Committed to connecting the world


Executive Strategic Dialogue on Broadband for Sustainable Development


29 March 2014, 14:00 - 15:30
Dubai, UAE

Today, we live in a fast-paced world led by ICT innovation. We have been experiencing an exponential growth in data traffic, M2M communication, cloud computing, social networking, and ICT applications for a smarter world. This growth is powered by affordable and ubiquitous broadband. Access to the high-speed networks becomes ever-so-more important, particularly in light of big data emerging as new infrastructure, necessary to accelerate transition from information to knowledge society.

There were an estimated 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions by the end of 2013 - almost as many as there are people on the planet. We have experienced the spectacular rise of mobile broadband, which is bringing Internet access to more people than ever before, and which continues to show the fastest growth of any technology in human history, with growth rates of over 30% per year. It took 125 years to reach the first billion fixed line phones, but just nine years to reach the first billion mobile broadband subscriptions. By end 2013, there were an estimated 2.7 billion people using the Internet worldwide. Yet, there are still 4.4 billion people who are not yet online.

Therefore, we still have the huge challenge of bridging the "broadband divide", by exploring, debating and innovating the best ways to reinforce impact related to deploying broadband infrastructure and making broadband based services and applications ubiquitous and affordable. Broadband is introducing new ways of doing things across our personal and professional lives, in the many and varied ways we communicate - integrating information infrastructure into the world around us through seamless, always-on connectivity delivering a range of services simultaneously. Governments, health managers, businesses, consumers and teachers are all getting to grips with the positive and transformational impact of broadband for sustainable development.

Objective: This strategic dialogue will provide a platform for an interactive debate on the trends, challenges and opportunities of the telecom/ICT sector. In particular, it will focus on strategies and policies directed towards broadband development worldwide, while discussing the challenges and opportunities offered via high speed networks and e-services provided over the modern infrastructure, including e-learning, e-government, e-health, etc.

Target audience: This debate aims at attracting high-level participants, including Ministers, CEOs of Industry, Development Partners and Finance Institutions. 

The event will be webcast live on this page.



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Opening Remarks

Mr. Brahima Sanou, Director of Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU

 Futuristic Keynote

 Mr. Gerd Leonhard, Futurist and CEO, The Futures Agency, Switzerland
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 Ms Karen Bowerman, BBC Journalist


H.E. John Nasasira, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Uganda


H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), UAE


H.E. Jong-lok Yoon, Vice Minister, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Korea (Rep. of)        


Ms. Kathryn C. Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Internet Society (ISOC)


Mr. Samer Halawi, Chief Executive Officer, Thuraya



Mr. Luigi Gambardella, Chairman of Executive Board, 'European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO)


Ms. Lobna Smida, Policy Expert in Accessibility, Tunisia

Interactive Discussions

Concluding Key Note Speech

Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU 

Closing Remarks