Microsoft And Visa To Headline GSMA Mobile Innovation Summit

Experts from operators, vendors and VCs to grill mobile innovatorsSteve Zimba, the Managing Director of Microsoft’s Worldwide Communications Business, and Patrick Gauthier, the Senior Vice President of Innovation for Visa International, will be the keynote speakers at the GSMA’s Mobile Innovation Summit in Macau in November 12th and 13th. The Mobile Innovation Summit is a key element of the GSMA’s Mobile Innovation Programme, which is designed to stimulate and showcase cutting edge mobile services and better align innovation with the needs of the mobile industry and consumer needs.

Mr. Zimba, who oversees Microsoft’s Connected Services Sandbox Developer Program, and Mr. Gauthier, who leads both Visa’s mobile arm and Visa’s developer program, will talk about how to encourage and foster innovation in the mobile industry ahead of presentations by the top finalists for the Asia Mobile Innovation Awards*. An expert panel of representatives from mobile operators, equipment suppliers and venture capital firms will question each of the finalists closely before selecting a winner in each of four categories and an overall winner.

The Summit, which takes place on November 12th and 13th and will run alongside the Mobile Asia Congress in Macau, will also include a session in which audience members can vote for their favourite innovations using SMS, ‘speed-dating’ sessions between operators and innovators and a plenary panel session in which leading executives from Maxis, Softbank, KTF, Turkcell, Singtel, Smart, and GrameenPhone will outline what their companies are looking for from innovators.

“With executives of the calibre and influence of Steve Zimba and Patrick Gauthier kick-starting the debate, the Mobile Innovation Summit in Macau is set to play a major role in redefining how new mobile products and services are brought to market,” said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer of the GSMA, the global trade association for mobile operators. “The Summit also offers a rare opportunity for innovators to pitch their ideas and business propositions directly to decision-makers within the mobile operator community.”

Among the other senior executives scheduled to speak during the event are:

Myla Villanueva, Chair, Mobile Innovation Programme and Head, Technology Development, SMART
Yoshihko Nodera, GM, Technology Development Centre, Softbank
Byungki OH, Director, KTF
Agnes Loek, Director of Consumer Products, Singtel
Rostam Abd Hashim, Head, Maxis Developer Programme, Maxis
Delwar Hossain Azad, Head of New Initiatives, Commercial Division, Grameenphone
Maurizio Caio, Managing Partner, TLCom
Lucy Lombardi, Director, Telecom Italia
Altug Alcar, Head of Innovation, Turkcell
Ashok Juneja, CTO, Bharti Airtel
Karl McGoldrick, CEO, Polymer Vision
Lucy Lombardi, Director, Telecom Italia
Matti Vanska, Vice President, Mobile Software, Nokia
Nicolas Sauvage, MD, Asia, Open Plug
Peter Barry, Head of Venture Capital and Start-Ups, Vodafone Group
Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, CEO, Kirusa
Ashraf Paruk, Business Strategy & Product Innovation, MTN
Harsha Purasinghe, CEO, Microimage

Notes to editors:
*Ahead of the Summit, innovators were invited to submit an application in one of four categories:

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

Senior executives from mobile operators and venture capitalists will review the submissions and identify the top two companies, with less than $20 million in annual revenue, in each category. From the four category winners above, one overall Mobile Innovation Award winner will be chosen in Macau.

The review and judging process will be repeated for a further Innovation Summits 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.

For more information please see:

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