World Telecommunication Day 1999

IHT May 17, 1999


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Electronic Commerce: Building an Industry is a joint initiative of the International Telecommunication Union and the International Herald Tribune. It was produced in its entirety by the Advertising Department of the International Herald Tribune. Part II of this series, "Electronic Commerce: Building a Market" will appear on Sept. 21.


Electronic Commerce: Building an Industry

A Transformative New Force to Be Reckoned With

Should Telecom Italia and Deutsche Telekom succeed in creating the world's second-largest telephone company, it will be the biggest deal in corporate history, serving 72 million fixed-line subscribers and over 33 million mobile users in Europe and elsewhere. Its $170 million size alone is a harbinger of the importance of the telecommunications industry in the opening years of the new millennium.
May 17, 1999 The Full Story


Tricky Legalities of Doing Business in Cyberspace

Martin Burack, executive director of the Internet Society, describes one session of his organization's upcoming world congress as ''the techies versus the lawyers.'' The subject is the Internet: the techies want it ''wide open,'' says Mr. Burack, but the lawyers want to know ''who pays the inevitable lawsuits.''
May 17, 1999 The Full Story


The Pros and Cons of Info-Flow

Every e-commerce transaction implies the passage of information - about the seller's products and pricing and the buyer's financial details (credit card or bank data) and shopping preferences. For businesses, this data has both positive and negative aspects, says Chris Christiansen, program director of Internet security service at International Data Corporation (IDC). E-commerce, he observes, can be heaven because it can ''boost revenues and lower costs, hell because it opens up networks and servers to external and, more significantly, internal attacks.''
May 17, 1999 The Full Story


For Business-to-Business, the Possibilities Are Myriad

A snail's-eye view of e-commerce can be found in the small town of Cherasco (pop. 6,200) in rural Piedmont, Italy. A visitor asks the mayor about his town's major industry, snail breeding. ''Would you like to see the text of our Web pages?'' responds the mayor proudly. ''We have them in Italian and English. We give information on snails and we invite subscriptions to our magazine, 'Farming Snails.' You know, there are 12,000 snail growers worldwide, and now we can reach them all.''
May 17, 1999 The Full Story


Toward Closing the Information Gap

One of the great concerns of statesmen and scientists is that the evolving Information Society will reflect the same inequities of the Industrial Society that preceded it, resulting in information ''haves'' and ''have nots.'' In this scenario, the former would enjoy the fastest, latest, best information borne on a sophisticated infrastructure, with content targeted to local needs and costs brought down by a competitive marketplace.
May 17, 1999 The Full Story


Unexpected On-Line Benefits

The on-line experience of Ostergaard, a Danish auto-parts manufacturer, illustrates how a company's business can be transformed in unexpected ways through electronic commerce. Ostergaard's customers are auto-repair shops, and the problem that brought them to e-commerce was a simple one: Each morning, the switchboard would overload as shop mechanics called in to place their orders for the day.
May 17, 1999 The Full Story


Technological Development Is Not Enough

Of all new applications to emerge from the nascent Information Age, electronic commerce has perhaps the greatest potential to radically transform the economic relationships that will define our way of life in the 21st century. Already, analysts are predicting that the value of Web-based electronic commerce will climb to between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in less than a decade.
May 17, 1999 The Full Story