BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The GSMA today recognised the governments of Botswana, Lebanon, Spain and the United Arab Emirates at the mobile industry's prestigious Government Mobile Excellence Awards, which honour governments' significant achievements in driving the growth and socio-economic impact of the mobile industry in their respective countries. This year, the Government Mobile Excellence Awards have been expanded to include four categories: Government Leadership, Spectrum for Mobile Broadband, Economic Policy for Sustainable Mobile Growth and Connected Government. The awards acknowledge government policies and regulation that encourage investment and support transparency, competition and regulatory independence.
"The governments of Botswana, Lebanon, Spain and the United Arab Emirates have demonstrated a clear commitment to putting mobile at the top of their digital agendas," said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. "We encourage administrations from around the globe to be inspired by their achievements and adopt similar best practice measures in order to encourage greater mobile industry investment, support innovation and increase the provision of mobile services for their citizens."
Government Leadership Award - Government of Botswana
The 2014 Government Leadership Award was presented to the Government of Botswana and the Honourable Minister of Communications, Mr. Nonofo Molefhi. The Minister and his Government's leadership and vision for a digital Southern Africa were the catalyst for a regional collaboration at the "Encouraging Digital Inclusion in Southern Africa" Ministerial Summit held in Kasane, Botswana in September 2013. This summit culminated in the signing of a joint communique by six countries, supported by a commitment from the GSMA to expand capacity-building efforts in the region. The agreement serves as a framework for enhanced regional policy coordination.
Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award - Government of the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has been at the forefront of the international drive to increase the spectrum available for mobile broadband. The TRA chaired the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference in 2012 and led intensive coordination and consensus building efforts to identify the 700MHz band for mobile, at an international level. In May 2013, the United Arab Emirates became the first country in the Middle East, Africa or Europe to identify the 700MHz spectrum band for mobile — a milestone in the development of what promises to become a nearly global harmonised spectrum band for mobile broadband.
Economic Policy for Sustainable Mobile Growth Award - Government of Spain
The Digital Agenda for Spain, approved in February 2013, is the government's strategy to develop Spain's digital economy and society. With 121 concrete measures and a budget of €2.3 billion, the strategy combines an innovative legislative framework, to promote mobile network deployment; a publicly-funded programme, to expand mobile network coverage in less profitable areas; and the allocation of more spectrum for mobile broadband. To increase investment in mobile infrastructure, the Government of Spain is developing a new General Telecommunication Law, which will increase legal certainty and provide efficiency gains for mobile operators through legislation that reduces the cost of network deployment.
Connected Government Award - Government of Lebanon
The Government of Lebanon's "Open Your Tomorrow" project seeks to provide every student with an affordable 3G tablet, purpose-built with academic content and robust security. Working with a number of technology providers, the aim is to improve education opportunities and provide children with a learning advantage, levelling the playing field with children from around the world. Lebanon's Ministry of Telecommunications funded the project by sourcing 15,000 Android-based tablets, all equipped with parental controls and an enterprise mobility management (EMM) system provided by AirWatch. The Ministry of Education's goal is to deploy an additional 400,000 tablets into schools within the next two years and inspire content publishers and app developers to produce educational materials for academic purposes.
The awards were presented as part of the GSMA's annual Ministerial Programme at Mobile World Congress. More than 1,200 key government and regulatory representatives from around the world are meeting with industry leaders to discuss specific regulatory issues relating to the development of mobile communications. This year, the Ministerial Programme has attracted more than 160 delegations, representing all regions.
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 with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.