Tuesday October 9, 2012

GSMA Shines Spotlight on Latin American Mobile Market

World’s Leading Operators Convene in Rio for GSMA Board Meeting;
GSMA Chairman Franco Bernabè Discusses Key Industry Drivers and Initiatives

The GSMA held its most recent Board meeting in Rio, bringing together leaders from 25 of the world’s largest mobile operators to explore the key issues and challenges facing the mobile industry today, as well as the opportunities which will spur innovation and growth across the ecosystem. This marked the first occasion that the GSMA has hosted its Board meeting in Latin America and provided a unique opportunity to highlight the impact of mobile throughout the region. In conjunction with the Board meeting, the GSMA today also released the Brazil Mobile Observatory, its first comprehensive assessment of Brazil’s mobile sector and the latest in a series of regional reports on the contribution of the mobile industry to social and economic development.

“At the GSMA, we are focused on driving initiatives that address the collective interests of and meet the needs of operators from across the globe,” said Franco Bernabè, Chairman, GSMA and Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia Group. “ To that end, one of the priorities over the past year has been to further develop the GSMA’s presence in key regions around the world and to engage even more closely with our operator members in these important markets, such as Latin America. With teams in place in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, the GSMA is working to advance the mobile industry agenda in Latin America, benefiting consumers and businesses, as well as players across the mobile ecosystem.”

The Board meeting opened with an address from Brazil’s Minister of Communications, Mr. Paulo Bernardo, who highlighted the importance of the telecommunications sector and the key role that 4G mobile services will play in the country’s economic development. Another highlight from the Board meeting was a presentation by Mr. Marco Aurelio Vieira, Chief Operating Officer, Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Operators in Brazil are examining lessons learned from previous events such as the 2012 London Olympics Games and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to understand how mobile operators in these countries prepared. In his remarks, Mr. Vieira discussed the role that technology will play in making the Rio games a showcase for Brazil’s world-class ICT sector and delivering a unique visitor experience. He went on to highlight the importance of developments such as electronic, or paperless, ticketing and contactless payment services for transportation. In these areas, Mr. Vieira said he looked forward to a close and cooperative relationship with Brazil’s mobile operators to bring these services, and many more, to the Rio games.

Mobile Industry Initiatives in Latin America

At a press conference today, Mr. Bernabè and GSMA Director General Anne Bouverot touched upon a wide range of topics, including the rapid development of Mobile Broadband throughout Brazil and Latin America, and the corresponding requirement for additional spectrum to support the growth of mobile data services; the need for transparent and stable regulation, greater coordination between local and national authorities and lower taxation to optimise investment opportunities in mobile; and the need to work across the mobile ecosystem to ensure quality of service for consumers and businesses.

Mr. Bernabè also discussed the many initiatives the GSMA is undertaking with its members throughout the world, including several launched in Latin America this year. In July, the GSMA announced the commitment of 13 mobile operators in Latin America to collaborate with the regional governments to reduce mobile phone theft and related crime. By sharing information on stolen mobile devices via the global IMEI Database, the trafficking and reuse of these devices across the region becomes more difficult.

Last month, 40 Latin American mobile operators launched a data roaming transparency scheme that will provide mobile subscribers with greater visibility of their roaming charges and usage of mobile data services when travelling within the region and abroad. The Latin American initiative is aligned with the GSMA’s global efforts to promote the adoption of roaming transparency measures across its membership of nearly 800 mobile operators worldwide.

The GSMA is also engaging closely with Latin American operators and other members of the ecosystem to accelerate strategic initiatives in the areas of Near Field Communications (NFC), Connected Living and Rich Communications, among others. In June, the GSMA held the Connected Living Latin American Summit in São Paulo, addressing the impact of mobile connectivity in people’s everyday lives, and the GSMA has also hosted several workshops on NFC and is working to developing pilot projects in Brazil and Chile.

GSMA Brazil Mobile Observatory
Released this morning, the GSMA Brazil Mobile Observatory details the explosive growth of the sector and the range of services that mobile is enabling for Brazil’s citizens. Brazil is the fourth largest mobile market in the world with more than 260 million active mobile connections, 60 million of which are mobile broadband. Brazil is set to maintain a strong pace of growth and reach 135 million mobile broadband connections by 2014. The increasing uptake of mobile technologies and services, including NFC, mHealth, mEducation and mCommerce, will further shape Brazil’s mobile future. To access the Brazil Mobile Observatory, as well as other reports in the series, please visit: www.gsma.com/MO.

“Mobile services are at the forefront of Brazil’s transformation through widespread broadband reach and by promoting innovation and affordable data services through major infrastructure investments,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “There is now a real opportunity for mobile to deliver even greater socio-economic benefit for the country and beyond.”



About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries and territories, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem , including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com

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GSMA Press Office

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