Al Gore: Wireless a bright spot in global economy
Crediting the emergence of the web and mobile platforms as the catalyst behind a new communications revolution, former U.S. vice president and environmental activist Al Gore celebrated the nation's wireless industry as a bright spot in an otherwise grim global economy. Speaking today at CTIA Wireless 2009 in Las Vegas, Gore--who called himself "a recovering politician"--praised the momentum and direction of the mobile market: "Your industry is growing and providing new applications, products and services," he said. "It's amazing to think how quickly this revolution has occurred and how rapidly it's still growing." Gore also called the U.S. mobile sector "the most competitive wireless industry of any nation in the world--because of competition, we're seeing the continued pulse of investment to expand the capacity of our networks."
Gore touted the wireless platform as a vital component of the evolving communications ecosystem at the heart of modern democracy, noting that new digital channels herald a significant shift away from the more passive television viewing experience that has dominated information distribution in recent decades. "Because of television, citizens became members of an audience, and the muscle they move is their thumb muscle as they move from channel to channel," Gore said. "They're not developing the democracy muscle. It's one-way communication." By contrast, he said, the web has revolutionized the communications environment, pointing to the election of U.S. president Barack Obama as a milestone: "One reason why he won is because he was able to use new communications devices to raise money not only from industry leaders, but also from individuals by the millions across this country."
In addition, Gore praised the wireless industry's efforts to create greener, more ecologically sensitive products and services, noting the increasing role that mobile solutions play in reducing economic and environmental waste and inefficiency across multiple verticals. In particular, Gore cited wireless technology's impact on the healthcare industry, contending that mobile devices can help offer better medical care and more detailed patient information at lower costs.
"The conflict between the economy and the environment is a myth," Gore stated. "The solutions to the economic crisis are the same solutions to the climate crisis."