TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mobile operators in Honduras and the GSMA (the association representing mobile operators worldwide) today announced the launch of the “We Care Honduras” campaign, which aims to provide a safer and more reliable mobile environment for all of the country’s mobile phone users. Backed by the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL), telecom companies Claro, Hondutel and Tigo will work together to fight handset theft, promote digital inclusion in public education centres, and support awareness campaigns by the Honduran Red Cross about road safety and voluntary blood donation.
The Honduran mobile market is rapidly expanding. Honduras now has more than 8 million mobile connections, almost 30 per cent of them via smartphones1. 4G deployment is expected to skyrocket from 88,000 connections at the end of 2015 to 1.4 million in 2020.
“The enormous growth in the adoption and extent of mobile services means this can be a very important tool for communications, education and interaction for social purposes,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of GSMA Latin America. “The We Care Honduras campaign stems from the commitment of the country’s mobile operators, who have put aside commercial competition in a joint effort to provide tangible benefits to Honduran mobile users.”
The cooperation agreement signed today by senior representatives of Claro, Hondutel and Tigo, with the GSMA and CONATEL as witnesses of honour, includes the following points:
Reducing Handset Theft
Handset theft is one of the most common crimes in Honduras. Following the commitment signed by mobile operators in March 2014 before Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández to connect to the GSMA’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) database2, CONATEL today agreed to implement the GSMA’s Device Check system, reinforcing measures underway to fight terminal theft and device trafficking between countries. This system will allow Honduran mobile users to check the CONATEL website in real time when buying a handset, to see whether it appears on the global list of stolen mobile devices. The so-called blacklist – the GSMA IMEI database - is updated every day through reports from more than 100 operators around the world, including 45 operators in 16 Latin American countries.
Mobile operators will work with the IT heads of CONATEL and the Department of Education to design a project to develop and implement a Digital Educational Content platform accessible by pupils in the Honduran public education system. The project will boost digital inclusion of children in public schools by giving them access to structured virtual content certified in line with the approved curriculums in Honduras.
Traffic Accident Prevention and Blood Donation
Honduran mobile operators will launch an information and awareness campaign to support local Red Cross initiatives “Awareness and prevention of traffic accidents” and “Promotion of voluntary blood donation”. One of the aims is to reduce the road toll by promoting a culture of respect on the road. At the same time, operators will work to raise awareness about the need for readily available blood banks to meet the demand of state hospitals and provide care to patients. The companies will support the national awareness campaigns through various channels to ensure the messages of the Honduran Red Cross are well publicised.
During the launch event of the initiative materialized today, Froylán Ayon, General Manager of Claro Honduras, said: “In Claro we wish that, working as a committed team for the welfare of our users, we can get more and more Hondurans to have access to mobile technology in a safe and secure environment, ensuring that in the near future handset theft is a thing of the past. Moreover, we are focused on promoting more innovative activities and educational support for digital learning spaces for our youth.”
“Tigo is pleased to be part of this cooperation with operators and the GSMA to improve the lives of Hondurans by supporting initiatives to democratize access to information and reducing the digital divide,” said Otto Pineda, General Manager, Tigo.
For his part, Jesús Arturo Mejía Arita, General Manager, Hondutel, said: “These initiatives are very important and function as a complement of the actions that the Government of Honduras is implementing to achieve a safer country, and promote a youth most likely to succeed through better education.”
Finally, the lawyer Ebal Diaz, Special Minister of CONATEL, added: “For the government of President Juan Orlando Hernández, safety is a priority, as well as digital inclusion and social protection. So the initiatives announced today with friendly institutions are of great importance for the development of our country. Honduras will continue moving forward and breaking trends.”
The GSMA’s We Care campaign is an initiative of the leading mobile operators in Latin America in a bid to ensure all their users can enjoy the life-changing benefits of mobile technology in a safe and secure environment. To achieve this, operators have decided to join forces as an industry and take on a series of commitments in every country in the region where mobile phones and networks can provide solutions to social problems. We Care has already been launched with several initiatives in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, and will continue to expand throughout the region.
1. Data from GSMA Intelligence, Q4 2015.
2. To access the latest information about handset theft in Latin America and the GSMA IMEI database, please visit http://www.gsma.com/latinamerica/is/theft-terminals-imei.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.