Sunil Mittal becomes GSMA chairman for two year-term


NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel’s Sunil Mittal Thursday was named as GSMA chairman for a two-year term from January 2017 to December 2018.

As GSMA chairman, Mr Mittal will oversee the strategic direction of the organisation, which represents nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, the London-based telecom group in a statement said.

Wednesday, Mittal, who heads the India’s top carrier Bharti Airtel, led the GSMA Board delegation for a meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to discuss role of mobile connectivity in the economy and Digital India vision of broadband as a utility.

“I am delighted to be elected as chairman of the GSMA, and look forward to working closely with the rest of the Board, the GSMA leadership team and our entire membership to address the critical issues facing our industry and our customers,” Mittal said.

Mobile, according to Mittal, has a transformational impact on individuals, businesses, industries and societies, contributing significantly to local economies and improving the lives of billions around the world.

Mittal took over as chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) early this year, and serves on the Boards and Councils of various international bodies such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations’ Telecom Board of International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

GSMA Chairman Jon Fredrik Baksaas will step down from the Board at the end of 2016, after holding this position for the past three years. He was elected as a member of the GSMA Board in 2008.

“With nearly 4.8 billion individuals around the world subscribing to mobile services, it is the most pervasive and fast-growing platform of users ever built. It is now accessible to billions in both developing and developed markets, providing life-enhancing services and enabling new socio-economic opportunities for all,” Baksaas said.

World’s top telecom group also elected the new members of the Board and re-elected Mari-Noëlle Jego-Laveissiere, executive vice president, Innovation, Orange Group as a deputy chair for a two-year period.