What to expect from the GSMA Ministerial Programme 2023

The GSMA Ministerial Programme, taking place from 27 February to 1 March, is the centre of the policy debate at MWC Barcelona. Over the three days, the agenda will explore today’s priority themes, such as consumer privacy in the metaverse and data-powered humanitarian impact. Delegates will also delve into issues of network investment, 5G expansion, digital inclusion, spectrum policy and regulating the data economy.

The Programme has grown in popularity and scope since its launch in 2006. Every year, this unique event is attended by ministers, telecom regulators, data protection authorities, industry CEOs and senior representatives of international organisations. They convene to share knowledge, stimulate debate around current issues, and engage with mobile industry experts on policy and regulatory topics.

Building on the 2022 Ministerial Programme momentum, this year, we expect delegations from over 180 countries. To accommodate the demand, we are now building an even bigger Ministerial Stage. We offer an additional networking lounge and meeting spaces to facilitate all-important roundtables and bilateral meetings.

In addition to our big stage, we are launching the open stage, which offers 15-minute conversations during the breaks, with experts covering everything from AI to the mobile economy. This will be an exciting space and an opportunity for delegates to get even more out of the event.

Day One: Digital Aspirations    

The first day of the Ministerial Programme will explore new horizons of digital innovation and the advantages that evolving mobile networks continue to deliver.

We will also address our long-term goals to close the connectivity and usage gaps and build policies for our new digital world. Sessions will explore innovative approaches to making handsets more affordable and ways the entire ecosystem can work together to support digital inclusion. Leading figures in digital policy and the mobile industry will present their vision, strategies, and priority actions to support the digital economy and thereby contribute to the greater good.

The day will end by looking at consumer safety issues arising from emerging technologies such as web 3.0 and the metaverse and the potential role of the mobile sector in securing the digital space and establishing trust. 

Day Two: Policies for Progress 

The second day of the Programme will explore how to tackle the investment challenges in delivering high-performance networks and achieving the goals of the digital revolution, including insights into competition policy. In the signature “Ask the Regulator” session, heads of national regulatory authorities will share their views on the digital ecosystem and highlight recent regulatory achievements and innovations that have delivered results in their country.

Spectrum policy will also be covered in depth, with the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) fast approaching. We will consider the possibilities of WRC-23 and how it can be used for the benefit of billions. The Conference has the potential to increase harmonisation, improve digital equality, and provide the capacity to expand 5G up to the end of this decade with more low- and mid-band spectrum.

Day Three: Converging Worlds 

The event’s final day will focus on the role of partnerships and connectivity in tackling some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as climate change and humanitarian crises. We will also address emerging cybersecurity risks and the resilience of systems through effective regulation.

Finally, we will delve into new areas within digital financial services, such as mobile money, open banking and digital payments and explore new opportunities that could arise through the metaverse.

Follow the Debate

The Ministerial Programme is an invitation-only event within MWC Barcelona, targeted at senior government and industry leaders. If you cannot attend, you can follow the hashtag #MWC23MP for live updates on Twitter and session summaries on LinkedIn.