GSMA to tackle mobile innovation bottleneck

Innovation Programme aims to speed up rollout of new products and services

The GSMA has launched an ongoing programme to help the thousands of small and medium-sized companies developing innovative mobile products and services reach mobile operators and bring their innovations to end-users. The Mobile Innovation Programme is also designed to stimulate and showcase innovation around mobile services and better align innovators with the needs of the mobile industry and its customers.

Ahead of a new Mobile Innovation Summit at the GSMA’s Mobile Asia Congress in Macau in November, senior executives from mobile operators and venture capitalists will review submissions from innovators and identify the top 50 small companies targeting the mobile sector. These companies will have the opportunity to meet operators and investors at the Summit where the leading companies in four categories will be recognised at a Mobile Innovation Awards ceremony. Senior executives from KTF, SingTel, Smart, Softbank and Telenor will be among the judges for this inaugural awards event.

The review and judging process will be repeated for a further Innovation Summit to be held at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona in February 2008 and again for standalone Summits to be held in other regions of the world later in that year.

“Technology advances and the mobile industry’s convergence with the Internet, entertainment sector, financial services and many other industries are enabling thousands of small companies to develop innovative applications, products and services for mobile users,” said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer of the GSMA, the global trade association for mobile operators. “But it is a major challenge for these small companies to effectively market their innovations to the more than 700 mobile operators worldwide and cross the chasm separating promising ideas from commercial success.”

The Mobile Innovation Programme, which will have a broad global membership of innovators, operators and investors, aims to foster innovation by facilitating the exchange of ideas and business relationships within a thriving community. The programme’s Web site [] will develop into a portal, hosting discussion forums, networking tools and a directory of leading innovators compiled from the shortlists produced for each Innovation Summit.

“This programme offers VCs, private equity firms and other investors an unparalleled opportunity to work with the mobile operator community and innovators to accelerate the commercialisation of exciting new products and services,” said Myla Villanueva, chair of the Mobile Innovation Programme and Head of Technology Development Convergent Services for Smart of the Philippines. “Participating investors will also gain a valuable insight into the strategies of mobile operators and the future direction of this market.”

Notes to editors:
The Mobile Innovation Programme, which will showcase promising companies with less than $20 million in annual revenue, is designed to complement the Mobile Asia Awards programme. The Mobile Asia Awards will recognise established products and services that are already enjoying commercial success in the mobile sector.

The Mobile Innovation Programme builds on the successful annual Innovation Forums held at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February 2006 and February 2007.

September 14th is the deadline for submissions from companies aiming to be recognised at the first Mobile Innovation Summit in Macau at the Mobile Asia Congress in November 2007. The categories are:

Most Innovative Consumer Application or Service
Most Innovative Wireless Device-Centric Technology
Most Innovative Carrier Infrastructure or Platform
Most Innovative Mobile Application in a Vertical Market

From the four category winners above, one overall Mobile Innovation Award winner will be presented at the Asia Mobile Awards night gala dinner on 13th November in Macau.

Potential applicants should visit

About the GSM Association:
The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing more than 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives as key partners.

The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The Association’s members serve more than two billion customers – 82% of the world’s mobile phone users.

For more information please contact:
For the GSM Association:

Mark Smith or David Pringle
Email: [email protected]