ITU Telecom World sets new paradigm for networking, knowledge-sharing
November 01, 2011
The 40th International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World event closed its doors last week after three intensive days of high-level networking, knowledge exchange and deal-making, involving more than 330 bigwigs and CEOs from around the world.
The delegates saw debates and interactions during an agenda that focused on topics such as broadband, connecting cities, harnessing innovation and next-generation wireless advances. The event also featured live participation from countries around the globe.
The event was preceded by an invitation-only Broadband Leadership Summit, which sought to tackle the many complex issues that are raised by broadband deployment, from challenges of infrastructure financing in poorer nations and isolated regions to cyber security, data privacy and intellectual property rights.
“As we accelerate towards a ubiquitous high-speed future, international dialogue is essential to ensuring we take the right decisions, learn from one another’s experiences and avoid having to re-invent the wheel,” said Hamadoun Touré, the ITUs Secretary-General.
The summit closed with the issuance of a broadband challenge to world leaders, top policy-makers, industry leaders, users and consumers.
The challenge underlines the need for concrete policy measures to promote broadband, stresses the importance of making content meaningful to individuals at a real-life, local level and calls on world leaders, governments, industry and civil society to work together to ensure that at least 50% of the developing world’s population, and 40% of its’ households, are using broadband Internet by 2015.
Carlos Slim Helú, president of the Carlos Slim Foundation and co-chair of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development, pointed to the past decade’s explosive growth in mobile devices as offering a potential roadmap for broadband take-up.
This year’s event included a comprehensive program featuring new streams, such as a Digital Cities program that focused on how technology could help meet the challenges of increasing urbanization, and an in-depth technical symposium for Communication Technology Organizations (CTOs) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) engineers.
A new-look show floor highlighted opportunities in emerging markets across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
In order to involve those who could not attend, the organizers ran webcasting, online polls, and meta-conferences involving 10,000 schoolchildren worldwide, as well as competitions for young innovators and digital innovators.
The event also featured 55 forum sessions, which included ministerial roundtables, workshops and interactive panel discussions, with participants encouraged to put forward their questions via a range of multimedia platforms.
The next ITU Telecom World event will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Key event statistics
Over 6,500 top-level participants on-site, including heads of state, ministers, city mayors, industry CEOs and technology gurus
332 global leaders participating in the Broadband Leadership Summit
34 of the world’s major ICT names participating in the event as key partners
251 influential speakers from 64 countries took part in the multi-streamed conference agenda
237 companies from 41 countries on the show floor
324 accredited media organizations from around the world, including major global broadcasters, news agencies, national newspapers and ICT press
10,000 students from schools across the globe who shared their work with 150,000 of their classmates across five continents.
Text and photos by Damar Harsanto
Photos : Indonesia's Communications and Informations Minister, Tifatul Sembiring (second left) takes a picture with his cell phone during the testing of a high definition video conferencing product, the so-called Telepresence 2.0, which was launched by Chinese vendor Huawei during the event.