Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a great honour to be here today in Barcelona for the Ministerial Programme of the GSMA World Congress for 2013. The principles and the initiatives adopted at previous conferences laid a solid foundation for building a truly global, inclusive and development-oriented GSM society, and in support of the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals and national policies in our own countries.
As we are all aware, the successful rolling out of GSM-based services world-wide requires unremitting multi-stakeholder participation, cooperation and partnership. As an essential tool which should be accessible to all, mobile broadband has enormous power to change economic structures and greatly contribute to economic prosperity and a better quality of life, through providing greater choice and supporting social, welfare and cultural activities. Mobile broadband is equally an important tool to assist in meeting the global challenges facing us today in terms of terrorism, security, climate change, energy and trade.
Tonga has adopted the same set of principles driven by an understanding that expanded connectivity with innovation will foster better communications between our citizens, connect the unconnected, serve the under-served, stimulate domestic growth and will provide the scope for greater participation in the global information economy. It is guided by the national objective to "improve sector performance to ensure domestic and global connectivity throughout Tonga, which includes improving quality of life, geographic coverage, service affordability and access to new service applications."
By implementing these bold policy initiatives, Tonga now takes the lead among its Pacific neighbours in embracing the growth of its telecommunications sector ever since the turn of the new millennium. In 2002, the liberalization of the market and introduction of GSM mobile service by Tonfon, a local company, provided vigorous...