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Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2007: The Road to NGN  

ITU released  a major report on regulation in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector on 4 September 2007.

This report explores the move to NGN, its technology, fixed-mobile convergence, interconnection, international Internet interconnection, universal access, QoS and consumer protection and the creation of an NGN-enabling environment. Global ICT market and regulatory trends are also discussed and an overview of the NGN regulatory framework is provided.

 

Highlights from the report  

Growth in ICTs worldwide, 1996-2006, in billions

Note: Service totals are cumulative

Source: Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2007: The Road to NGN

Over the past decade, there has been buoyant growth in the ICT sector, demonstrating the spectacular success of the mobile sector in particular.

More analysis in Trends 2007


Level of competition in selected services world, 2006

Source: Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2007: The Road to NGN

There is no doubt that effective competition leads to lower prices, more choice and better quality of service and facilitates the take-up of new services. As such, national regulatory authorities have an important role to play in ensuring and maintaining a competitive marketplace.

The opening of markets to competition has remained steady. Mobile and Internet services continue to be the most competitive markets, while fixed-line services are also becoming increasingly competitive.

More analysis in Trends 2007

Source: Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2007: The Road to NGN

In 2007, the world counts 148 national ICT-sector regulators. Over three quarters of ITU Member States have established a separate regulator, although differences remain between regions. Africa has the highest percentage of countries with a separate sector regulator (over 90 per cent), followed by the Americas and Europe. Since mid-2005, nine new regulators were established: three in Africa, two in the Asia-Pacific, one in the Arab States and three in Europe. This trend will certainly continue, as more than five countries have indicated their intention to establish an ICT regulatory body in the near future.

More analysis in Trends 2007

 

Next Generation Networks (NGN)  

What is NGN?

A packet-based network able to provide telecommunication services and able to make use of multiple broadband, QoS-enabled transport technologies and in which service-related functions are independent from underlying transport-related technologies. It enables unfettered access for users to networks and to competing service providers and/or services of their choice. It supports generalized mobility which will allow consistent and ubiquitous provision of services to users.

ITU-T definition (2001)

The road to NGN

The transition to NGN is underway and promises to fundamentally alter the ICT landscape. It will bring opportunities for operators and benefits for consumers, while at the same time posing challenges for regulators and policymakers. Regulation in this regard is a true work in progress. There is much to be learned from those countries that have gone further down the road of technological development and policy analysis. As is the case in all ICT developments, there will be world leaders in NGN development and regulation.

 

More analysis in Trends 2007

NGN is still in an evolutionary phase and no country has as yet developed a specific regulatory framework for it. However, regulators in various countries are already considering the best way to facilitate an NGN investor-friendly climate with sustainable business opportunities.

NGN issues for regulators to consider

Will the migration to NGN require a complete review of the current ICT legal framework? Will it require reorganization and restructuring of regulatory authorities? What impact will it have on regulators’ responsibilities and mandate? How can regulations best address the converging ICT sector that was previously separated and regulated in silos? How can regulators continue to ensure fair competition, promote universal access to ICTs and protect consumers in a fast changing environment? Is there a need for a new regulatory paradigm? Some countries are already in the process of developing an NGN regulatory framework, while others seek to learn from international best practices.

More analysis in Trends 2007

Contents of the report  
  • Chapter 1: Market Trends

  • Chapter 2: NGN - A Regulation Overview

  • Chapter 3: Next-Generation Networking Technology

  • Chapter 4: Fixed-Mobile Convergence

  • Chapter 5: Interconnection in an IP-based NGN environment

  • Chapter 6: International Interconnection, NGN and ICT Development

  • Chapter 7: NGN & Universal Access

  • Chapter 8: Consumer Protection and Quality of Service

  • Chapter 9: Enabling Environment for NGN

  • Chapter 10: Why NGN, Why Now?

 

The Road to Next-Generation Networks (NGN)  

The 2007 GSR Best Practice Guidelines promote regulatory frameworks that foster innovation, investment and affordable access to NGN while facilitating the migration to NGNs. Because the deployment of next-generation networks will not happen overnight, the 38-point roadmap encourages regulators to define policies that allow for the coexistence of legacy and IP networks, alternative voice services such as VoIP and bundled services that provide voice together with TV and Internet access (also called triple-play).

 

Previous reports in this series  

 

News  

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The ITU ICT Eye  

The ICT Eye

a one stop-shop for ICT information

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ITU-infoDev ICT Regulation Toolkit  

The ICT Regulation Toolkit is a web-based tool, organized as a series of lined module to provide regulators, telecom service providers, policy makers, sector experts and the general public with latest on regulatory topics, best practices, and case studies.

 

ITU-World Bank ICTdec  

The ITU World Bank ICT Regulatory Decisions Clearinghouse (ICTDec) is an online resource that provides a one-stop access point to decisions originating from ICT decision making bodies.

 

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Updated : 2009-02-13