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Next Generation Networks and Applications
 Athens, Greece 08 May 2009
Mr Chairman,
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning and on behalf of ITU I am pleased to welcome you to this Joint ITU and Ministry of Transport and Communications Workshop on Next Generation Networks and Applications.

Firstly, I would like to offer my thanks to our hosts, and especially to H.E. Mr. Evripidis Stylianidis, Minister of Transport and Communications and Mr. Ioannis Adamopoulos, Secretary General of Communications for their personal commitment to hold this event in the beautiful city of Athens.

I would also like to give me appreciation to Mr Nissim Benmayor, Chairman of the organizing committee for this event.

Today we will have an update on one of the key topics that ITU members have been working on in the last few years.

NGN packet-switched technology brings seamless connectivity and high-speed services over any network, and any device, worldwide.

ITU’s Next Generation Networks Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) represents one of the largest, most wide-ranging standardization projects ever undertaken.

NGN will bring about the ability to quickly rollout and support new value-added services. This will be essential in an increasingly competitive market.

NGN’s flexibility is due to the fact that service-related functions are independent of the underlying transport-related technologies. This means that service providers will be able to respond much more quickly to new service requirements.

And perhaps more importantly in today’s economic climate the capital cost of deploying NGN technology, both in the core of the network, and the operating costs, are significantly lower than circuit switched technologies.

It also has the potential to be a much greener technology, with estimates of power savings of 40% over legacy networks. NGN is therefore a very significant contributor to ITU’s efforts to promote the use of ICTs to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

So NGN will enable a range of multimedia services to be provided easier with less cost, and so increase potential revenues, as well as offering consumers greater choice at reduced rates.

One of the most highly visible services to emerge as part of the work on NGN is IPTV.

Indeed IPTV can be seen as both the business case and principal driver for accelerating deployment of NGN.

Many standards on IPTV are currently under development in ITU and we will examine this work in more detail during this event.

Ladies and gentlemen

The ubiquitous network that will seamlessly connect anyone, anytime, anywhere, by anything, requires global standards, and a global standards body like ITU clearly has an increasing role to play.

But, ITU must also meet the unique requirements of each local market, and to do this it is essential to involve all stakeholders.

Participation of the full ITU membership of 191 governments and over 700 private sector entities in the standards making process is essential if ITU is to fulfill its mission to connect the world.

NGN must ensure end-to-end security, and deliver value to all stakeholders: consumers, enterprises, service providers, government and civil society must all benefit.

Global standards developed in ITU will make this possible.

Without these standards, global NGN development and deployment would be slow and inefficient.

Conformity to these standards will foster an environment where service providers can pick and choose equipment from a variety of vendors, and will greatly increase the probability of interoperability. This will increase competition and bring down costs.

Conformity and interoperability is something we will be placing much greater emphasis on in ITU’s standards work in the future. This was one of the outcomes of last year’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in Johannesburg, where great concern was expressed about difficulties being experienced with non-conforming equipment.

ITU was formed in 1865 with the aim to ensure the interoperability of the innovative international telegraph service. Our aim remains the same to this day, even though it is now much more challenging with the increasing complexity of today’s telecommunications and ICT equipment and services.

Events like this are an important opportunity to assist in advancing the knowledge and understanding of these global trends. It also gives us an opportunity to tell you something about ITU and especially our work on NGN standardization.

But equally they are an opportunity for us to meet with you the stakeholders, and understand – better – your needs, and to encourage your involvement in our work.

It also gives you an opportunity to share your experiences and interact with your peers from many other countries in the region and beyond.

We have excellent speakers, leading experts in this field, and I would like to thank them for being with us today. I am sure you will find their presentations both very interesting and very enlightening, and I encourage you to participate in an open dialogue with them.

But finally I wish you all an enjoyable and informative event.

Thank you for your attention.


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Updated : 2009-05-11