Barcelona 27 Feb - 2 Mar 2017

3a. Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets

The internet is the most important enabler of social development and economic growth of our time. Mobile is making a vital contribution to its access, and as a result, to the social and economic development of countries and nations throughout the world. By narrowing the digital divide, mobile is playing a critical role in improving the health, wealth, education, livelihood and social inclusion of people everywhere.

Already 3.2 billion people are online – 2.4 billion of them through mobile – directly benefiting from and contributing to the digital economy. 4 billion people remain offline, unable to participate and unaware of the opportunities. The opportunities to reach communities and people to deliver communications and create opportunities, regardless of their age, language, abilities, geographic location or economic status, are increasingly the focus of new and innovative business models and technology providers that are enabling win-win benefits for business, people and communities on a global basis.

This category recognises genuine innovation in mobile initiatives, programmes, products, apps, services and devices that are having a tangible effect on the inclusion, accessibility and vitality of emerging markets and their digital economies.

This includes all forms of technology, device, service and app innovation that has fuelled the drive to ‘connect the unconnected’, bringing affordable mobile voice and data communications to people for the very first time, as well as services and initiatives that have had a proven effect on the empowerment of people, as well as their social and economic well-being.

2016 Winner

M-KOPA III Solar Home System for M-KOPA Solar

Entry Deadlines & Key Dates

The Deadline for entries is Wednesday 23rd November 2016
The Shortlist will be published in late January 2017
Winners will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 27th February – 2nd March 2017


Below you will find information on eligibility, criteria, supporting materials as well as the questions that you will be asked on the entry form.

Please also refer to the Rules of Entry and frequently asked questions sections for additional information. To begin your entry, click the ‘Enter Here’ button, and complete the registration information. Once underway, you can save, return to and amend your entry at any time until you formally submit.

The judges will review and score your entry on the basis of the information that you provide in answer to the questions, so please be as accurate and succinct as possible.

Note on The Importance of Video as part of your entry: While you can also add supporting materials in the form of documents, pictures and presentations within the entry form, a short video (of maximum 3 minutes) linked to your submission will help our judges significantly, in terms of visualising the use case and understanding the innovation and partner, client or user benefits.


This award is open to all organisations that provide mobile products, devices, services, solutions, and applications. The subject of the entry must utilise, support, deploy or be accessible via mobile technologies based on open industry standards. Entrants must also demonstrate “Live” implementation specifically that the entry is operating and available during and up to Year end 2016.

Below are some examples of organisations and entities that this category could be appropriate for, however due to the nature of this sector, it is by no means exhaustive. We very much welcome entries from partnerships or a combination of these entities.

  • Mobile network operators
  • Manufacturers, Device Vendors
  • Application developers
  • Entrepreneurs and businesses
  • Small, medium & large enterprises
  • Vertical Sector organisations bringing mobile based solutions to market
  • Academic institutions, foundations, NGOs and philanthropists
  • Social enterprises and communities

Sector Examples

This category highlights and reflects many of the areas of GSMA focus in emerging markets of the world. The GSMA’s Connected Society Programme  for example, works with the mobile industry and key stakeholders to improve network coverage, affordability, digital skills and locally relevant content, in pursuit of wider adoption of the mobile internet in emerging markets. The programme has some excellent resources, tools and case studies, in the areas of affordability, infrastructure economics, digital literacy and locally relevant content in addition to the  GSMA Mobile Connectivity Index

See also GSMA programmes on MAgri, Mobile Money, Digital Identity, Connected Women, Disaster Response and others at


The judges will be looking at how well entries meet the key criteria, as follows:

  • Genuine innovation in the technology or business model to serve emerging market segments
  • Demonstration of a positive, tangible impact for the target user
  • Demonstration of sustainability and business model longevity
  • Illustration of the unique attributes of mobile
  • Entries must support or utilize mobile networks and technologies based on open standards

Entry must be in live service (and be available to access by clients, customers, end users or key partners and stakeholders) during and up to the end of 2016.

Supporting Materials

Enter here
You can submit additional materials to support your entry through direct upload on the entry form. Please keep supporting information submitted to a maximum of:

  • A link to one x 3 minute (maximum) video
  • Up to three x 1 page documents (word, pdf, ppt) with further information, images, graphics etc.
  • Up to three x web pages (which should be very specific to the entry) linked by URLs

Video: Please provide a URL link to your video on the entry form (e.g. via YouTube, Vimeo or other public, English language video platforms) and if required, please make sure you provide a password. Videos should ideally be in the English language or with English subtitles.

Other supporting information Documents can include data, extracts from analysts’ reports, testimonials or press articles, graphics etc. Please do make sure this supporting information is succinct and clear.

Web pages: If pointing judges to a website within your supporting materials or entry, please include a URL which is to very specific information relating to your entry, up to a maximum of three web pages, as judges will not have time to search websites looking for the pertinent information.

The on-line entry form includes an upload facility for you to provide the above links and documents. You will have the ability to upload three additional files to accompany your entry. These can be pdfs, jpegs, Word documents or PowerPoint, but please, as above, keep these relevant to your entry.

Preview of Entry Form Questions

On the entry form, in addition to submitting contact and company information, you will be asked to answer the following questions, (Please note the maximum text length for your answers including spaces are shown in brackets below):

  1. What is the name of your entry for Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets? Please note the name given here will be used in all awards materials and publicity. (approx. 25 words)
  2. Is this a joint entry? If so, who are the partnering organisations? (approx. 25 words)
  3. Please describe the nature of the entry, including the specific challenge it addresses? i.e. how does it actually work, and what is the user proposition? Please describe it as accurately and simply as possible (approx. 100 words)
  4. Please confirm that the subject of the entry was deployed, or will be, in “live” service or implemented and available on the market for clients, customers, organisations or end users to buy or access during (to year end) 2016, and in which markets or countries? (approx. 100 words)
  5. Please confirm that your entry utilises, supports, deploys or is accessible through mobile (cellular) technologies based on open industry standards? (approx. 100 words)
  6. How truly innovative and unique is the entry? In what ways? (approx. 250 words)
  7. How has the entry contributed to narrowing the ‘access gap’ within a specific segment of the market (approx. 250 words)
  8. How many people have been positively impacted by the product, service or initiative? (approx. 250 words)
  9. How scalable is the solution and what is your vision for future growth? (approx. 250 words)
  10. How has the issue of sustainability been integrated into the strategy to make the entry viable for the long term? (approx. 250 words)
  11. How has the solution demonstrated tangible, measurable social or economic value? Please provide some clear measurable evidence of success, such as social or economic data and analysis (approx. 250 words)