Distinguished colleagues and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
In my opening address I talked about the importance of an effective regulatory
framework to encourage the roll out of broadband services.
I would now like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the key
regulatory issues facing ITU today. I will start with my Sector the Sector for
What are our objectives? We have three main objectives:
- To develop interoperable, non-discriminatory, international standards
Let me expand on the first objective. ITU is in the business of producing
international standards, not national or regional standards but standards that
can be implemented on a world-wide basis. This means they have to have been
accepted by the world community and to do this it means we must satisfy the
requirements of the full ITU membership: 192 governments and over 700 private
- To assist in bridging the standardization gap between developed and developing
- To extend and facilitate international cooperation among international and
regional standardization bodies
It also means that anyone has the right to build equipment or provide services
that meet these standards. To do this they to be able to acquire the rights to
any patents in the standards either free of charge or on reasonable terms,
regardless of where they are based or who they are, even if they are competitors
of the license holders. We have a common IPR policy with ISO and IEC whereby at
the start of every meeting participants have to declare if they have any patents
related to the standards under development. If they have they must make a
commitment to provide these on free or reasonable terms on a non-discriminatory
basis otherwise they will be excluded from the standard. IPR policy is therefore
very critical and very topical in this region especially. I am hoping very much
that we will have a workshop on this subject in this region this year.
Finally, our standards should provide interoperability so that users of products
produced to these standards can make use of them anywhere in the world
regardless of who has manufactured them and who is offering the service.
This is an extremely difficult objective to achieve in the multistakeholder
environment we are now in. To address it we are implementing what we call a
conformity and interoperability programme.
Key elements are: the development of testing specifications; conformance testing
to determine compliant products; and interoperability testing amongst various
manufacturers’ products implementing the standard(s).
We have to develop more testing suites to accompany our standards in future. In
particular we need to defining more interfaces where interoperability can be
tested. This will increase competition and reduce the chances of being locked
into a single product.
We are also putting in place a conformity database which will record information
on what products have been tested to ITU-T Recommendations. The demand for a
conformity database was simple: people want a database on the ITU website where
they can see what products have been successfully tested to ITU-T
To ensure the credibility of the database, tests must be carried out in an
accredited laboratory: first, second or third party; or be accepted by an
accredited certification body. Companies will voluntarily input the data
directly into the database which will be verified by submitting a Supplier’s
Declaration of Conformity.
We have also started a programme of interoperability events. In 2010 we had
Interop events in Geneva, Singapore and India. Several IPTV manufacturers
participated to prove conformity to our IPTV standards and to prove their
equipment would interoperate with the equipment of the other manufacturers.
These Interop events not only show cased interoperable products but proved ITU
global standards in this important field are ready to go, and in fact are
already being implemented. Proprietary solutions may have offered faster
deployment in the short term - but in the medium and longer term, buyers will be
subject to vendor lock-in with costly upgrades and reduced content and hardware
choice. The forum based standards I am pleased to say are mostly region specific
with little or no implementation.
The third element of the programme is human capacity building. We have held
events in Nairobi, Quito, Ecuador and Singapore and look forward to more
workshops and tutorials on the subject this year.
The fourth element of the programme is to help establish regional or
sub-regional test centres. We are currently working with a number of countries
that are interested in establishing these, and we have a pilot project in
Tanzania. I am pleased to say that UNIDO has expressed a keen interest in
working with us in this area.
Our second objective is to bridge the standards gap, what this means is to
involve as many of the ITU member countries as possible in the development of
these standards. It means facilitating the participation of as many countries as
possible in our work. We are doing this in several ways: by reducing the
membership fee for companies from certain developing countries; by providing
remote participation in our meetings; by having more meetings in the regions
rather than in Geneva; and by offering fellowships for delegates from lest
developed countries. We are also producing more handbooks and tutorials on the
implementation of our standards, and offering briefing session for new delegates
to our meetings. We have over 50 workshops planned this year around the world.
And of course, since 2007 all our standards are available for downloading from
our website free of charge.
The third of our strategic objectives is collaboration with other national, and
regional standards bodies, forums and consortia. Unfortunately the
standardisation scenario is a complex one. There are hundreds of standards
bodies, many of them competing with each other and with ITU.
In 2009 we established a high level industry advisory group consisting of over
twenty Chief technology Officers from many of the world’s leading ICT companies.
This proliferation of standards bodies is one of their major concerns. As a
result ITU is making an attempt to form partnerships with those major standards
bodies that support ITU in its role as the pfre-eminent global standards body. I
have participated in recent meetings of the new standards body in India called
GISFI and would be very interested in collaborating with this body and others in
So these are our strategic goals, and a tremendous lot of activity goes on in
ITU every week by hundreds of experts from around the world to meet these
In ITU-T one of the biggest of our ten study groups is the one on security.
ICTs can transform modern lifestyles but at the same time, these innovative
tools also create opportunities for exploitation and abuse.
Cybersecurity is one of the most critical concerns of the information age. It is
a global issue that demands a truly global approach. Cyber criminals and cyber
terrorists do not need to be anywhere near the scene of the crime. International
cooperation and response is the only answer.
ITU has a vital responsibility to ensure the safety of all those who venture
online – especially as online services become an integral part of peoples’
Along with legal and operational measures, technical solutions need to be
developed and standardized, providing hardware and software security baselines
that can be adopted by vendors, manufactures and end users.
There are now literally hundreds of ITU standards on security, or which have
security implications. In particular:
Recommendation ITU-T X.509 which secures the connection between a browser and a
server on the web and enables digital signatures for e-commerce transactions.
Recommendation ITU-T X.805 which gives telecom network operators the ability to
pinpoint all vulnerable points in a network and mitigate them. Recommendation
ITU-T X.1205 which provides an overview and definition of cybersecurity.
Ongoing ITU-T work on security includes architecture and frameworks;
cybersecurity; vulnerabilities, threats and risk management; incident handling
and traceback; countering spam; telebiometrics; information security management;
identity management; security for next generation networks (NGN), IPTV, home
networks, ubiquitous sensor networks, mobiles; and secure application services.
ITU-T Study Groups are also starting to look at security concerns in emerging
areas such as smart grids and cloud computing.
Development of global strategies for the creation and endorsement of a generic
and universal digital identity system and the necessary organizational
structures to ensure the recognition of digital credentials across geographical
boundaries are a particularly urgent area of focus..
Identity theft was identified in an ITU survey as the biggest fear preventing
users from placing more trust in online networks. In 2009, a first set of ITU-T
Recommendations dealing with identity management was approved for application in
NGN, for globalization of existing solutions, and ensuring interoperability, and
for user control of digital identity.
In addition, ITU-T’s cybersecurity information exchange (CYBEX) initiative
imports more than twenty best of breed standards for platforms developed over
the past several years by government agencies and industry to enhance
cybersecurity. These platforms capture and exchange information about the
security "state" of systems and devices, about vulnerabilities, and about cyber
Ladies and gentlemen, I would also like to take this opportunity to say a few
words on a topic that seems to have been given a lot of coverage recently.
Given the high level of interest on the exhaustion on IPv4 addresses by IANA let
me start by saying that ITU has been supporting the implementation of IPv6 for
It is clear that there is no consensus on the need for regulation to mandate the
deployment of IPv6, however, it is equally clear that deployment must take
At several high-level ITU conferences during the last decade, ITU addressed IPv6
For example PP10 Resolution 102 revised in Guadalajara, 2010 instructs the
Director of TSB to “...ensure that the ITU Telecommunication Standardization
Sector (ITU-T) performs its role in technical issues, and to continue to
contribute ITU-T expertise and to liaise and cooperate with appropriate entities
on issues related to the management of Internet domain names and addresses and
other Internet resources within the mandate of ITU, such as IPv6, ENUM and IDNs,
as well as any other related technological developments and issues, including
facilitating appropriate studies on these issues by relevant ITU-T study groups
and other groups”. Resolution 180 mandates ITU in the area of facilitating the
transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
We have established a dedicated group to address this issue with the
participation of the Internet community. It will be meeting next in April.
We have noted voices and opinions from the developing world as well as from the
developed world, from academic and research institutes, as well as from industry
members. Often these voices focus on the need to avoid some of the problems that
have arisen with IPv4 allocations.
ITU has proven relevant competency as the architect and custodian of the world’s
international telephone numbering system, a system which is characterised by
stability. The stability of the Internet is paramount and I am sure that the
problems experienced thus far are surmountable and I know that ITU has the
knowledge, strength and will to assist.
It would be remiss of me to finish without mention of what will probably be the
most significant regulatory conference in ITU’s long history which will take
place next year: The World Conference on International Telecommunications
(WCIT). As I mentioned at the start of the day, I see the primary role of a
regulatory framework to provide for the growth and expansion of the industry. To
illustrate this, allow me to reach back just beyond the last two decades of
liberalization, back to 1988, when 178 ITU Member States ratified a specialized,
but vastly important, treaty called the International Telecommunication
Regulations or ITRs at the World Administrative Telegraphy & Telephone
Conference (WATTC-88) in Melbourne, Australia. This major treaty laid down the
foundations for our modern communications industry by setting down guidelines
for the treatment of international telecommunication traffic, provided for the
expansion of the Internet, and established some of the key industry norms that
govern the settlement of international traffic even today.
The treaty established the framework for the subsequent and stunning growth in
international telecommunication traffic, proliferation in new entrants and
operators and the explosion in investment for rolling out network infrastructure
around the world. It included some very important principles and definitions
that are still with us today, such as privilege telecommunications receiving
priority within international transmission, the conditions governing the
suspension of international telecommunication services, the right of any
end-user to send telecommunication traffic (subject to national laws) and a
short, but vital clause stating that carriers are not responsible for the
content of the traffic they carry.
Revising and updating these core principles to take into account the digital
transition and convergence in ICTs will be the main task for ITU Member States
at the WCIT next year. And it is vital that ITU sets out clear guidelines to
ensure the continued growth and reliable provision of international ICT services
as it did twenty years ago, before liberalization. I believe the new treaty must
reinforce these principles as well as addressing new issues such as quality of
service and security.
Finally, I would like to mention a new initiative that I believe will have a
very positive effect on the ITU and the global ICT industry.
With the certain knowledge that many technological innovations come from the
academic world I am pleased to announce a new ITU membership category for
academia, universities and their associated research establishments. This allows
ITU to open its doors more widely to academic institutions with strong research
programmes and ICT innovations, bringing new impetus to all of our work.
In ITU-T, the opportunity to network strategically with key players from
industry offers huge potential for academics and researchers in steering global
standards development. Whether using ITU-T standards as academic course content,
submitting contributions to study groups, or gaining recognition and visibility
through our Technology Watch Reports and our annual Kaleidoscope academic
conferences, academics and researchers now have many routes to raise the
international profile of their work. By the way our call for papers for
Kaleidoscope was issued last week and is on our website. I would encourage
submissions for presentation in Cape Town this December, and prizes of $10,000
and publication of the winning papers by the IEEE Communications Society.
Within just a few weeks of its launch, 12 academic institutions have already
joined ITU - and many more are doing so, from all around the globe. For
developing countries, the membership fee is less than $2000. I have set out here
in the room our academia membership brochure which provides full details about
the new category and explains how your universities can join. I therefore look
forward to welcoming many new academia members to ITU-T from Iran and the other
I thank you for your attention, I have covered a number of diverse issues, but
it just goes to illustrate the extent of the challenges facing us all. As I
mentioned earlier, I look forward to collaborating with SATRC to address these
issues over the coming years.
Thank you again for your attention.