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ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 highlights a resplendent global ICT industry

Industry leaders salute an action-packed and successful event

Hong Kong, 8 December 2006 — ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 closed its doors today following a busy week which has seen some 62’000 flocking to Hong Kong, China to be a part of the event. The industry’s top names were in evidence throughout a packed Show floor and Forum, including participants such as Alcatel-Lucent Technologies, AT&T, China Mobile, China Netcom, China Telecommunications, China Unicom, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Motorola, NEC, Nortel, OKI, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Siemens, SK telecom, Toshiba, Verizon, ZTE and more.

The Digital World in all its excitement pervaded the event, with all the ground-breaking technologies that underpin it. “If I have one hope as the show concludes, it is that these technologies can truly transform the way we live, no matter who we are or where we live in the world”, said Fernando Lagraña, Executive Manager, ITU TELECOM. “To achieve this transformation we must all commit to making ICTs available and affordable to the whole world”, he said, adding “As bags are packed and planes caught, and visitors return to their homes all over the world, how will the ICT industry remember this event? As well as the innovation, the lively debate, the busy halls and the fun, I hope its real legacy is as a milestone in our commitment to bridge the Digital Divide together”.

The event was launched with a glittering opening ceremony on 3 December in the presence of H.E Mr Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People’s Republic of China, the Honourable Mr Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Mr Yoshio Utsumi, ITU Secretary-General along with Nobel laureate Professor Muhammed Yunus, founder and Managing Director of the Grameen Bank, and a host of other top ICT names.

Living the Digital World

Under the theme “Living the Digital World”, the event explored the trends, technologies and policies that are driving this world. Examples of broadband in action at home and in the workplace or new, converged product offerings could be seen throughout the event, with IP-enabled services such as TV and Video being demonstrated across the Show Floor.

"The global telecommunications business is in a state of dynamic transition as service providers become "experience providers" and collaboration and interactions drive the next wave of growth in our industry. It was a great pleasure to be able to participate in ITU TELECOM WORLD and share Cisco's vision of the digital world with such a broad audience of distinguished telecom leaders, service providers and government regulators from around the world," said John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems.

New web-based services and applications such as email on the move, multi-tasking or teleworking and a full range of location-based services were demonstrated and the many uses for mobile phones were on display this week. From mobile broadband to mobile music and TV, participants were treated to a host of colourful displays and high-tech gadgetry. Devices were busy talking to other devices, there were robots, fridges that can communicate, phones talking to vending machines and a whole lot more on show. There was a strong presence from the satellite sector, with a number of technology advances being showcased, which will enable a host of potentially life-saving services to remote areas. WiMAX and an array of other wireless technologies enabling on-the-go broadband access were also explored.

“At a time when convergence on many levels is re-shaping the landscape, ITU TELECOM WORLD continues to be the one forum where people from all over the world can meet to discuss industry change and opportunity,” said Sebastiano Tevarotto, vice president and general manager, Communications, Media and Entertainment, HP. “HP has supported ITU goals and activities for decades and looks forward to the next ITU event."

Making the right connections

At an event where making the right connections, networking and getting business done were the bywords of the week, it was no surprise that a number of high-level partnerships were formed and announced at TELECOM WORLD 2006. Two giants of industry, Microsoft and BT announced a deal to provide IPTV services in the UK; and a pan Asian mobile TV consortium was hatched between SK Telecom, Toshiba, Global Media Networks, and International Mobile Broadcasting to provide the first mobile TV roaming service in Asia.

ITU TELECOM WORLD is a global networking platform for the ICT industry and it was here that the newly merged Alcatel-Lucent Technologies chose to unveil its new brand identity and mission, to an audience of peers, partners and customers. Global research specialists, Yankee Group and Analysys International launched a partnership to offer research that puts the China market into an international context. In addition, Aperto Networks formed a WiSE partnership of 50 companies to drive WiMAX interoperability.

A significant milestone was reached in the relationship between ITU and Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus with an announcement of an “ITC Empowerment Network” to which Connect the World partner, Cisco Systems, announced a US$1 million contribution and QUALCOMM and consortium Enclusion pledged support.

With so many deals being done and new opportunities announced, networking was clearly high on the agenda this week for participants. Underlining this was the fact that almost 10’400 networking emails had been sent by the end of the event, using ITU TELECOM’s online networking system. The feedback from this service was very positive; people were happy that ITU TELECOM was helping them connect together both on-line and off-line at the VIP lounge.

Consensus from the showfloor participants was overwhelmingly positive too.

“This year’s ITU event presents an excellent opportunity for IBM to collaborate with other global thought leaders and address some of the most pressing issues facing telcos,” said Gary Cohen, General Manager, Global Communications Sector, IBM Corporation. “Telcos are challenged by the need to reduce costs and drive revenues, and ITU has provided a strong platform to talk directly with some of the world’s leading telcos about how we can help them innovate to compete effectively in the marketplace.”

"ITU is the international telecoms industry's opportunity to meet and discuss the trends and developments taking place around the world", commented Rory Cole, chief operating officer international, Verizon Business. "For global players like Verizon Business this is an invaluable opportunity to share our global perspective in a very focused environment. We know that the benefits we will receive from taking part and sponsoring this event will continue long after the show has ended."

Industry-leading CEOs, government regulators and telecommunications ministers and many more from across the industry packed into the Forum rooms this week, for a closer examination of our Digital World. Hot topics and themes explored in the Forum have included mobile, wireless, broadband, convergence, next-generation networks, multiple play, on-demand services, user-generated content and personalized services. A number of sessions have included passionate discussion on how all these new technologies can best be harnessed to extend the benefits of ICTs to those who still remain “unconnected.”

Extending the benefits of ICT to all

Over two hundred and forty young people from 131 countries converged on Hong Kong to attend the ITU TELECOM Youth Forum. They followed an action-packed programme of discussion and debate, and had opportunities to interact and develop mentor relationships with senior members of the ICT sector — government officials, industry executives, technology leaders, content providers and strategists.

Some 127 TDS (Telecommunication Development Symposium) Fellows from 78 least-developed and low income ITU member states came together for a symposium, organized by ITU with support from Cisco® Systems, exclusive sponsor of the symposium. The TDS discussed how the use of advanced fixed and wireless technologies can help narrow the digital divide, transforming developing countries and helping them compete in the global marketplace.

Extending the information society and promoting access to ICTs has been a major underlying theme of the event as a whole. During the week, constructive discussions were held, policies were examined, best practice cases highlighted and the types of technologies demonstrated which will help extend the reach of ICTs.

“ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 is once again the world's leading showcase for the Information Society”, said Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, “Convergence is bringing new challenges for telecommunications sector, but we see now real signs that an Information Society for all — the Global Village — is within grasp. Policy-makers should take this opportunity by talking down barriers to growth, trade and development.”

The need for industry-wide collaboration and cooperation was a theme highlighted by many event participants. "We all recognize that the benefits of digital transformations will not materialize without co-operation”, commented Guy Sebban, Secretary of the International Chamber of Commerce. “Governments need to work with business and other actors to ensure their country can attract the investment and encourage the innovation required to spread the economic and social benefits ICTs bring."

Innovation was certainly the buzzword in the Digital Life Theatre (DLT), a futuristic presentation venue, this week. Themes explored at the DLT have included mobile TV, how to create a superior customer experience, digital networking, how the family of the future will communicate, how to optimize user experience and how to create, share and distribute content. Youth Fellows have also shared in the Digital Life Theatre experience, with presentations from Fellows on areas such as ICT literacy or the “human network.”

Hosted by the government of the People’s Republic of China, and organized by ITU, ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 stood out as a premiere international ICT and networking event of the year.

From Asia to Europe

Since 1971, ITU TELECOM WORLD has provided an unrivalled platform for strategic debate and business networking, bringing together the industry's CEOs, government ministers and regulators. The next ITU TELECOM event is ITU TELECOM EUROPE 2007, which will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria from 3 to 6 December 2007. The next WORLD event will take place from 5 to 9 October 2009 in Geneva.

ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006: round-up

Exhibitors 695 exhibitors from 37 countries, including 21 Pavilions of which four Industry Pavilions.
Exhibition space, net (including upper levels) 41 200 m2
Registered Trade Visitors 43'846 from 141 countries
Ministers / Ministerial Representatives at least at Director-General level 68 from 48 countries
Chief Executive Officers / CEO representatives 540 from 44 countries
Others 347 from 32 countries
Total VIPs 955 from 92 countries
Speakers 378 from 68 countries
Delegates 2 117 from 86 countries (excluding Youth Fellows)
Total Forum participants, including speakers (not including VIPs and Media) 2 866 from 86 countries
Accredited Media 1 543 from 455 organizations and 47 countries. Of the total number of accredited media, 1 294 journalists from 378 media organizations and 39 countries covered onsite including 295 photographers, camera crews and support staff.
Total Participants 61'958 from 141 countries

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Updated : 2006-12-08