The expansion and evolution of telecommunications brings new opportunities,
as well as new challenges. Convergence and the move towards networks based on IP or NGN are redefining the industry and
business strategies. New services and applications, such as VoIP, are disrupting business models and calling regulatory
frameworks into question. Faced with this transition, governments, regulators, operators and manufacturers are
struggling to anticipate and adapt to tomorrow's emerging issues. Throughout this transition, ITU remains committed
through its range of activities to helping ensure that communications over public telecommunication networks remain
reliable, secure, interoperable and user-friendly.
The coming years, 2008 and 2009, promise to be as fully-charged as ever. Among the key events in ITU's calendar, ITU
looks forward to TELECOM AFRICA 2008 in Cairo, Egypt, and TELECOM ASIA 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand, which will unite CEOs, Ministers, regulators and policy-makers from across these regions to shape the future of the ICT industry. TELECOM WORLD will be held in Geneva in 2009. The Forums at these events explore the very latest technologies and
solutions in deployment, the prospects for growth, the impact of liberalization, business strategies that have succeeded
and much more. TELECOM Exhibitions provide a wealth of opportunities for networking and forging business partnerships to promote trade and investment in telecommunications.
The eighth annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) will be held in Pattaya, Thailand, in March 2008, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and the National Telecommunications
Commission of Thailand, on the theme of “Innovative infrastructure-sharing and open access strategies to promote
affordable access for all”. The Symposium unites regulators from developed and developing countries to share their
experiences on the latest developments in regulation.
ITU is also preparing for the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08), which will take place in
October 2008 in Johannesburg at the kind invitation of the Government of the Republic of South Africa. WTSA-08 defines
the overall policy, working methods and procedures for ITU-T, including the structure and participants of study groups
and the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). For the first time ever, WTSA will be preceded by a
Global Standardization Symposium in the same venue. In 2009, ITU will hold the fourth World Telecommunication Policy
Forum in Switzerland on the subject of convergence and its relevance to the changing telecommunication environment.
ITU is working hard to adapt to the evolution and newly emerging challenges of the information society and the changing
needs of its membership. ITU continues to improve its standardization and spectrum allocation activities, to make them
more efficient and effective and responsive to membership's needs.
ITU is designing new and tailored work programmes for technical assistance to developing countries, adapted to their
requirements. ICTs, as well as the broader information society, continue to evolve, but the management team of ITU has
every confidence that, united, we can work together to make the information society more inclusive, safer, more secure
and as widely accessible to as many people as possible. ITU looks forward to continuing to work closely with its
membership to fulfill this mandate.