BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile World Congress: The GSMA today presented the Honourable Minister of Communications for the Republic of Colombia, Diego Molano, with the mobile industry's prestigious annual Government Leadership Award. The award recognises the significant achievements made by the Colombian government in developing the country into one of the major hubs for Latin America, known for its growing economy, competitive business, environment, innovative government, and attractiveness to investors.
As the fourth-largest country in South America and one of the continent's most populous nations with more than 46 million people, the Republic of Colombia has witnessed a revolution of its business landscape thanks to mobile communications and now enjoys a dynamic market with penetration rates unimaginable a decade ago. In 2011, internet connections doubled to six million, with mobile making up almost half of these.
"The Colombian Government has made universal access to broadband internet a priority through our strategy, Vive Digital. We want to offer Colombians more opportunities through mobile telephony, including increased education, comprehensive health care services and more job opportunities," said Minister Molano. "Vive Digital's goal is to quadruple the country's internet connections in four years; the rapid expansion of the Internet and mobile telephony is essential to our economic growth."
"The Republic of Colombia has put mobile right at the heart of its social and economic agenda with a fresh and innovative communications strategy," said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. "On top of this, Colombia is a leader in management of what is now one of the world's scarcest assets – spectrum. In recognition of its commitment to mobile communications and the exemplary vision of its government, the GSMA is proud to present the 2012 award for government leadership to the government of the Republic of Colombia."
The Republic of Colombia was the first country in Latin America to licence the 2.6 GHz spectrum band and one of the region's to first allocate spectrum in the 700 MHz band for Mobile Broadband globally by creating a spectrum roadmap and is planning to double the amount of assigned spectrum in the next three years. The government is working alongside international committees to ensure the region's future use of spectrum is harmonised. The government also recognised that the growth of mobile data traffic has made it necessary to allow greater access and encourage competition.
The judging panel for this year's Government Leadership Award was:
- Professor Martin Cave, Visiting Professor, Imperial College Business School, and Deputy Chair of the Competition Commission
- Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group
- Ambassador David A. Gross, Partner, Wiley Rein
- Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA
The award was presented at the Government Mobile Forum, an annual event in which more than 450 government and regulatory representatives from around the world meet with industry to discuss specific regulatory issues relating to the development of mobile communications. The forum is a key event in the GSMA's Ministerial Programme which takes place every year in Barcelona during the GSMA Mobile World Congress. In 2012, the Ministerial Programme has attracted more than 140 delegations from around the globe.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. 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.