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Public Policy news

  • GSMA Expresses Concerns Over PT Indosat Mega Media Case in Indonesia August 11, 2013 Download here
  • Impact of exclusion zones policies on siting of base stations (Case Study) November 20, 2012 November 2012 This report presents the results of a modeling analysis of the impacts of planning-based exclusion zones on the ability to site mobile communication base stations. In the context of mobile communications infrastructure deployment planning-based exclusion zones are distance-based restrictions on the siting of base stations sometimes imposed by local governments around community facilities. The Australia radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits are consistent with international recommendations and there are no mandatory planning exclusion zone policies. The analysis is based on the impacts of a range of hypothetical distances and uses information from public sources on the locations of base stations and community facilities. The main findings of the analysis include: * Across the whole metropolitan area, 54% of all existing radio base stations would be impacted by a 500 m exclusion zone around community facilities (schools, pre-school and medical facilities). * In an inner urban suburb an exclusion zone of 500 m around all community facilities would cover nearly 90% of the total geographic area of the suburb, affecting virtually all-existing antennas sites and making it nearly impossible to improve mobile network services. The many negative consequences mean that distance based planning exclusion zones are not an effective response to community concerns about siting of base stations. Positive policy responses include adopting science-based exposure limits following the recommendations of the WHO; ensuring compliance with those limits; developing nationally consistent planning policies for base stations and ensuring the public availability of information about radio base stations in a format that is understandable by communities. We have also produced an associated blog post and podcast. Download PDF (1.6 MB)
  • E-waste crisis averted – Nokia offers to recycle 2 million fake phones in Kenya September 26, 2012 Nokia has averted a potential environmental crisis in Kenya after the company put their hand up to handle the collection and recycling of more than two million counterfeit phones that will be rendered useless when they are cut-off from the country’s mobile network on 30 September 2012. The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) announced plans last year to block all non-genuine mobile devices from connecting to the network, in an attempt to stop the illegal trade of knock-off devices, yet in the lead-up to the deadline admitted there were no systems in place to collect and recycle any unwanted phones. Less than two weeks out from the planned switch off, the Kenyan government was yet to advise mobile users of a safe and environmentally friendly way that they could dispose of their counterfeit phones until Nokia stepped in. According to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Kenya does not have the resources needed to handle the expected flow of fake electronics and the regulator was instead looking at ways they could offload the waste electronics to other West African countries capable of recycling them. However Nokia, which already runs a successful recycling program in the region for all models of phone, announced that it would partner with local mobile service providers and retail outlets to set up an additional 100 collection points across the country, making it easier for consumers to dispose of their unwanted phones. Counterfeit phones, batteries and chargers are often made from cheap components that contain dangerous banned chemicals and metals such as lead and mercury that are associated with a range ...
  • First tower study in Middle East finds exposures well below safety limits September 25, 2012 In response to public concern about the safety of mobile phone tower signals in the middle-east, researchers have conducted the first ever study of base station exposures in the region and found all but a handful of radiation levels were higher than 1,000 times below international safety guidelines. The Saudi Arabian scientists from King Saud University measured radio frequency levels around 60 base stations in the capital Riyadh and compared the readings with the guidelines developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) to find exposures were well below the safety limits. “The time-averaged general public exposures in most locations were less than one-thousandth of allowable limit,” the study concluded. “It was determined, on the basis of both results of the measurements and calculations carried out for these selected base stations, that members of the public would not be exposed to in excess of a small fraction of the ICNIRP guidelines at any of those sites.” The researchers said of the 356 measurements taken only seven were higher than one-thousandth of the safety limits, which should reassure Saudis living near mobile towers of their compliance. “These are first such measurements to be made in the Middle East and provide assurance that exposures in this region of the world do not seem to be any greater than elsewhere,” the study said. The Saudi telecommunications regulator initiated the measurement campaign in response to public concern about the health effects of exposure from mobile base stations in the region and an expected increase in the number of new phone towers to be installed in Riyadh. The researchers selected ...
  • Appeals court blocks San Francisco cell phone warning law September 22, 2012 A controversial San Francisco law requiring cell phone retailers to warn customers of potential radiation risks was blocked by a U.S. appeals court. It would require retailers to give each cell phone buyer a fact sheet saying the World Health Organization had classified the phones’ radio-frequency emissions as a “possible carcinogen.” The sheet also shows human silhouettes absorbing radiation and suggests protective measures, like wearing headsets, making shorter calls and limiting use by children. Stores would have had to put similar messages on large wall posters and on stickers attached to display ads. The ruling was issued by Judges Mary Schroeder and Consuelo Callahan and U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York, temporarily assigned to the court. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government can require businesses to display factual, undisputed information about their products. Last year U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled that parts of San Francisco’s ordinance went too far, conveying what he called a misleading message that cell phones are dangerous. “The overall impression left is that cell phones are dangerous and that they have somehow escaped the regulatory process,” Judge Alsup wrote. “That impression is untrue and misleading, for all of the cell phones sold in the United States must comply with safety limits set by the FCC.” He told the city to delete the silhouettes and modify its fact sheet, but said it could still compel retailers to disclose undisputed facts about a “plausible public health threat.” The U.S. industry association – the CTIA – said the new fact sheet, although preferable to the original version, still violated freedom of expression ...
  • Overall risk assessment of mobile phone technologies started by WHO September 19, 2012 The World Health Organization’s overall risk assessment of all health outcomes for mobile communication technologies has started and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Following the classification and announcement last June by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that RF Fields are a possible human carcinogen, the next stage of review is an overall risk assessment covering all health outcomes – not just cancer. The WHO has announced they have started the Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) review or ‘monograph’ on RF Fields used by mobile communication technologies. WHO Radiation Programme Team Leader, Dr Emilie van Deventer, outlined the process to produce the monograph and the expected timings of each stage at the annual ICNIRP meeting held in Edinburgh in May. Dr van Deventer’s presentation is now available to view online. She said the WHO have started the process to produce a first draft of the monograph which would then be distributed to 400 experts around the world for review before a second draft is produced. The second draft will then be discussed at a Task Group Meeting which is expected to be held in the fall (Sept – Nov) of 2013. However, due to the “extensive science and language editing required the monograph will not be ready – if all goes well – until the end of 2014,” Dr van Deventer said. Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) reviews are critical risk assessments of the effects of chemicals and physical and biological agents on human health and the environment. On June 18, 2007 the WHO published its EHC on extremely low frequency (ELF) electric ...
  • Norwegian experts find no health risks with mobile phones and wireless networks September 9, 2012 There are no health risks from mobile phones and their base stations or wireless networks according to a comprehensive review of all available scientific evidence by a Norwegian Expert Committee. “The group found no evidence that the low-level fields around mobile phones and other transmitters increase the risk of cancer, impair male fertility, cause other reproductive damage or lead to other diseases and adverse health effects, such as changes to the endocrine and immune systems,” said committee Chair Professor Jan Alexander – who is the Assistant Director-General at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health – in a statement. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health was commissioned to appoint the Expert Committee by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services along with the Ministry of Transport and Communication because of daily enquires about the health effects of exposures to wireless technologies. In the comprehensive 200-page report, the committee also reviewed the risk of cancer and “found no scientific evidence for an association between mobile phone use and fast-growing brain tumours. So far, the effect on slow-growing tumours has been studied in people who have used mobile phones for up to 20 years. These studies show no association.” “Exposure from base stations and radio and television transmitters is significantly lower than from using a mobile phone and the available data do not suggest that such low exposure could increase the risk of cancer,” the committee said. A number of studies of cancer in animals have been performed, and relevant mechanisms have also been studied using micro-organisms and cells. Overall, these studies provide further evidence that exposure ...
  • GSMA to step up off-grid green energy network conversions thanks to World Bank support September 9, 2012 More than 10,000 rural phone towers in communities without electricity will be upgraded to green energy sources such as wind and solar over the next four years thanks to continued support for the GSMA’s project to convert diesel powered network sites in developing countries. The GSMA and the World Bank’s international development arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), have pledged to continue their partnership to reduce mobile operators’ carbon emissions through the promotion of renewable energy technologies for base stations as part of their joint Green Power for Mobile program launched in September 2008. The total number of green-power sites worldwide has increased by 36 per cent as a result of the program, up to nearly 12,600 sites today run by 66 mobile operators across 52 countries. The IFC and GSMA aim to create a further 10,000 green mobile-power sites over the next four years by working together to develop industry standards, facilitate technical training, conduct feasibility studies, and promote good business practices for green power in the mobile telecommunications sector, with a special focus on developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Announcing their new commitment, IFC Global Head of Telecommunications, Media, and Technology Kent Lupberger noted that when network operators take advantage of renewable energy technology to expand their network coverage in to areas without electricity infrastructure, it provided great economic and social benefits for local communities. “IFC has seen that mobile services can transform people’s lives and help grow local economies,” Lupberger said. “There is great opportunity for green power to help address climate change, expand mobile services into rural areas, ...
  • World Telecommunications and Information Society Day- May 2012 May 17, 2012 Today is World Telecommunications and Information Society Day, which is celebrated around the world in an effort to raise awareness of the power of communications technologies and promote initiatives that reduce the digital divide. The theme for WTISD 2012 is Women and Girls in ICT. Policymakers around the world are encouraged by the ITU Council to prioritise strategies that will encourage and develop the talent and skills needed to build a vibrant and diversified ICT sector. By implementing policies that engage women and girls at all levels, governments can help capture the full potential and talent within their countries and boost their economies. The GSMA and our members are strong supporters of promoting ICT opportunities for women and girls in ICT, particularly through the GSMA mWomen Programme. mWomen is an global public-private partnership between the global mobile industry and the international development community. It is funded by AusAID, USAID, GSMA and Visa Inc, and is supported by a global network of champions including Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia; H.E., Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Hon. Kamla Persad- Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago; Dr. Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation; and Madam Tobeka Madiba Zuma, First Lady of South Africa. mWomen aims to reduce the mobile phone gender gap by 50 per cent by 2014, bringing mobile connectivity and services to more than 150 million women in emerging markets. It delivers research, grants for mobile operators and NGOs, toolkits, ...
  • Study shows lower taxation can lead to higher revenues for Turkish government- May 2012 May 10, 2012 9 May 2012, Istanbul: The GSMA today outlined findings from its Mobile Telephony and Taxation in Turkey report which highlights that mobile consumers in Turkey pay the highest taxation as a proportion of mobile service costs in the world. Taxes in 2011 represented 48.2 per cent of the Total Cost of Mobile Ownership (TCMO)1 for the average Turkish consumer against a global average of just 18.2 per cent.
  • Broadband Commission releases new climate report April 4, 2012 The GSMA commends the Broadband Commission on its new climate report which provides recommendations for policymakers and global leaders to leverage ICT and broadband services in the shift towards a low-carbon economy. The Broadband Commission’s report aims to raise awareness of the role ICT, particularly broadband networks, can play in helping create a low carbon economy. It is based on interviews, case studies and supporting material from more than 20 leaders and experts in the field. Gabriel Solomon, Head of GSMA Public Policy, commended the report, commenting that one priority when addressing these challenges is to minimise energy consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions. The GSMA contributed to the report as part of its work in reducing the mobile industry’s carbon footprint through the GSMA’s Mobile Energy Efficiency (MEE) programme. The GSMA is working with 35 mobile network operators who represent more than 200 networks – and more than half of the world’s mobile subscribers – as part of its MEE Benchmarking service. MEE Benchmarking is one of the three key initiatives profiled by the Broadband Commission that are actively seeking to combat growth in energy consumption and emissions. MEE Benchmarking is a management tool that helps MNOs measure and monitor the relative efficiency of their radio access networks, identifying under-performing networks and quantifying the potential efficiency gains available, typically around 10% to 25% across a MNO’s portfolio. The GSMA also offers a follow-on service, MEE Optimisation, which develops action plans for MNOs to reduce network energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions in under-performing networks. MEE Optimisation recently completed its first successful project with Telefónica Germany and ...
  • Telefónica Germany identifies € 1.8 Million per year of energy savings with GSMA Mobile Energy Efficiency Optimisation pilot- April 2012 April 4, 2012 The GSMA today announced the successful completion of the first Mobile Energy Efficiency Optimisation project with Telefónica Germany and Nokia Siemens Networks’ Energy Solutions. Telefónica Germany participated in the GSMA’s Mobile Energy Efficiency (MEE) Benchmarking service, which helps mobile operators lower their energy costs and carbon footprint by benchmarking network energy efficiency, and over the past three years has improved network energy efficiency by 14 per cent per connection. Keen to improve its energy efficiency further, Telefónica Germany signed up to the GSMA’s MEE Optimisation service, which identified an additional cost saving potential of € 1.8 million per year. “We are delighted that this collaboration with Telefónica and Nokia Siemens Networks is a success and look forward to achieving the identified savings,” said Gabriel Solomon, Head of Public Policy, GSMA. “The GSMA is focused on replicating this success with other networks around the world as we increasingly see that energy efficiency is a strategic priority for mobile network operators globally.” “At Telefónica we are fully committed to improving our energy efficiency and have defined public improvement targets and dedicated efforts for over a decade to this area, as part of Telefónica Group’s energy and carbon strategy,” said Gabriel Bonilha, Head of Energy Efficiency, Telefónica Group. “Being a MEE pioneer has helped us to quantify the opportunity ahead of us and this optimisation exercise, supported by the GSMA and Nokia Siemens Networks, is an important step in seizing that opportunity.” “Working with the GSMA and Telefónica helped Nokia Siemens Networks to understand and provide innovations and high quality solutions to enhance energy efficiency in ...
  • Mobile Privacy: delivering trust for consumers and citizens March 29, 2012 The convergence of mobile and the internet is bringing significant benefits to consumers and society. However, this welcomed development is also re-shaping the online privacy landscape and is leading to the emergence of new privacy challenges across the mobile ecosystem. Traditional approaches to online privacy are often based on compliance, with a patchwork of national and local law where they exist. However, new mobile applications, services and data flows are increasingly global, and geographically bound data privacy laws appear unable to keep pace. A challenge in the mobile ecosystem is to ensure user privacy is respected and protected by those designing and building applications and services. GSMA has been working with representatives from across the mobile ecosystem including device manufacturers, operating system vendors, application developers, and social networking and internet companies under the GSMA Mobile Privacy Initiative to help establish universal guidelines and approaches that address consumer concerns and foster confidence and trust for mobile users. On 27 February 2012, the GSMA also published a set of Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development and sought feedback on them from a range of industry stakeholders, regulators and civil society. This aims at providing users with better transparency, choice and control over how apps use their personal information and mobile operators in Europe will implement the guidelines for their own branded applications. “The Privacy Guidelines which are being implemented now are an important first step, but for real change, there needs to be close collaboration between the mobile industry, Internet industry, civil society and regulators,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA. Watch an interview with Pat Walshe, Director ...
  • ITU World Radiocommunication Conference: Governments back call for new mobile spectrum March 29, 2012 At the the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) in Geneva the ITU and the GSMA announced that future global spectrum allocation for mobile will be on the agenda at the next event in 2015 (WRC-15). “By taking action now to secure more spectrum, mobile operators will be better positioned to meet the mobile data needs of billions of consumers well into the future” said Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA. The future of mobile depends on mobile operators having timely and reasonable access to the necessary spectrum resource. Estimates of mobile data demand have always proven too conservative. Data growth by 2010 had exceeded earlier ITU forecasts by over five times. Today there are more than 1.7 billion IMT connections around the world, and by 2015 this number will more than double to over 3.6 billion as mobile technology grows exponentially. Mobile connectivity is also a key driver of economic improvement – the World Bank estimates that a ten per cent increase in mobile broadband penetration can boost GDP by 0.6 per cent in developed countries, 0.81 per cent in developing countries, and as much as 1.4 per cent in some low income countries. Watch an interview with Roberto Ercole, Director of Spectrum, GSMA.
  • Mobile Privacy: delivering trust for consumers and citizens March 29, 2012 The convergence of mobile and the internet is bringing significant benefits to consumers and society. However, this welcomed development is also re-shaping the online privacy landscape and is leading to the emergence of new privacy challenges across the mobile ecosystem. Traditional approaches to online privacy are often based on compliance, with a patchwork of national and local law where they exist. However, new mobile applications, services and data flows are increasingly global, and geographically bound data privacy laws appear unable to keep pace. A challenge in the mobile ecosystem is to ensure user privacy is respected and protected by those designing and building applications and services. GSMA has been working with representatives from across the mobile ecosystem including device manufacturers, operating system vendors, application developers, and social networking and internet companies under the GSMA Mobile Privacy Initiative to help establish universal guidelines and approaches that address consumer concerns and foster confidence and trust for mobile users. On 27 February 2012, the GSMA also published a set of Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development and sought feedback on them from a range of industry stakeholders, regulators and civil society. This aims at providing users with better transparency, choice and control over how apps use their personal information and mobile operators in Europe will implement the guidelines for their own branded applications. “The Privacy Guidelines which are being implemented now are an important first step, but for real change, there needs to be close collaboration between the mobile industry, Internet industry, civil society and regulators,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA. Watch an interview with Pat Walshe, Director ...
  • Children’s Use of Mobile Phones — An International Comparison November 2011: Japan, India, Paraguay and Egypt November 22, 2011 Download
  • New report shows perceptions of the mobile industry held by governments and regulators- November 2011 November 18, 2011 The GSMA has launched its second edition of the Mobile Reputation Index Report. The report is an on-going research project into the perceptions of the mobile industry held by governments and regulators. This new report summarises the views of respondents between April and September 2011 and compares them with the findings between October 2010 and March 2011. This time, Europeans made up a much greater proportion of those surveyed. Almost 39% of the 275 respondents were from Europe, compared with 18% of the 250 respondents in the first survey. The larger number of European respondents may have had a negative impact on how the mobile industry scores in a number of key areas, perhaps reflecting the fact that the impact of widespread mobile connectivity in Europe has not been as profound in developing regions, such as Africa and Latin America, where fixed lines are scarce. The survey also confirmed that there is some disquiet among many policy makers and regulators, particularly in Europe, around specific issues, such as the transparency of roaming prices and the industry’s responsiveness to public concerns about health risks from exposure to radio frequencies. Even so, the report continues to show that the contribution of the mobile industry to social and economic welfare is broadly recognised by policy makers and regulators across the world. Moreover, more than two thirds of respondents believe the mobile industry’s socio-economic contribution is increasing. The summarised findings show in more detail how the mobile industry scored in the second survey compared with the first. The third edition of the survey, covering the period between October ...
  • GSMA to speak at 2nd Annual European Data Protection and Privacy conference- December 2011 November 17, 2011 Following up from last year’s successful event, the 2011 European Data Protection and Privacy conference is set to be a dinner. Keynote speakers will include: Viviane Reding, VP of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship; Axel Voss MEP, Rapporteur on the Initiative Report, European Parliament; Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor; Marie-Hélène Boulanger, Head of Data Protection unit, European Commission; and the GSMA’s Director of Privacy, Pat Walshe Time:Tuesday, 6 December 2011 Venue:Management Centre Europe, Brussels Registration:Fee applies www.dataprotection2011.eu
  • GSMA Energy Efficiency Methodology Incorporated in ITU’s New Global Standard- November 2011 November 17, 2011 The GSMA’s Mobile Energy Efficiency Benchmarking methodology has been recognised in a global standard by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The GSMA’s methodology, which benchmarks the energy efficiency of mobile networks, has been included in the ITU’s standard ITU-T L.1410 ‘Methodology for Environmental Impact Assessment of ICT Goods, Networks and Services’. The GSMA developed the methodology as part of Mobile Energy Efficiency (MEE) Benchmarking, a network benchmarking service. MEE has now been adopted by 34 mobile network operators who run more than 200 networks across 145 countries. “The recognition of our methodology in a global standard is a testament to the outstanding collaboration the GSMA has with its members and other stakeholders such as the ITU and European Commission,” said Gabriel Solomon, Head of Regulatory Policy, GSMA. “We have developed a unique management tool that mobile operators are using to identify energy and carbon saving opportunities.” “We are delighted with the timely outcome of a complex process. The ITU maintains a first-rate working relationship with the GSMA, and many other partners, aimed at achieving a definitive set of methodologies to measure the environmental impact of ICTs,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. To leverage the results of MEE Benchmarking, the GSMA has launched a new service, MEE Optimisation, which undertakes a detailed bottom-up analysis to identify and assess the inefficiencies of a network, to then provide operators with a cost-benefit analysis of specific solutions that can be considered to improve network energy efficiency. MEE Optimisation develops detailed action plans aimed at reducing operators’ energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. To do this, ...
  • Allocating digital dividend spectrum could contribute up to US$15 billion to Latin American economy- November 2011 November 17, 2011 New research shows that allocating digital dividend spectrum in the 700 MHz band for the deployment of mobile services could contribute almost US$15 billion to the Latin American economy and would extend mobile broadband coverage to nearly 93 per cent of the regional population. Announced at the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) 11th Global Symposium for Regulators in Armenia, Colombia, these figures are from a new study, jointly commissioned by the GSMA and AHCIET and conducted by Telecom Advisory Services LLC (TAS), on the economic and social impact of the digital dividend in Latin America. The figures represent the total economic impact of licensing the digital dividend spectrum for Mobile Broadband in Latin America, as well as the purchase of network infrastructure, support and commercial services. This contrasts with a gain of only US$3.5 billion if the band remains reserved for broadcasting across the region. For the five major economies in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, the upside of allocating the digital dividend to mobile broadband is even more significant, contributing up to almost US$11 billion, compared to just under US$3 billion if the band is reserved for broadcasting. Digital dividend spectrum is currently allocated for broadcasting in most Latin American countries, but, as a result of the transition from analogue to digital TV, this spectrum now has significant free capacity. By allocating digital dividend spectrum for mobile broadband technologies, such as HSPA and LTE, the disparity between the connected and disconnected, commonly known as the digital divide, can be lessened. Through the re-allocation of digital dividend spectrum, mobile broadband coverage ...
  • GSMA Europe’s Mobilising the Cloud Conference- December 2011 November 16, 2011 The emergence of the mobile cloud is a driver for competitiveness and consumer convenience. How can the European Union capitalise on this important opportunity? The GSMA’s Mobilising the Cloud Conference, will examine the current state of play, the future of the mobile cloud and the business and policy challenges standing between the two. Confidence is key in “mobilising the cloud”: the confidence for users to consume cloud-based services; the confidence for operators to roll out compelling cloud-based services and content; and the confidence in the business case for investing in access networks that will enable the mobile cloud. The right policy and regulatory environment can underpin confidence in all three areas and encourage the investment and innovation necessary to mobilise the cloud in Europe to the benefit of consumers and businesses. Time: 15h00 to 18h45, Wednesday 7 December 2011 Venue: GSMA Europe, Park View 1 Floor, Chaussée d’Etterbeek 180,  Brussels, Belgium Registration: Online Registration – Kiki Walravens: kwalravens@gsm.org
  • New research that shows children’s mobile phone habits are changing- November 2011 November 14, 2011 New research released today by the GSMA and the NTT DOCOMO Mobile Society Research Institute shows that 69 per cent of children aged eight to 18 use mobile phones and 40 per cent of these regularly use mobile phones to access the internet. The new research is third in a series of international studies on the use of mobile phones by children and which investigated more than 3,500 children and their parents in Egypt, Japan, Paraguay and India. “This series of research gives us a real understanding over time of the changing dynamics of children’s use of mobile on a regional basis and by taking these learnings and applying them, the industry is leading the debate on how to provide a positive experience and protect young people online,” said Tom Philips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “We are developing considered regulatory and self-regulatory approaches to enable safe environments for children using mobile services as well as engaging with governments, child experts, NGOs and other stakeholders in constructive policy discussions, and we encourage all of members of the mobile ecosystem to be proactive in this area.” “For the first time, the research series explores children’s use of smartphones and their attitudes and behaviours towards social networking and privacy on their mobile phones,” said Toshiya Shinozaki, director of NTT DOCOMO’s Mobile Society Research. “We know children are using social networking on mobile phones and the research shows just how prevalent this is, with 73 per cent of children who use the mobile internet using social networking services, considerably more than the 43 per cent of parents currently using ...
  • GSMA speaks to CNBC in Africa- November 2011 November 10, 2011 Peter Lyons, Director of Spectrum Policy, Africa and Middle East, GSMA appeared on CNBC today to speak about the GSMA Africa Mobile Observatory.
  • New report shows Africa is world’s second largest mobile market- November 2011 November 9, 2011 The first GSMA Africa Mobile Observatory launched today at Africacom and shows Africa is now the world’s second largest mobile market by connections after Asia. Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world. Africa achieved this milestone as mobile penetration reached 649 million connections in Q4 2011, having first exceeded 50 per cent mobile penetration in 2010. The GSMA Mobile Observatory Africa provides the latest statistics and market developments, and is a reference point for participants in the mobile industry, policy makers and other interested stakeholders. It covers the state of the industry, including the evolution of competition, innovation in new products, services and technologies and the industry’s contribution to social and economic development in Africa. The report shows that over the past five years, the number of subscribers across Africa has grown by almost 20 per cent each year and will reach more than 735 million by the end of 2012. Ninety-six per cent of subscriptions are pre-paid with voice services currently dominating, although uptake of data services is increasing steadily. There are currently six live HSPA+ networks across Africa, with a seventh deployment planned in the near future. By 2015, next-generation LTE networks are predicted to reach 500,000 connections in Kenya, 1.1 million connections in Nigeria and 2.5 million connections in South Africa. The mobile ecosystem in Africa currently generates approximately US$56 billion or 3.5 per cent of total GDP, with mobile operators alone contributing US$49 billion. The mobile industry contributes US$15 billion in government revenues. It is also a significant contributor to employment in Africa, with approximately 5.4 ...
  • Global mobile tax benchmark shows consumers pay more tax today than in 2007- November 2011 November 7, 2011 The average tax burden on mobile consumers is higher today than in 2007 according to a new global benchmark study undertaken by Deloitte for the GSMA. The benchmark of 111 countries found that the average increase in tax, as a proportion of mobile usage costs, rose by over one per cent from 16.9 in 2007 to 18.0 per cent today, and that taxation as a proportion of the total cost of mobile ownership (TCMO), increased from 17.4 per cent in 2007 to 18.1 per cent today. Some 63 countries levy mobile-specific taxation in addition to general sales taxes. Since 2007, 56 countries have increased the level of taxation on mobile consumers. For instance, mobile users in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar are paying 50 per cent more tax today than they did in 2007. In countries such as the Gabonese Republic, Pakistan and Sierra Leone, mobile consumers are paying almost twice as much tax in 2011 compared to 2007, while the rate in Malaysia has almost tripled. In all of these countries, the increases are due to the introduction of excise duties on mobile usage known as “airtime taxes”. Increased levels of taxation makes mobile services less affordable and cuts the potential associated economic impact of mobile phones and mobile broadband services. The study found that 21 countries now levy airtime taxes in addition to general sales taxes, including 12 in sub-Saharan Africa, up from six in 2007. Consumers in Turkey continue to pay the most airtime tax at 43 per cent, followed by the Gabonese Republic at 36 per ...
  • New handset recycling scheme for Qatar- November 2011 November 2, 2011 Qatar has a new handset recycling scheme. The initiative, run by local communications company Starlink and UAE-based handset recycling company FoneSwap, will enable citizens to trade in their old handsets with a view to getting a substantial discount on a brand new phone or receive monetary vouchers. Once handed back to Starlink, the old handsets will be forwarded to FoneSwap to be dismantled and recycled in a responsible way with any valuable parts being re-used elsewhere. Any handsets in good working order will be re-sold in other countries.
  • October 21- Recent study shows no evidence of the relationship between mobile phones and brain tumours October 21, 2011 The prestigious British Medical Journal published a report by Danish researchers about the relationship between mobile phone use and brain tumours. The research included more than 350.000 mobile subscribers and among its conclusions found no indications that increased exposure to mobile phone use has a direct effect on susceptibility to brain tumours. Described as the largest study on the subject, researchers found cancer rates in the central nervous system were almost the same in both long-term mobile phone users and people who do not use the handsets. The Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen studied the whole Danish population aged over 30 and born in Denmark after 1925 by gathering information from the Danish phone network operators and from the Danish Cancer Register. They analysed data of 10,729 central nervous system tumours between 1990 and 2007 and found that long-term mobile users (who had used the devices for 13 years or more) had similar cancer rates to non-subscribers. The researchers said they observed no overall increased risk for tumours of the central nervous system or for all cancers combined in mobile phone users. The authors said: “The extended follow-up allowed us to investigate effects in people who had used mobile phones for 10 years or more, and this long-term use was not associated with higher risks of cancer. “However, as a small to moderate increase in risk for subgroups of heavy users or after even longer induction periods than 10 to 15 years cannot be ruled out, further studies with large study populations, where the potential for misclassification of exposure and selection bias ...
  • Roamfest and Hubfest will now exclusively take place during BARG- October 2011 October 17, 2011 There will not be a Roamfest & Hubfest event held during BARG#78 taking place in Monaco in October 2011. The next Roamfest & Hubfest will be held in China in March 2012 at BARG#79. Members are encouraged to visit the BARG homepage on the GSMA Infocentre for more information on the next Roamfest & Hubfest.
  • September 2011- GSMA research shows mobile users rank privacy as important when using applications and services September 28, 2011 This new privacy research is the first in a series of studies commissioned by the GSMA to help understand the degree to which privacy interests are of concern to mobile users, and how they influence attitudes towards, and use of, mobile internet services and applications. While the research shows that privacy concerns can discourage consumer engagement with mobile internet services, mobile applications and advertising, it also reveals that users greatly value the services and the opportunities they bring. The research highlighted that half of users were concerned about sharing their personal information while using the mobile Internet or mobile applications. Around 81 per cent of mobile users surveyed felt that safeguarding their personal information was very important and 76 per cent said they were very selective about whom they gave their information to. Key areas of user concern, which focused on trust and confidence, were highlighted as behavioural advertising, location-based services (LBS), mobile applications and third-party sharing. Other study findings include: 89 per cent of users think that it is important to know when personal information is being shared by an application and to be able to turn this off or on; 89 per cent think it important to have the option of giving permission for personal information to be used by third parties and 78 per cent are concerned with third parties having access to the location of their mobile without permission; 74 per cent want to be told if their personal information is collected to target them with offers or promotions; and 92 per cent of respondents have concerns when applications collect personal information without ...
  • FCC announces date for net neutrality to be adopted- September 2011 September 23, 2011 The United States Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules will become effective on 20 November 2011 and their effectiveness will be reviewed within two years. The impact of these rules on mobile broadband providers is summarised in this one page document.
  • GSMA Mobile Network Benchmarking service gains backing of 20 mobile operators March 22, 2011 The GSMA today announced that its Mobile Energy Efficiency (MEE) network benchmarking service, launched in November 2010, has now recruited a further 17 mobile network operators (MNO), growing the total number of operators supporting the initiative to 20 worldwide. MEE participating operators manage 150 networks across 100 countries, accounting for 40 per cent of global mobile subscribers. Initial findings from the methodology are expected to be completed by summer 2011. Operators including Airtel, Axiata, Bharti Infratel, China Mobile, CSL, Idea, Kyivstar, Mobinil, MTN, MTS, NTT Docomo, Orange, Orascom, T-Mobile, Telefónica, Telekom Austria, Telenor, Telecom Italia, Telstra, and Zain support the MEE service, which will: identify and quantify energy efficiency savings for MNOs benchmark networks against a consistent set of four key performance indicators: energy per connection, energy per base station, energy per unit of traffic, and energy per unit of revenue report on aggregate mobile network greenhouse gas emissions, globally and by region, using 2009 data as a baseline. “I am very proud that we have reached scale so quickly and have attracted some of the mobile industry’s leading MNOs, with many more expected to join soon,” said Gabriel Solomon, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, GSMA. “The GSMA’s approach is a practical and pragmatic answer to what can be a very complex issue.” The GSMA’s approach is closely aligned to the European Commission’s Recommendation on Mobilising Information and Communications Technologies 1 to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy. The GSMA is actively working with standards bodies such as the ITU who are developing an appropriate methodology to assess the life cycle impact of the ICT industry. By ...
  • GSMA launches Mobile Energy Efficiency network benchmarking service November 17, 2010 Initiative to help the mobile industry lower annual energy bill of $35 billion and reduce MNOs’ carbon emissions The GSMA today announced that it is launching the Mobile Energy Efficiency (MEE) Network Benchmarking Service, an initiative that will provide a benchmark measurement of network energy efficiency, and will help mobile network operators (MNOs) lower their energy costs and carbon footprint. With this information, it is now possible to identify the scale of potential efficiency gains and develop programmes to achieve these savings. “Just a year ago we issued Mobile’s Green Manifesto, which outlined the industry’s plans to lower greenhouse gas emissions per connection by 40 per cent by 2020. The GSMA’s mobile energy efficiency benchmarking service is a key enabler to achieving this goal,” said Gabriel Solomon, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, GSMA. Approximately 80 per cent of the industry’s energy consumption is in the network, and energy costs are also becoming one of the largest components of network operational costs for MNOs.  Given this, energy efficiency solutions, such as the MEE service, are becoming a strategic priority. Created in cooperation with China Mobile, Telefónica and Telenor, the MEE service will: Quantify cost and CO2e savings for MNOs;  Promote a consistent methodology for benchmarking network energy efficiency along with common KPIs; Collate industry data and benchmark outputs to enable MNOs to measure themselves externally and internally, quantifying potential efficiency gains; and  Coordinate across the industry and with regulatory stakeholders, so that the benchmarking methodology is adopted as a global standard. “China Mobile is committed to improving equipment efficiency in order to reduce the consumption and costs of energy, thus ...

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