Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the International Telecommunication Union to this Sub-Regional Seminar and Administration Round Table on Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting and Digital Dividend in Central and Eastern Europe.
First and foremost I would like on behalf of the International Telecommunication Union, the ITU delegation and my own behalf to express our deepest gratitude to the government and the people of Hungary and the authorities of the city of Gyor as well as the authorities of the University of Gyor for the warm welcome extended to us since our arrival in Hungary and for the good facilities and arrangements.
My presence here today is to express my full commitment to working with Central and Eastern Europe during the four years to come as Director of ITU Telecommunication Development Bureaux to advance the development of telecom and ICT order to make the economies in this region more competitive in the international arena.
Distinguished Delegates Ladies and Gentlemen
Digital transition has become an important global issue, because digital broadcasting can provide a greater number of channels with higher quality within the same available bandwidth and advanced applications and features such as interactivity and electronic programme guides. Furthermore, this transition frees up spectrum, the so-called “digital dividend”, which can be used for enhanced broadcasting services and wireless mobile broadband, a key part of the solution to extend internet access to underserved areas among others.
The transition to digital broadcasting is a major challenge facing all countries. In the last four years, we have undertaken a more established and systematic approach to supporting countries in their transition and the significance of this work has been confirmed by our membership, with it being put forward as a regional initiative in every region.
The aim of this seminar is – among other – to get inputs from our Members in the Region on how we can assist the countries in their efforts to implement the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. Europe as a region agreed to establish a Regional Initiative on this subject, and the initiative was approved by the World Telecommunication Development Conference, which was held in May 2010 in Hyderabad, India.
After this seminar we will produce a project document for this Regional Initiative, which will form the base for the ITU’s assistance to countries in the Region. Our aim is also to seek partnership with possible funding institutions in order to be able to assist the countries more extensively.
ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, BDT, has a number of activities which directly assist countries with spectrum management and broadcasting issues.
Developing principles and techniques for effective spectrum management;
Advising on practical questions from developing countries on spectrum management and broadcasting;
Providing an opportunity for expert and high-level consultation for senior personnel from developing countries;
Providing information on various aspects of sound and television broadcasting systems/networks and of spectrum management systems;
Evaluating existing systems and participating in the evaluation of tenders for equipment; and
Participating in seminars and courses organized – at ITU Headquarters or elsewhere – on specialized aspects of broadcasting and spectrum management subjects.
Concrete examples of these activities include:
• The development of SMS4DC, ITU’s Spectrum Management Software for Developing Countries;
• Various training programmes and training courses developed in close cooperation with ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, BR;
• Direct assistance to developing countries in terms of spectrum management assessments, the revision of legislation, the pricing of spectrum, and coordination procedures etc;
• Cooperation with regional broadcasting unions; and
• Assistance with the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Let me just conclude by reminding you about 3 major ITU events that will take place in 2011 and renew the invitation of the ITU to these events:
The first event is the WSIS Forum, which will take place from 16 – 20 May;
The second event is the Telecommunication Development Advisory Group Meeting, which will take place 29 June to 1 July, and lastly the Telecom World event, which will take place 24 – 27 October.
Lastly, I would like to inform you that the last ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, held in October last year, opened up the admission of Academic Institutions to become members of the ITU, at a special discounted membership fee.
I wish you very fruitful deliberation
I thank you for your kind attention.
Gyor, Hungary 5/2/2011