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WTIM 2005

World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Meeting

Geneva, Switzerland
10-11 February 2005


 The meeting's Final Conclusions are available. 

The fourth World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 10-11 February 2005. The meeting was attended by 125 participants, including 47 women, from 66 countries. A total of 11 international organizations were represented. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss topics related to the identification, definition, collection, processing, dissemination and use of telecommunication/ICT indicators and to enhance collaboration between the different parties involved. The meeting brought together entities responsible for telecommunication/ICT statistics and analysis, including telecommunication ministries, regulators and operators; national statistical offices (NSO); international organizations and researchers. Presentations were made on the following topics: ITU indicator activities (data collection and dissemination); the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), New Indicators (mobile, Internet and Community Access to ICTs indicators), Research and Analysis, Gender Statistics, and Telecom Indicators. A number of country experiences from telecommunication regulators and National Statistical Offices (NSO) were also presented. 

Key points highlighted during the meeting:

  1. National Cooperation 

·         A focal point should be identified for ICT statistics to coordinate among national agencies involved with ICT and coordinate national and international data requests. When needed, the National Statistical Office (NSO) might wish to provide training to the focal point to help collect timely and relevant data and to harmonize this data.

·         The regulator needs to work closely with the National Statistical Office (NSO), particularly in the area of demand-side statistics (collected through surveys), which are of increasing importance.

·         Regulators have to work closely with operators to ensure the availability and quality of data while at the same time limit the burden of data collection on operators. Regulators should publish country level aggregated data in those cases where confidentiality is a barrier to providing data. When needed, regulators might wish to provide training to operators to help collect timely and relevant data. 

2.      International and Regional Cooperation

·         ITU and regional organizations should work closely with the identified focal point in charge of collecting telecom/ICT statistics to build statistical capacity. Knowledge transfer could be achieved through workshops, seminars, and training.

·         Best practice in the area of data collection can be shared, for example, through ITU case studies, or bi-lateral cooperation between countries.

·         Coordination between ITU headquarters and regional offices should be strengthened to avoid duplication of data requests and to speed up the data collection.

·         Regional cooperation between regulators helps to pool resources and strengthen statistical work, for example through harmonized definitions and regional capacity building.

  1. New indicators

·         New indicators are needed to reflect changes in the mobile and Internet sectors, particularly to reflect new applications. Surveys are important to validate administrative data. Definitions need to be revised to accurately monitor the market.

·       ITU has developed a list of Indicators on Community access to ICTs, which countries should start to collect. This will also be important to measure the progress made towards the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)Plan of Action’s targets. 

·       There is a growing need to develop “Impact indicators” to measure the impact of ICTs on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in particular and on social and economic development in general. 

  1. Methodological issues related to data collection

·         New indicators need to be clearly defined and existing indicator definitions may need to be revised (in accordance with ongoing ITU efforts) and provided to countries to increase international comparability of data and ensure adherence to ITU standards.

·         The definitions of the ITU’s Key Telecom Indicators will be sent to countries for comments by end of February 2005. 

·         Surveys are increasingly important to measure ICT developments and trends and to increase the analytical value of information. They also complement and help verify administrative data. 

  1. Policy for information and analysis

ICT/telecommunication statistics are used to analyze market developments, estimate market potential (e.g. to plan future network needs), identify barriers and user needs, and evaluate and monitor the effect of policy decisions. 

  1. Policy Issues

·         International, regional and national policy makers should promote the value of and need for ICT statistics.

·         Governments should create a favourable legal basis for collecting ICT statistics. Rules on timely and comparable data can improve national collection efforts. 

·         Top-level policy makers need to formulate the demand for ICT statistics to monitor ICT developments and identify barriers. 

·         ICT Policy and Strategy should define clear targets and indicators to measure progress.

·         Countries are encouraged to increase their efforts to answer the ITU questionnaire and return it on time.

  1. The meeting recommended holding the next World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Meeting in the second half of 2006 for a period of three days. This will allow ITU to review the indicators and discuss indicator-related issues raised by WSIS and the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC). The list of indicators should be sent to participants for revision before the meeting.


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