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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

BDT Director's Speeches

The Information and Communication Technologies Summit, Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan  18 September 2015

The Information and Communication Technologies Summit

Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, 18 September 2015

Remarks by

Mr Brahima Sanou

Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Your Excellency Mr. Hurshid Mirzakhidov, Minister for Development of ICT of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Other High Dignitaries here present,

Distinguished participants Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great pleasure to me to address the participants of the ICT Week Uzbekistan 2015, which is closing today with the ICT Summit.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Ministry for Development of ICT of the Republic of Uzbekistan and personally to Your Excellency, Mr. Hurshid Mirzakhidov, for the invitation to visit your sunny and hospitable  country and get acquainted with the latest ICT development trends in Uzbekistan and in the entire CIS region.

Distinguished participants Ladies and Gentlemen

We gathered here today because we truly believe that for digital opportunities to fully materialize, it requires, now more than ever, innovative approaches to policy , regulation and service provision.

I would like to say few words on broadband and broadband enabled-services because broadband and secure connection to the Internet through smartphones, tablets, and new online services, have dramatically changed the way we live, interact and do business.

There are currently over 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, for a population estimated at 7.2 billion. This means that there will soon be an average of one mobile subscription per inhabitant. The number of Internet users worldwide stands at 3.2 billion, of which 2 billion live in developing countries. The proportion of households with Internet access has risen from 18 per cent in 2005 to 46 per cent in 2015. In 2015, 69 per cent of the global population will be served by a 3G mobile broadband network. It is foreseen that 26 to 50 billion mobile devices will be connected and interconnected by 2020.

Looking at Broadband in the prism of the future, one could see the following.

On infrastructure side, we will have a combination of optical fiber, satellites and alike. Mobile access will be the first way of accessing to broadband. The 4G access technology and soon the 5G, will put unprecedented computing power in the palm of our hands.

We will move from owning infrastructure and devices to the usage of them. We will be more inclined to pay for the usage than for the ownership. We will rely more and more on cloud computing.

The development of broadband in developing countries will heavily depend on the usage of broadband-enabled services for provision of basic services such as e-government, e-health, e-education, e-agriculture and e-commerce.

Cybersecurity will continue to be a big challenge as we continue to interconnect men-to-machine and machine-to-machine. The feeling of freedom of expression and interaction with unlimited number of persons in the cyberspace will continue to overweight the issue of privacy for the young generations that we call the digital natives.

The landscape of regulation and service provision will change because we are living in an era of convergence of telecom/ICT infrastructure, services and service providers. We are also witnessing the emergence of new players without any regulatory or infrastructure legacy, the displacement of revenues, and the changes in business models for service provision.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In order to transform these challenges to opportunities we need to put in place new policy and regulatory frameworks that will embrace the new ICT ecosystem. For example, ICT regulation is not enough to regulate e-Health.

Capacity building will continue to be an issue. It is estimated that in the near future 95% of the decent work will require ICT skills. Digital economy requires digital users. This is a common challenge of ICT ecosystem to be addressed particularly in developing countries.

Partnerships will be key to any and every success. We need to extend the public private sector partnership to include all stakeholders and build cross-sectoral partnerships.

For all this to happen, all the stakeholders, governments, regulators, telecom/ICT operators and service providers, consumers, academia, civil society need to change the way they interact with each other in order to create a new environment and a new deal.

The ITU celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. ITU will continue to be your neutral platform where you can engage and create this new deal.

Before I conclude, let me take one minute to appreciate and commend the Government of Uzbekistan for the remarkable way you are using ICTs for development and the way you are putting human face on ICTs. Your programme based on Government to Government, Government to Business and Government to Citizens is a fantastic way of implementing e-Government.

Let me also commend your vision on climate change adaptation. Being an oil and gas producing country you are leading a pilot project in Zambar on using alternative source of energy such as solar and wind power.

Above all, let me thank you for your support to ITU both globally and regionally.

To conclude I would like to leave you with this. The future of ICT sector is bright but in order to tap into the full potential of ICT, all the players and stakeholders of the ICT ecosystem need to not only think innovative, but also to innovate their way of thinking.

Katta Rahamat.