We were in Istanbul, Turkey recently to launch a new collaboration with the Knowledge Society Institute. It is a nongovernmental organization established to accelerate Turkey’s transformation into a knowledge society. The goal is for the Institute to become a hub for innovation, a meeting platform for key stakeholders, and a place to share knowledge.
This technology policy partnership with the Brookings Center for Technology Innovation is the first of its kind in Turkey. In the coming months, we plan to work with the Knowledge Society Institute on a variety of topics, such as mEducation, mHealth, smart cities, and wearable devices. These subjects represent areas that are rapidly growing and we want to bring the latest research on consumer trends from around the globe.
We view this collaboration as a way to promote long-term innovation and economic growth in each country. Information and communications technology helps to break down regional and economic disparities and brings the benefits of digital technology to millions of people. It also has significant economic benefits. A World Bank study of 120 nations between 1980 and 2006 found that a ten point increase in broadband penetration was associated with a 1.3 percent increase in gross domestic product.
Phones, tablets, and mobile devices are key to economic development and long-term prosperity. Usage levels are skyrocketing. By 2016, it is estimated that mobile devices will account for 80 percent of the broadband connections. According to GSMA Wireless Intelligence, there are currently 3.9 billion mobile subscribers using 7.4 billion devices.
The mobile economy will likely continue to expand at a rapid pace. We are in the midst of a mobile revolution that will transform the lives of people everywhere. These devices provide opportunities for millions to connect to new developments in education, health care, and smart cities. This is a collaboration that we believe will yield great dividends for Turkey and the United States in the time to come.