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 Wednesday, August 27, 2008
ITU Secretary-General opens the 4th International Symposium on Telecommunications in Tehran, Iran

Dr Touré talks about ITU's technical leadership, its current standardization priorities as well as its policy-making activities.

"... As the broker of global consensus on the technologies and frameworks that will underpin the next wave of innovation, ITU is active in every facet of ICT development, from access networks, transmission, next generation networks and broadband, to billing and numbering, satellite systems and of course wireless, which continues to notch up exponential growth while expanding its reach into new areas.

In 2007, ITU-T alone produced over 160 new and revised standards, covering everything from core public phone network functionality to next-generation services like IPTV.

And to meet the needs of an industry where today’s breakthrough technology quickly becomes yester-year’s legacy installation, we’ve dramatically streamlined our processes, paring back the average development time for an ITU Recommendation from four years in 1988 to around just one year today.

The pace of work continues to accelerate: 13% more ITU-T Recommendations were approved in 2007 than in 2006, and, with the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly set to kick off in Johannesburg, South Africa in October, this year’s achievement is already set to be higher still.

In September last year, to promote and enhance worldwide access to globally-agreed ITU Recommendations, we also took the radical step of making over 3,000 core ITU standards downloadable directly over the Internet, free of charge. As hoped, this move has been particularly beneficial to developing countries, which downloaded over 300,000 copies of ITU-T standards in 2007.

Looking ahead, priority areas of focus include Next Generation Networks, multimedia codecs, digital identity management systems, fast broadband platforms, and of course the next wave in cellular mobile, which is being developed under the auspices of our IMT-Advanced project..." [Full speech...]