Atlanta leads the charge in east coast mobility

Last week’s GSMA Mobility Live! – North America event brought together a bustling crowd of more than 1,200 registered visitors, including 90 senior executives representing 70 companies, across two days of conference events on mobile technology. In partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), the conference highlighted the technology behind new developments in the mobile industry such as 5G, connected cars, cyber security, digital health, FinTech, the Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality. Since the conference’s first year, attendance has quadrupled.

John Dwyer, President, Cricket Wireless; Glenn Lurie, President & CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations, AT&T; Hala Moddelmog, President & CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber; Michael O'Hara, CMO, GSMA

John Dwyer, President, Cricket Wireless; Glenn Lurie, President & CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations, AT&T; Hala Moddelmog, President & CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber; Michael O’Hara, CMO, GSMA

Atlanta proved to be the perfect place for the GSMA Mobility Live! – North America conference as the city, and Georgia as a whole, continues to reveal itself as fertile ground for the accelerating industry. Georgia currently has more than 24,000 jobs in mobile app development, creating an economic impact of over $1 billion.

Mobile innovators consistently choose Atlanta as an East Coast home – over 3,000 startups currently reside in the metro region, including mobile giants and influencers such as AT&T Mobility, Delta Air Lines, The Weather Channel, The Home Depot, and Turner Broadcasting and CNN. MAC identified mobile as a critical component of its five-year strategic plan to drive job growth, and city leaders such as Mayor Kasim Reed are committed to seeing Atlanta labeled a smart city.

Since 2012, Atlanta has claimed headlines with major mobile technology announcements and explosive job growth. Atlanta’s “smart city” status comes from the presence of companies such as AirWatch by VMware, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and dozens of mobile startups such as Yik Yak, Bastille, CN2, and StarMobile. At the 2014 Mobility Live! event, the GSMA awarded MAC a Smart City Initiative award, and the next year, Georgia Tech launched their Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies.

Initiatives like the one at Georgia Tech are meant to ensure that the best and brightest people fill the new jobs being created within the mobile industry here. MAC’s regional strategy, which includes ChooseATL and MAC’s own Mobile Task Force, focuses on talent retention – including the key demographic of Millennials. This year, the Chamber and its partners have helped 31 technology companies relocate or expand in the region. These companies taken as a whole are expected to create 3,400 jobs over the next three years, and Georgia is poised to fill these positions with the talent needed to keep pace with a fast-moving industry.

NerdWallet recently ranked Atlanta as the #1 mobile-friendly city in the U.S., and with events such as Mobility Live! taking in record levels of attendance, it’s easy to see the city’s growing national prominence in the mobile industry. Additionally, Site Selection magazine ranked Georgia the #1 state for business climate for the fourth consecutive year – there could be no better time to connect in Georgia.

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