ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Tuesday won “The 2015 Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award” for successfully auctioning spectrum for 3G/4G services in Pakistan in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands, April last year.

The awards was received by State Minister for IT and Telecom Anusha Rehman in the Mobile World Congress Conference, being held in Barcelona, Spain.

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 innovation and development of mobile communications. This year, the Ministerial Programme has attracted more than 160 delegations and international organisations, representing all regions. According to a press release from GSMA, the Government Mobile Excellence Awards, this year, comprised of two categories. The first was government Leadership and second was Spectrum for Mobile Broadband.

According to GSMA officials The 2015 Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award was presented to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, for its significant achievements in driving growth in the use of mobile services and maximising the socio-economic impact of the mobile industry in the country.

Since the auction, there has been a rapid uptake of 3G services, bringing significant benefits to consumers and the national economy and providing huge growth potential for industry players including operators, device manufacturers, application developers and distributors, the officials noted, adding, the rapid roll-out of 3G and 4G services is boosting growth and efficiency in all sectors including education, banking, media, health and retailing, as well as being a key enabler for innovative e-services such as e-medicine and e-education in rural and remote areas of Pakistan, the officials noted.

The Government Leadership Award 2015, was presented to the Government of Brazil and the Minister of Communications, Ricardo Berzoini, received it.

Brazil was awarded in recognition of number of policy approaches adopted in 2014, which, underpinned phenomenal growth in the broadband subscriber base and have led to Brazil having the highest proportion of 3G connections in Latin America, the release said.

While announcing the award, GSMA officials highlighted both countries commitments in the sector.

“The governments of Brazil and Pakistan 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,” he added.

According to officials of Pakistani delegation, State Minister for IT and Telecom, Anusha Rehman while accepting the award on behalf of the Government of Pakistan said that the award was an indication of the global community reposing its trust in the Telecommunication Sector policy practices of the Government of Pakistan.

In a short span of 6 to 8 months, after the launch of 3G/4G service, the mobile broadband subscriptions for 3G stand at around 10 million. The Spectrum auction for next generation mobile services has not only enabled the people of Pakistan to gain access to mobile broadband services and be at par with rest of the world in terms of mobile broadband technology but has also successfully encouraged investment in mobile networks in Pakistan, Rehman said in her key note address.

She added that her government has accorded highest priority to the development of ICT infrastructure and applications for the provision of quality services, education, employment generation and women empowerment.

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 innovation and development of mobile communications. This year, the Ministerial Programme has attracted more than 160 delegations and international organisations, representing all regions. The 2015 Ministerial Programme is sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services.

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.

Anusha Rahman Khan is leading a delegation of Pakistan at the annual GSMA Mobile World Congress. She is accompanied by Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Managing Director Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB). According to Ministry of IT officials, besides other bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the event, Rehman also participated in the Ministerial Roundtable on “Digital Inclusion - Role of e-Government” and shared her plans with the global technology and policy leadership on utilising the concept of E-governance for good governance and for ensuring all inclusive socio economic opportunity for the people of Pakistan through affordable  and innovative ICT services. Ministry of IT has also facilitated PSEB for setting up fist ever Pakistan pavilion at the mobile world congress showcasing Pakistan expertise in IT sector. The Pakistan pavilion attracted lot of attention from visitors.