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Workshop on Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management, Executive Round Table
ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
23 January 2007

Remarks by ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré


Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning,

I am pleased to participate in this Executive Round Table within the ITU/FUB Workshop on Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management.

It is my great honour to stand before you, as newly-elected Secretary General of ITU and welcome you all. I am especially pleased to have among us His Excellency, Mr. Paolo Gentiloni, Minister of Communications of Italy and His Excellency, Mr. Censu Galea, Minister for Competitiveness and Communications of Malta as well as many other distinguished executive round table speakers.

This workshop is the second in a series of expert meetings and workshops carried out under the ITU's Shaping Tomorrow's Networks Programme.

We should keep in mind that one of the objectives to be pursued for spectrum management is the harmonization of practices and approaches on a global basis.

In this rapid changing radio environment, many countries are modernizing their national spectrum management frameworks to accommodate pressures for greater and quicker access to radio frequency spectrum, and respond to new enabling wireless technologies.

This workshop has been discussing innovative approaches for spectrum allocation and licensing at the national level, including “Spectrum Usage Rights”; “Spectrum Mask”; and “Space-Centric Spectrum Management”.  Some of these ideas are not new in ITU as we have been studying spectrum management issues for some time, including the economic aspects.

More recently, ITU has been considering options for the improvement of the international spectrum regulatory framework in the context of the preparations for WRC-07. I am glad to see that discussions like the one we are carrying out during this workshop have the potential of shedding new light on the very fundamental aspects of the possible reform of the global spectrum management, to be discussed during WRC-07.

ITU is often considered the “guardian” of the world's radio spectrum, and in this very important capacity, I consider that ITU has a number of priorities to address:

  • First, ITU must continue to assist our Membership in developing policies for access to radio spectrum that will maximize its usefulness while ensuring equity and efficiency, for instance by making the best use of emerging new technologies.
     
  • Second, we must raise awareness among political leaders, at the highest level, of the importance of effective spectrum management for each country's economic and social development. Political leaders must also be made aware of the new challenges this will bring, and how they can deal with these.
     
  • Third, we must help our Member States to identify the most appropriate approaches for efficient spectrum management, reflecting national circumstances and policy choices. This will require a blend of different approaches, including both market mechanisms based on usage rights, and an open spectrum commons using license-exempt spectrum, where appropriate.
     
  • Fourth, we must help our membership in taking maximum advantage of the new technical developments that are making it possible to use spectrum resources more effectively. This include spread spectrum techniques, software-defined radio, new antenna arrays and greater use of low-powered devices.
     
  • Fifth, we must find ways to accommodate new services – such as broadband wireless access, WiMAX or ultrawideband – which show much promise in extending the benefits of new telecommunication technologies to all the world's inhabitants, particularly those in rural and remote areas;
     
  • Finally, we must cooperate with all other relevant international and regional organizations active in this field and take into account the particular requirements of developing countries and other countries with large areas of low population density in order to help support and extend a cost-effective coverage, and take steps to bridge the digital divide.

In this regard, I am happy to say that much of this ground-breaking work is being conducted under the work of ITU's three Sectors.

Spectrum management has long been a core competence of ITU and will continue to be a fundamental aspect of our work. This workshop is jointly-organized by the ITU's Strategy and Policy Unit and the Radiocommunication Bureau the under “Shaping Tomorrow's Network' Programme, with the support of the Ugo Bordoni Foundation. Such workshops bring together stakeholders from across the industry as well as the public sector to share and disseminating knowledge and work together to find concrete solutions.

With so many varied participants here, I feel confident that this will generate a fruitful debate and help identify the key priorities where we need to focus our efforts.

Thank you.

 

 

 

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