioning with regard to the digital revolution, which “will bring about a change four times greater than that of the industrial revolution, in which traditional sectors such as transport, hotels, the media, finances and entertainment, among others, will be greatly affected by the new ways of satisfying consumer demand in the digital world”. He also analysed the importance of data in this new society, as they will represent much more than a new form of oil, affecting basic rights such as privacy and competition, among other aspects.
With regard to regulation, López Blanco indicated that more flexible regulation is necessary and that the competition this will entail for the new digital world should be taken into account, focusing on investment as the only way of continuing to promote growth. He commented that “the region should consider success stories such as the Spanish model in terms of broadband deployment, which has meant that, in less than 10 years, Spain has moved up from 14th place in fibre deployment, overtaking all the EU countries, and, in the last 3 years, has reached first place”. In addition, he stressed that “the changes in the regulatory framework, favouring companies which invest, have been instrumental in achieving this success”.
Another highlight of the event was that Telefónica was acknowledged as the first telco accessible to people with disabilities in Colombia. “We want to give the most vulnerable people the opportunity to access a whole world of possibilities through ICT. We believe that the digital revolution will contribute to equal opportunities for people with disabilities”, declared the executive following the above acknowledgement.
Until now, Telefónica has opened ten centres of expertise for people with some form of disability in Colombia. Two of them are in Bogotá and the others are in Cali, Medellín, Bucaramanga, Cúcuta, Pereira, Pasto, Cartagena and Barranquilla.
As for Fabián Hernández, Director of Public Affairs and Regulation of Telefónica Movistar Colombia, he stated that the company’s responsibility is “to connect people to technology and close the information divides, so that nobody misses out on a whole range of possibilities and challenges, including people who, for years, have had limited access due to their circumstances”.
Carlos López Blanco with Telefónica's Colombian team.