The biggest event of the telecommunications calendar last year was undisputedly World TELECOM 99 + INTERACTIVE
99, the ITUís four-yearly exhibition and forum which showcases the most exciting developments in new technology alongside a week of thought-provoking industry debate and new ideas from the four corners of the
TELECOM 99 + INTERACTIVE 99 was ITUís eighth world event and its most successful TELECOM
ever, with more than 150,000 visitors coming to see the latest offerings from over 1,100 exhibitors, including all the leading telecommunications operators and equipment manufacturers. A show with a worldwide
reputation for forging the deals which have shaped the industry over the last 20 years, this yearís TELECOM saw a strong accent on wireless data, with a huge number of exhibitors
demonstrating Internet access over a range of handheld mobile devices.
The eventís Forum programme attracted more than 4,000 delegates, who participated in five Summits covering topics from industry convergence, technology and
interactivity, to policy and regulatory issues and telecommunications development. Key speakers included CEOs from the worldís largest telecoms and information technology companies, including Microsoftís Bill
Gates, IBMís Lou Gerstner, Cisco Systemsí John Chambers, AT&Tís Michael Armstrong, Hewlett-Packardís Carly Fiorina, Oracleís Larry Ellison, Ericssonís Kurt HellstrŲm, Lucent Technologiesí Richard
McGinn and Alcatelís Serge Tchuruk, as well as leading figures from government, regional organizations like the European Union, and national telecoms regulators.
For the ITU, one of the most important aspects of TELECOM is the furthering of telecommunications development efforts around the world. TELECOM helps
promote this cause by providing a forum where industry and government representatives from developed and developing countries can meet and build partnerships which bring mutual benefits.