Plenary #39: Latin American operators met in Bogota to discuss quality of service, health and user protection

More than 400 executives representing 27 operators from 19 Latin American countries joined over 40 telecommunications suppliers, regulators and Colombian government officials at GSMA Latin America Plenary Meeting #39. The meeting was held in Bogota, Colombia and hosted by Asomóvil (the Mobile Industry Association of Colombia) and its members Tigo, Claro and Movistar.

Diego Molano Vega, the Colombian Minister of Information Technology and Communications, opened the event with a discussion on the advances of Colombia’s Vive Digital Plan. In his talk, Molano emphasized the telecom sector’s role in the economy and the importance of democratizing the internet. “Internet access is closely related to reducing poverty and the mobile industry plays a fundamental role in developing our economies and reducing poverty.” The ICT minister added that the mobile industry “is one of the most highly taxed sectors and this needs to change, because it’s absurd to tax a sector that contributes so much to society.”

In his speech, Colombian House of Representatives Speaker Roy Barreras Montealegre focused on the accomplishments of the local mobile industry to date. “Close to 90 per cent of Colombian households have at least one mobile device. These impressive figures transform daily life but when utilized adequately; they also allow the country to prosper thanks to technology development,” said Barreras.

The Director of GSMA Latin America, Sebastián Cabello, highlighted that the industry in Latin America wants to offer users the very best services. Companies from the sector are also focused on important issues like privacy, helping to understand the impact of non-ionizing radiation on human health, and the factors that influence service quality. Cabello discussed how advances in mobile technology can help provide solutions in other areas such as health and education.

During his presentation, Cabello mentioned the vibrant development of the Colombian mobile market and the challenges that lie ahead for the industry. “It is critical to add incentives to maximize investments and ensure that scarce resources are used efficiently,” affirmed Cabello.

The GSMA Latin America Director served as the moderator on a panel that brought together the top executives of Colombia’s operators, including Juan Carlos Archila, President of Claro Colombia; Ariel Pontón, CEO at Movistar Colombia; and Esteban Iriarte, President of Tigo Colombia. The Colombian mobile operators agreed that they will continue to bank on the country, developing networks more quickly and making heftier investments in order to deploy new mobile technologies such as 4G. The fact that regulators and operators have cooperated to reach agreements on regulations was considered an important factor in the new wave of development that is expected for the Colombian market.

In his speech, Asomóvil President Rodrigo Lara Restrepo focused on the most pressing issues for the local industry, like the need to establish reasonable parameters to regulate service quality. He also made reference to how difficult it is to deploy infrastructure at the municipal level, thus limiting operators’ ability to invest and to offer higher quality services.

The GSMA LA Plenary Meeting #39 started on Wednesday, April 24th. The meeting included seminars on some of the most novel topics in the current debate regarding the mobile industry: Health and Infrastructure Deployment, Privacy, Quality of Service, mYouth, Rich Communication Services, and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connectivity in other areas such as education, healthcare, public services and the automobile industry. A long list of international experts attended the seminars, along with the Colombian ministers of ICT, Health and Education.

During the meeting, the four working groups of GSMA Latin American also met. These groups bring together experts from regional operators and from GSMA: Regulatory (REGU), Billing & Roaming (BARG), Technical and Terminals (TECT), and Security and Fraud (SEGF).


Pictures: Photo gallery of the event.

Click in the links to download the presentations of the Plenary and Workshops:

For presentations of GSMA LA Working Groups go to the links in Infocentre:

  • Regulatory (REGU)
  • Billing & Roaming (BARG LA)
  • Technical and Terminals (TECT)
  • Security and Fraud (SEGF)