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How India can become a Leader in the wireless world:
 Delhi, India  12 December 2008 
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman

To some extent the question posed in the title of this session has already been answered.

India is now the second largest mobile market in the world.

However, a sustainable Indian telecommunications industry sector can only be truly sustainable if there is a complete ecosystem including R&D, manufacturing, and participation in the development of global standards and policies.

Clearly there is a significant and growing expertise in telecommunications in India and the establishment of the seven Telecom Centres of Excellence will help this develop.

Last year ITU signed a cooperation agreement with India’s TCOE.

ITU’s mission is to connect the world.

ITU’s Worldwide Centre of Excellence (CoE) Network consists of regional mechanisms aimed at strengthening the capacity within each region in order to develop high-level know-how and expertise in telecommunication policy, regulatory issues, corporate management and advanced telecommunication technology.

The Centre of Excellence Network has been very successful in strengthening capacity among ICT professionals within each region.

Through a worldwide network of Internet training centers and the ITU e-learning centre, ITU is helping create an ICT-literate workforce, addressing the needs of policy-makers and regulators, as well as operators and service providers, by using a mix of e-learning, information technologies and traditional training methodologies.

Close to 20,000 people have benefited from this training in recent years, with an average of 150 courses a year being offered, using a blend of face-to-face and online methods.

ITU also holds many workshops and tutorials worldwide.

ITU looks forward to providing greater linkage and enjoying the truly mutual benefit of the relationship we have forged with the TCOEs.

ITU is also keen to involve academia and research institutes in our work.

This year we launched a new initiative called “Kaleidoscope” that will bring closer ties between ITU, academia and research institutes. The event, technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, attracted over 140 papers from its call for papers. These papers highlighted technologies, services and applications that will capitalize on the NGN infrastructure five years and beyond and lead to the ubiquitous network society. The three best papers were awarded prizes totaling US-$10,000 and the best papers were published in the IEEE proceedings. Some excellent work has been presented which can find its way into ITU-T’s standardization work. The event will be repeated each year in a different region. Next year it will be held in Argentina with the title “Innovations for Digital Inclusion”. The call for papers is available on our website and I hope we will receive plenty of papers from India.

So we hope to see much greater participation of India in ITU – both by academia as well as experts from India extending their knowledge and experience to our CoEs around the world as well as our workshops and tutorials.

Especially I would like to see more participation in our standards work.

One of ITU’s objectives is to bridge the standardization gap. That is to ensure that all countries participate in the in the standardization process, especially developing countries.

Participation in the standards making process is essential to ensure requirements are met, increase understanding, and assist implementation. Global standards provide a level playing field allow local manufacturers to enter the world market.

We are the lead standards body on ICTs and climate change looking at ways of reducing energy consumption – a major topic of discussion here.

Comparisons are often made with China. However I checked the statistics on participation of China in our standards work compared to India and found that although China’s contribution have increased 10 fold in the last 6 years, India’s has hardly increased.

We are facilitating participation in our work in many ways:
  • Meetings in the regions
  • Remote participation
  • Reduced membership fees for SMEs in developing countries
  • Nominal participation fee for academia
  • Free ITU standards
ITU is a huge resource. We are very grateful that the Indian government doubled its financial contribution to the ITU last year. I hope to see India’s industry take advantage of this membership. It will be to India’s advantage, ITU’ advantage and the world’s advantage.

Thank you for your attention.

 

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