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 Opening remarks: 7th meeting of the FG IPTV
 Qawra, St Paul's Bay, Malta  11 December 2007 
Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s an honour and a pleasure for me to be able to open this – seventh and final – meeting of the IPTV Focus Group today.

On behalf of ITU I would like to thank the Government of Malta for hosting this important meeting at this beautiful location, and H.E. Mr. Censu Galea for taking time out of his busy schedule to come here to welcome us. Malta, despite being a small country, has always made a significant contribution to ITU, even hosting the World telecommunication Development Conference in 1998, and we appreciate it very much.

Twenty months ago my predecessor Houlin Zhao convened a public meeting to discover what the market need for IPTV standards was. The answer was unequivocally that ITU should take the lead on coordinating and developing global standards to enable rapid progress in order to avoid market fragmentation. He made the decision to quickly establish this Focus Group.

The completion of 21 deliverables in 20 months is an impressive feat given the breadth of the work and the number of requirements captured. The achievement is testament to your hard work… and patience.

The focus of much of ITU-T’s ongoing standards-making activities on Next Generation Networks is essential to meet the needs of the information driven society. And, in the context of NGN we see the attractive promise of IPTV to generate multiple revenue streams over the same core network. Indeed IPTV is one of the most highly visible applications to emerge as part of work on the NGN. It can be seen as both the business case and principal driver for accelerating deployment of NGN.

The stage of work that sees completion this week lays the groundwork for an area of ICTs that some predict could attract up to 100 million subscribers in the next three years. It’s easy to see why so many of the world’s key ICT companies have been keen to progress this work in ITU.

ITU’s next phase of IPTV work – to be called the IPTV-GSI (for global standards initiative) - will focus on speedy preparation of ITU-T Recommendations based on the output of the Focus Group as well as the detailed protocols necessary. I have every confidence that this work will progress smoothly thanks to the results of this group. We will issue a press release following the meeting to announce to the world the success of the Focus Group and the beginning of this new phase of work.

This Focus Group has profited enormously from collaboration with all ITU-T Study Groups and other forums and regional standards bodies including ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum (IIF), DSL Forum, the DVB project, ETSI TISPAN and the Home Gateway Initiative (HGI). We are very grateful for this level of cooperation which can now be seen throughout much of ITU-T’s. Cooperation not competition is the key to meeting the needs of this incredibly fast-moving industry.

Again I would like to than you all – apparently there are 200 of you here today – but especially the management team that have guided this group through some tough negotiations, and most of all the chairman Ghassem Koleyni, one of the most talented chairmen in ITU. Congratulations to you all.

Finally I would like to thank again my friends in Maltese Ministry for Competitiveness and Communications for all their efforts in ensuring we had these excellent facilities available to us, and to CISCO for their generosity in sponsoring the gala dinner on Thursday evening.

I won’t take up any more of your time as I know that you have a busy schedule. I wish you a successful and enjoyable conclusion to your work.


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