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The Pacific Rim is a unique blend of economies. There are booming metro areas like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Silicon Valley, which have led the world in innovation and connectivity standards since the dawn of the computer age. In contrast, there are many islands and remote communities just now coming online, and then there’s everything in between.

2018 and beyond is shaping up to be an exciting time across diverse communities. Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., is Executive Founder of Singularity University, a Silicon Valley institution that counsels the world’s leaders on exponentially growing technologies. Dr. Diamandis wrote in his recent post, “In the next six years, four billion ‘new minds’ are about to be connected to the World Wide Web, at gigabit connection speeds, at near zero-cost.”

The Pacific Rim will benefit on both ends of the innovation spectrum. Telecommunications companies in our developed economies will see unprecedented opportunities, leading the way into the era of innovation. At the other end of the spectrum, our emerging economies are set to burst on to the world stage as millions of individuals who’ve been unable to tap into the Internet, thus far, will now potentially come online.

Top Trends to Watch

The introduction of 5G is going to add fuel to the fire of innovation. Dominic Romeo, Sr. Product Manager at TierPoint, a Pacific Telecommunications Council member, explained, “We’ll see an immediate impact of 5G when it becomes available. Experiences like streaming a live concert or sporting event will improve immeasurably.” Mr. Dominic continues, “It won’t be long, however, before developers start realizing what’s possible with 5G connectivity. They’ll be thinking of all kinds of applications which we have yet to consider.”

5G and the emerging Pacific Rim economies will also spur other innovations in connectivity, especially in connecting remote communities. Microsoft, for example, is experimenting with undersea data centers designed to decrease latency to coastal cities. AT&T is developing small cell technology that will improve the experience for end users in heavy-traffic urban areas, while testing a small cell drone (dubbed the flying cow) that will bring instant connectivity to areas devastated by hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Artificial Intelligence is another trend to watch in the Pacific Rim. One of the most high-profile examples is the work being done by Huawei, a global provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices. Earlier this year, the company won the Smart Cities Award at ConnecTechAsia 2018 for their smart city solutions that use AI and big data to create a host of applications such as Smart Home, Intelligent Traffic Monitoring, Smart Parking, Smart Campus, Smart Transport, and Smart Water Management.

But it’s not just the technological innovations that will have a tremendous impact in the Pacific Rim. With so much technological power available, some of the most brilliant minds in the industry are thinking through ways of ensuring the benefits are available for all. For example, at the 2018 PTC Innovation Awards, the Pacific Telecommunications Council recognized Geeks Without Frontiers for their work in building a customizable legislative framework intended for use by Governments and NGOs as a model for approaching how best to bring the social, educational, and financial benefits of broadband to the greatest number of people quickly and efficiently.

The 2019 PTC Innovation Awards are Open for Submissions

Submissions are now being accepted for the second annual PTC Innovation Awards, which recognizes individuals and companies that have transformed and continue to transform the ICT industry and the markets PTC serves. Special emphasis will be placed on innovation that improves the quality of life in the Pacific Rim using ICT.

These awards are open to PTC Members and non-members – individuals, teams, corporations, non-profits, regulatory and standards bodies. The product, service, application, standard, or other innovation being submitted for an award must have been introduced between 1 November 2017 and 31 October 2018. Visit us online at https://www.ptc.org/ptc19/innovation-awards/ to see our 2019 PTC Innovation Award categories or submit an entry today!

Act now! The deadline for submissions is 19 November 2018.