LONDON, June 4 /PRNewswire/ --

A new survey, released today by the GSM Association has revealed that an overwhelming majority of global mobile network operators, investors and technology vendors believe that the current economic malaise is actually driving innovation in the telecoms industry.

The in depth industry study, which surveyed the opinions of 200 senior executives working at MNOs, venture capitalists and telco tech providers around the globe, revealed nearly 70 per cent of respondents believe that the increased need to prove a business case for new products and services during a downturn helps rather than hinders innovation.

Furthermore 80 per cent of the industry strongly believe that maintaining levels of spend on research and development (RD) is vital if mobile network operators are to benefit from the growth potential of new and innovative services.

The convergence of GSM and CDMA carriers under the LTE standard is set to provide developers with an environment that helps take innovation to the next level said 80 per cent of respondents.

Whilst many industry experts cite that innovation is coming primarily from emerging markets like India and China, the new study suggests that cellular powerhouses of North America and the Far East will continue to flourish. Indeed, 45 per cent of respondents suggested that the most innovative projects will come from high growth, emerging markets, such as India and China, 55 per cent believed that established markets would continue to innovate.

It was back in the summer of 2007 that the world's media started talking and writing about an impending 'credit crunch'. The effects have been dramatic and far-reaching. There is, however, one group that thrives during times of hardship: Innovators, said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer at the GSMA. Necessity, it seems, really is the mother of invention.

When a crisis hits the economy people are naturally more cautious about where their money goes; in our business (mobile advertising), advertisers wants to have an increased visibility on where their money is going, i.e. who sees their ads, and therefore this opens innovation opportunities for us and a greater chance to prove them than online/mobile tools offer unique way to target and measure ad campaign results, said one respondent echoing the views of many.

This research comes hot on the heels of the announcement by the GSMA of the 10 nominee firms entered into the EMEA Tournament of the 2010 Mobile Innovation Grand Prix competition, along with a number of high-calibre industry executives who will speak at the upcoming GSMA Mobile Innovation EMEA Event, which is being held as part of the HiT Barcelona World Innovation Summit, in Barcelona, Spain, 18 - 19 June, 2009.

The Mobile Innovation 'Grand Prix' was created by the GSMA as part of its Mobile Innovation initiative, with the primary goal of showcasing promising entrepreneurs from small and medium-sized companies who are introducing innovative products and services. During the EMEA event, ten companies from around the world will compete in five categories, reviewed by a panel comprised of senior executives from mobile operators and venture capital firms. Two overall winners will win a trip to compete for the Mobile Innovation Grand Prix Cup at the leading event for the mobile communications industry, the Mobile World Congress, in February 2010.

The GSMA created the Mobile Innovation Market to help small and medium-sized companies developing innovative mobile products and services reach mobile operators, investors, and channel partners and bring innovation to consumers. The Market is designed to stimulate and showcase innovation around mobile services and better align innovators with the needs of the mobile industry and its customers.

It is the inaugural event in the 2009/10 Mobile Innovation Global Programme, which is designed to connect entrepreneurs and developers of the most innovative products, services and technologies with operators, the investment community and vendors. The Telecom track will attract over 400 senior executives, leaders, and speakers, representing all facets of the mobile innovation ecosystem.

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites more than 750 of the world's mobile operators, as well as 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry. For more information, please visit

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