The GSM Association (GSMA) is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardising, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system. The GSM Association was formed in 1995.
The GSMA organises the largest annual event in the mobile industry, the GSMA Mobile World Congress, in addition to smaller, targeted events GSMA Mobile Asia Expo and the GSMA NFC & Mobile Money Summit.
Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations.
It traces its history back to the Bonn declaration by the Ministers of Germany, UK, France and Italy in May 1987 that called for the drawing up of an MOU to be ready by September 1987 for the signature of European mobile operators. The GSM MOU was the idea of Stephen Temple, a senior official in the UK Department of Trade and Industry. Thirteen mobile network operators from twelve countries signed the GSM MoU on 7 September 1987 in Copenhagen. The original copy of the GSM MOU is held by the GSM Association and was described later by Sir Christopher Gent, former CEO of Vodafone, as the most important documents in mobile radio history. In 1995 the "GSM MoU Association" was created in 1995 by the signatories of the GSM MOU.
Telecoms.com called it "one of the most powerful trade associations in the world, lobbying governments on everything from tax policy to pricing strategy".
- Leader (2007-09-07). "Happy 20th Birthday, GSM". zdnet.co.uk. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-05-05. "The memorandum of understanding that created all this was merely an agreement, not an organisation — the GSM Association didn't actually exist until 1995."
- "Who created GSM?". Stephen Temple. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "History". GSM Association. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer, GSM Association". telecoms.com. Undated. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
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