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ITU New Initiatives Workshop on the Future of Voice

The Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) held a ITU New Initiatives Programme workshop on The Future of Voice, which focused on the role of the voice in the future ubiquitous network environment. For a long time, voice services have been the principal driver of telecommunication revenue and will probably continue to drive demand for some time. Nevertheless, it is becoming harder to sustain traditional models of per-minute pricing for voice as the service is increasingly carried over data channels that are priced on a flat-rate basis. Some of the key issues discussed during the event include:  

How are voice services evolving and what does this mean for users, providers and the telecommunication industry as a whole?
How will fixed, mobile and internet-based phone services converge?
How does messaging, gaming, multimedia fit in?
Are voice services of the future most likely to be billed by the minute, by volume, or on a flat rate basis?
What regulatory freedom should be given to operators to bundle voice with other services (e.g., multiple play: voice, video, internet and mobility)?
What form of licensing, if any, will be necessary for voice service providers
What will be the new business models and revenue streams?
What are the residual universal service obligations (e.g. emergency calls) that should be imposed on voice providers?


Related ITU Links
The New Initiative Programme - Recent Projects:
2006: Regulatory Environment for Future Mobile Multimedia Services
2006: What rules for IP-enabled NGNs?
2005: Ubiquitous Network Societies
Other workshops and related projects:
Shaping Tomorrow's Networks
    2007: Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management
    2005: Tomorrow's Networks Today
ITU's Activities on NGN
ITU Internet Reports
2006: Digital.Life
2005: The Internet of Things
    2004: The Portable Internet
    2003: Birth of Broadband
    2002: Internet for a Mobile Generation  
    2001: IP Telephony
NGN Policy and Regulatory Resources Worldwide
Trends in Telecommunications Reform
ICT Regulation Toolkit
ITU World Information Society Report 2006
WSIS Stocktaking
ICT Success Stories

Digital Opportunity Platform

The Digital Opportunity Index measures each country’s access to ICTs using a composite index based on 11 separate indicators. For more information, please see the World Information Society Report 2006 home page.

General Information on the Workshop

Chair: Glenn Woroch, Director of Center for Research in Telecommunication Policy, University of California, Berkley, USA

Date: 15-16 January 2007

Location: ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland

Organizer: ITU Strategy and Policy Unit  

Contact: Jaroslaw Ponder

Final Agenda

Final Agenda with Links to Presentations [New!]

Speakers' Biographies

Web-cast [New!]

List of Participants [New!]

Chairman's Report

The Chairman's Report is available here. [New!]

Background Materials
Background Internet Resources

Background Papers [New!]
"Innovation Dynamics in the IP Environment" by Dr. Knud Erik Skouby and Dr. Reza Tadayoni
"The Future of Communications in Next Generation Networks" by Dr. James Alleman and Dr. Paul Rappoport
"Regulatory Trends: New Enabling Environment" by Dr. Aniruddha Banerjee, Dr.
Gary Madden, and Joachim Tan
"The Status of Voice over Internet Protocol Worldwide, 2006" by Phillippa Biggs
"The Future of Voice: Consumer Issues" by Ewan Sutherland

Regional Case Studies  [New!]
"Future of Voice in Africa" by Russell Southwood
"Communications:  Government and Business Practices in the Asia Pacific Region" by Khelia Johnson and
Oluwaseun Oyeyipo
"Regulatory Challenges of Voice over IP Telephony: Analysis for Selected South and Eastern European Countries" by
Anna Riedel
"Ruling Voice over IP: Challenges for Regulators in Latin America"

Materials Submitted via NRAs


Workshop web-cast is available here. [New!]

Practical Information

General information on Geneva

Accommodation in Geneva

New Initiatives Programme

The ITU New Initiatives Programme is designed to keep the ITU and its membership informed of trends in ICTs and to provide them with a forum to debate issues of high current policy interest. The purpose of the programme is to track changes in fast-changing technologies, policy and market trends, so as to promote information exchange among the membership and generate new ideas that may support the activities of the Sectors. The ITU New Initiatives Programme has two main elements: international expert workshops and publications. More than 15 workshops have been held since 1999 with the results released in reports, case studies and on CD-ROM. Recent workshops include “What rules for IP-enabled NGN?” and “Ubiquitous Network Societies”. For more information, please see the ITU New Initiatives Programme website.

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