BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The GSMA today announced that it has posthumously presented former GSMA CEO Robert G. Conway with the first GSMA Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious award recognises Rob's significant efforts in advancing the state of the mobile industry, for the benefit of mobile operators, companies across the ecosystem, governments, businesses and billions of consumers around the world. The award was presented to members of Rob's family at a special ceremony on Sunday at Mobile World Congress.
"Rob was a tireless advocate of the mobile industry, promoting the positive work of the GSMA's mobile operator members and championing the powerful impact and benefits of mobile around the world," said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Chairman, GSMA and President and CEO, Telenor Group. "On behalf of the GSMA's Board and our entire membership, and as a longtime colleague and friend, I am very honoured to be able to present this important award to Rob's family and to share our appreciation for his many achievements in this dynamic industry."
Rob was perhaps best known for his longtime leadership of the GSMA, moving the association from its initial role as a quasi-standards body into the organisation representing nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators. His 12-year tenure at the GSMA saw the dramatic and rapid evolution of the GSM family of technologies, moving from 2G networks to mobile broadband and, finally, the commercial deployments of 4G LTE. During this time, the world witnessed the launch of the first smartphones, tablets and many other mobile-connected devices and the development of many life-enhancing and life-saving mobile services. The industry achieved several significant milestones during this time, surpassing 5 billion mobile connections globally in 2010.
One of Rob's most notable achievements at the GSMA was the acquisition of the organisation's flagship event, Mobile World Congress. Since that time, Mobile World Congress has moved from Cannes to Barcelona, where the event has flourished, becoming the industry's must-attend annual event and drawing more than 75,000 attendees each year.
Rob was also instrumental in early efforts to "connect the unconnected," catalysing the entire mobile sector through a 2006 competition to develop a sub-$30 Emerging Market Handset. He was also the leading force behind the creation of the GSMA Mobile for Development organisation, which focuses on bringing together the GSMA's mobile operator members, the wider mobile industry and the development community to drive commercial mobile services for underserved people in emerging markets.
Rob's career in mobile extended beyond the GSMA; as an executive at Motorola, he was instrumental in introducing the first GSM deployment in Latin America in the 1990s and spearheaded the company's efforts that led to the creation of mobile operators in Brazil and Egypt. Rob was also the Chief International Affairs Officer for VimpelCom, serving on their management board, from 2011 to 2013.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is part of the annual Global Mobile Awards, which will be presented at 14:30 on Tuesday, 25th February. The Global Mobile Awards will be held in Auditorium 1, Hall 4, Fira Gran Via and are open to Mobile World Congress attendees from all shortlisted companies, regardless of pass type, as well as all other Mobile World Congress attendees holding Platinum, Gold, Silver or Press/Analyst passes.
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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.