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ITU-T Workshop on "Conformance and Interoperability of IPTV"
Pune, India 17 December 2010
Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and friends

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all here today to this International Telecommunication Union (ITU) workshop on Conformance and Interoperability of IPTV. This workshop is organized as part of the third IPTV interoperability event.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Professor Prasad for supporting the event, and Professor Navale and members of the Sinhgad Technical Education Society, especially Professor Markande, for hosting this event and the other seven related events held here this week. Also, I would like to thank TechMahindra for co-organizing this workshop, and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology for it support.

ITU is the lead UN agency for information and communications technologies (ICT). We are responsible for allocating radio spectrum for television, radio, mobile and other services. We coordinate the use of the geostationary satellite orbit. We have a strong focus on connecting the unconnected – bridging the digital divide. And key all this is providing the international standards that allow today’s global ICT network to function.

With greater penetration of broadband worldwide (something ITU is actively involved in promoting through the Broadband Commission) and the recent advances in technologies for the distribution of high volume content, IPTV services promise to bring about a revolution in the way we view this content.

Expectations of IPTV continue to rise. Already there are millions of IPTV service subscribers globally.

However many of these services are based on proprietary solutions that may offer fast deployment in the short term - but in the medium and longer term, buyers will be subject to vendor lock-in with costly upgrades or incompatible equipment. Industry consortia-based 'standards' are mostly region specific with no wide implementation.

But to drive down costs we need a common set of international standards that will allow the development of a competitive mass market.

International standards adopted by the ITU ensure open, more widely accessible technology, lower barriers to entrance, and lower cost for service providers. They also allow start-up companies to enter into a global market.

ITU standards for IPTV will create a whole new market for innovation, and provide high quality, low cost, interactive, and interoperable IPTV services. ITU IPTV standards are the result of detailed international discussions, including many developing countries.

The standards provide for different levels of service and cost to suit the market – from highly sophisticated applications to basic services.

All ITU standards meet our published intellectual property rights (IPR), policy based on RAND – reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, ensuring stable market adoption, leading to services that provide for high quality and low cost.

Since ITU IPTV standards are based on mature technologies, decided by consensus, interoperability is easier to achieve among different vendors.

This is why ITU is conducting a series of interoperability events, such as the one here in Pune this week, where different manufacturers come together to prove their equipment not only complies to ITU standards, but that they interoperate. Only by doing this can we be sure that consumers will have a wide choice of compatible equipment at competitive prices.

We will provide details of the products that meet our standards on a publicly available database hosted on the ITU website. So anyone will be able to see what products are on the market that meet ITU standards.

And the good news is…. ITU IPTV standards are already being implemented. Many global companies are now selling products meeting these standards, either built into flat screen TVs, or set top boxes, in countries such as Brazil, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and France. A test service is being conducted in Singapore, and we very much hope we will have test beds here in India in the near future.

I appreciate your time and interest in our event and I hope to see you involved in our events in the future – either testing or show casing your products or providing products based on our standards.

The Indian government has ambitious plans for the role out of e-services to the whole community – including the 70% of its citizens living in rural areas. I believe ITU IPTV offers tremendous potential to meet this goal by bringing the benefits of high quality entertainment , to homes throughout India, along with e-education, e-health, e-government and all the other benefits of the information society.

Thank you for coming today and I hope you find this workshop and your visit to the ITU IPTV Interop showcasing event both rewarding and enjoyable.

Thank you for your attention.


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