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ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009: Special report: Reflecting new needs and realities
Open summit: ICT for economic growth
photo credit: *
Senator Stephen Conroy
Australia’s Minister of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
 
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Tarek Kamel
Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology
 
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Lawrence E. Strickling
United States Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, US Department of Commerce
 
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Rajeev Suri
CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks, Finland
 
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Chiaki Ito
Member of the Board and Vice Chairman of Fujitsu Ltd, Japan
 
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Mark Pecen
Vice President, Advanced Technology for Research in Motion Limited, Canada
 
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Adrian Finighan
CNN, United Kingdom
 
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photo credit: Shutterstock

Highlights from the “Open summit on ICT for economic growth” focused on some of the major broadband stimulus plans under way in a number of countries to stimulate long-term economic growth and create new jobs. Panellists included Australia’s Minister of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy; Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamel; United States Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), US Department of Commerce, Lawrence E. Strickling; Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises, India, Sunil Bharti Mittal; CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks, Finland, Rajeev Suri; Member of the Board and Vice Chairman of Fujitsu Ltd, Japan, Chiaki Ito; and Vice President, Advanced Technology for Research in Motion Limited, Canada, Mark Pecen. The session was moderated by Adrian Finighan, CNN anchor and correspondent in the United Kingdom.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a total of USD 7.2 billion to fund projects that will expand access to, and adoption of, broadband services. Mr Strickling explained that NTIA will use USD 4.7 billion of this funding for grants to deploy broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas in the United States, expand public computer centre capacity, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband services.

ITU predicts 4.6 billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2009

ITU’s latest statistics, issued at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, reveal rapid growth in ICT in many world regions, with mobile technology acting as a key driver. Mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 4.6 billion by the end of 2009, and mobile broadband subscriptions to top 600 million, having overtaken fi xed broadband subscriptions in 2008. “The World in 2009: ICT facts and fi gures” is a new ITU publication offering comprehensive data, forecasts and analysis of the global ICT market. It shows that mobile technologies have a particularly important impact in developing countries, with several of them launching IMT2000/3G networks and services.

Australia’s “super-fast National Broadband Network” announced by the government in April 2009 is expected to support 25 000 jobs every year, on average, over the life of the project (an estimated eight years). Describing the project as a publicprivate partnership, Senator Stephen Conroy said that it will cost AUS 43 billion and will connect 90 per cent of all Australian homes, schools and workplaces with broadband services at speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s. It will use next-generation technologies such as optical fi bre, but also rely on advanced wireless and satellite technologies for remote parts of rural Australia.

Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamel noted that the Middle East and Africa have been least affected by the economic downturn, with many countries still recording double-digit growth. He said that the service industry was a good opportunity within ICT, and revealed that Egypt plans to increase its presence as a centre of excellence and a destination for the outsourcing and “offshoring” of services, in which business processes are transferred from one country to another. He said that Egypt is already a favourite destination for this work, “because we have all the elements for success: good geographic location — situated at the centre of major cable routes — excellent multilingual skills, government incentives, business park facilities and a robust infrastructure among them.”

 

*All photos are by P. Christin/ITU, D. Keller/ITU, V. Martin/ITU, and F. Rouzioux/ITU unless indicated otherwise

 

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