GSMA Encourages Industry to Experience the Mobile Future in Barcelona

Date: Wed, 02/04/2009 - 16:32

Leaders of world's largest communications companies to address critical business challenges at the 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress

The GSMA, the global trade body for the mobile industry, announced that it is bringing together executives of the world's largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organizations at the 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress to be held February 16-19, 2009 in Barcelona. CEOs from companies including AT&T, Microsoft Corp., MySpace, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Telefónica, Telenor, Verizon Communications and Vodafone will address head-on the challenges presented by the global economic slowdown and will outline strategies for sustaining growth.
"We are living in an era of unprecedented and rapid change. Set against a backdrop of the financial crisis, wildly-fluctuating stock markets and a broad economic slowdown, the 2009 edition is set to be the most compelling Mobile World Congress yet," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. "By bringing together the leaders of companies across the broad communications sector, we'll be able to gain further insight into the significant challenges presently facing our industry, but more importantly, we'll focus on how we can leverage mobility to create new opportunities, and drive productivity and prosperity going forward."
Under the theme of "Think Forward", the Mobile World Congress will explore the impact of the economic crisis, as well as focus on issues critical to the development of the communications industry, including the adoption of advanced mobile broadband technologies, such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), the shift to an open mobile ecosystem, and the proliferation of mobile entertainment and advertising services. Widely recognised as the mobile industry's must-attend event, the Mobile World Congress will showcase mobile products and services from approximately 1,300 companies.

Keynote speakers for the 2009 Mobile World Congress include:
• Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets
• Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corp.
• Chris DeWolfe, CEO and Co-founder, MySpace
• Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, President and CEO, Nokia Corporation
• Ryuji Yamada, President and CEO, NTT DOCOMO
• César Alierta, Executive Chairman, Telefónica
• Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group
• Dick Lynch, EVP and CTO, Verizon Communications
• Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive, Vodafone
The GSMA announced that Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey will also deliver a keynote at the Mobile World Congress, and that he will host the MOFILM Mobile Short Film Festival as part of the Congress.

Mobile World Congress garners broad industry support
"The upcoming Mobile World Congress will provide a great opportunity to take an in-depth look at the critical role that communications technologies can play in helping companies address the difficult economic issues we face today," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp. "But even with the ongoing economic uncertainty as a backdrop, this is also a particularly important time for leaders from the communications, media, and IT industries to come together to discuss strategies that will enable us to drive future innovation and ensure long-term success."
"We have an unprecedented opportunity to fully realize the potential of mobile technologies to drive economic growth. The Mobile World Congress will help showcase that opportunity by highlighting innovative mobile products, applications and services capable of boosting the productivity and efficiency of both individuals and companies worldwide," said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.
"A truly global event, the Mobile World Congress is an invaluable and very efficient way to meet with industry leaders and government officials from across the world," said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group. "I am looking forward to discussing how our industry and regulatory authorities can work together to further enhance the positive role that mobile services can play in driving economic growth."
"Increasingly international and local communities are benefiting from the power of mobile broadband to communicate faster and more effectively," said Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive of Vodafone. "Mobile operators are uniquely placed to contribute more to society, whether it is helping the unbanked to make secure payments, ensuring that businesses gain and maintain a competitive edge or simply enriching the lives of customers and their families."

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