An Introduction to the Ministerial Programme

With three weeks to go on what is shaping up to be a record breaking Mobile World Congress, Conference Confidential takes a sneak peek into the exclusive Ministerial Programme.

For those that haven’t attended, Ministerial Programme has been running for an incredible 11 years and is an invite-only show for senior government and industry figures across the world to promote advocacy and help shape mobile’s global development.

But with no media or press allowed, there is little promotion to the wider Mobile World Congress community. That is, until now…

So what is the Ministerial Programme all about?

Well let’s firstly look at the numbers. Forecasts from our ‘The Mobile Economy: 2015‘ report predicts the number of unique mobile subscribers will increase from 3.6 billion at the end of 2014 to 4.6 billion by 2020. The demand for global connectivity means that almost 60 per cent of the global population will subscribe to mobile services by 2020, up from half of the population at the end of 2014.

With such bullish forecasts, new spectrum is desperately required and the recent success at the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva resulted in 30% new globally harmonised spectrum being identified for mobile. This achievement cannot be emphasised enough as a key milestone for the mobile industry in the race to deliver low-cost, ubiquitous broadband to consumers around the world.

Progress has clearly been made but huge coverage gaps remain in developing areas and gender gaps are widespread in low and middle income countries through complex socio economic and cultural barriers. So whilst on one hand key milestones have been achieved, there is still much to do to connect the unconnected.

The Ministerial Programme drives debate on these very issues by inviting senior government and telecom regulators together to engage mobile industry executives on next steps forward.

What’s next? 

The Industry must continue to explore ways in which the mobile ecosystem can work in collaboration with policymakers to reduce the digital divide and achieve social, economic and environmental goals.

Sounds simple, right?

Make sure you tune in for our daily round up of the Ministerial Programme throughout Mobile World Congress. Still want more? Then check out 2015’s highlights video.

For more information feel free to contact mark.callender@gsma.com or tweet @callender_mark.