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Asia-Pacific Digital Societies Policy Forum 2017


The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and GSM Association (GSMA) organize the “3rd Asia-Pacific Digital Societies Policy Forum 2017”, which took place on 8-9 May 2017 at Centara Grand at Central World, Bangkok, Thailand. The Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand with support from the Australian Government and partners and is the third in a series of ITU-GSMA Digital Societies Policy Forum for the Asia-Pacific region.



The forum welcomed about 160 participants from over 20 countries comprising of policy makers, regulators, industry, and academia. The Forum was folllowed by GSMA Capacity Building Course on IoT Policy and Regulation held on 10 May 2017.


Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj Minister of Digital Economy and Society, ThailandMalcolm Johnson
Deputy Secretary General, ITU
Areewan Haorangsi
Secretary General,
John Giusti
Chief Regulatory Officer,
​RS Sharma
Chairman, TRAI, India
Dr Ian I. Huh
Senior Vice President
SK Telecom
​​Jia-Rong Low
Managing Director and VP, ICANN
​Raj Singh
Regional Director, ISOC

SPEAKERS​ ​ ​ ​ ​

​Alasdair Grant, Head of Asia Pacific,
Masanori Kondo, Deputy Secretary General, APT ​Dr Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman, PTA, Pakistan Peter Rhee
Vice President,
Sameer Sharma, Senior Adviser,
Jeanine Vos
Executive Director,  GSMA
Rajiv Bawa
Telenor Group
​Foong CK
Head of Regulatory Affairs, Axiata
​Daniel Gelfer Head of Strategic Relations and Telecoms, GoogleMike Lee
Far EasTone
             ​            ​
 Joyce Chen
Senior Manager GSE, ICANN
​Paradai Theerathada
Zhu Cheng
Head of Cellular IoT, Huawei​


Tentative Programme

​DAY 1: MONDAY 8 MAY 2017​​​ ​

Welcoming Session
​• ​Welcome remarks by Sameer Sharma, Senior Adviser, ITU​ [speech]
• Welcome remarks by Areewan Haorangsi, Secretary General, APT [speech]
• Welcome remarks by Alasdair Grant, Head of Asia Pacific, GSMA ​[speech]
10:00-10:20​ ITU Keynote​​
Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary General, ITU [speech]
10:20-10:40​ GSMA Keynote: Working Together to Achieve a Digital Future 
John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA​ [speech]
10:40-11:10 Group Photo and Coffee Break
Executive Panel:
​Hyper-connected Societies in Asia Pacific This executive session will bring together government officials and senior industry leaders to discuss the importance of working together to deliver on Asia Pacific’s digital dreams. ​

Moderator: ​Alasdair Grant, Head of Asia Pacific, GSMA
  • ​Paradai Theerathada, CCAO, dtac, Thailand ​
  ​• ​​Shahed Alam, EVP, Robi Axiata ​​[presentation slide]
​12:15-12:30 Keynote
H.E. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Kingdom of Thailand​
12:3​0-14:00 Lunch Break

​​Session 1: Ena​bling a Hyper-connected Society – Policy Drivers and Connectivity​​

​Jia-Rong Low, Managing Director and VP, ICANN​
Part 1: Strategies for Delivering the Hyper-connected Environment
This interactive panel discussion will cover lessons and learnings from government policies and initiatives that exist to promote the digitisation of societies in Asia.
Moderator: ​Joe Guan, GSMA
  • RS Sharma, Chairman, TRAI, India​ [presentation slide]
  • Raza Ali Shah, Member IT, MoIT, Pakistan                
  • Natasha Beschorner, Regional ICT Lead, World Bank​​​ [presentation slide]
15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
Part 2: Connecting Everyone
Connecting Everyone in Asia Pacific Ensuring that all citizens benefit from the development of digital societies in Asia is paramount. This means ensuring that appropriate resources are dedicated to the most critical enabler – connectivity. This interactive panel brings together some of the leading companies that are pushing connectivity to discuss what we need to deliver an inclusive digital future ​​
Moderator: Bob Fox, Chairman, Digital Economy/ICT group, Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT)
  • Sameer Sharma, Senior Adviser, ITU [presentation slide]                
  • Melvyn Chen, Manager, Intelsat [presentation slide]
  • ​​Hakon Ohlsen, Director, Spectrum & Radio Technology Strategy, Ericsson [presentation]
  • Brett Tarnutzer, Head of Spectrum, GSMA [presentation slide]
19:00​​Cocktail Reception and Gala Dinner​ (sponsored by Qualcomm and Ericsson)
End of Day 1​​ ​



​DAY 2: TUESDAY 9 MAY 2017​​​ ​

Day 1 Recap and Overview of Day 2 Programme
Alasdair Grant, Head of Asia Pacific, GSMA 

​ ​​Session 2: Busi​ness and Government Drivers for Digitization​​

​Ian Huh, SVP, IoT Business Division, SK Telecom​ [presentation]
Part 1: Products and Services 
A Vision of the Future What can we expect from the advent of 5G and the new services and products that will emerge in an IoT environment? Senior leaders from industry will introduce their vision of the future and answer key questions about the benefits for citizens, society, and national economies. ​
Moderator: Mohammad Chowdhury, Partner/TMT Sector Lead, PwC​
​  • Foong Chee Kheong, Group Head of Regulatory Affairs, Axiata, Malaysia [presentation]
  • Peter Rhee, Vice President, Global Public Affairs, Samsung, South Korea [presentation]
  • Rajiv Bawa, Head of Public and Regulatory Affairs, Asia, Telenor Group [presentation]
11:15-11:45 Coffee Break
Ibrahim Kholilul Rohman, Research Fellow, UN University [presentation]
Part 2: Government Initiatives for the Future
New technologies will herald new solutions for governments coping with tough socioeconomic challenges. This panel discussion brings together government officials to discuss different approaches and new ways of working to harness the power of ICTs. ​​
Moderator: Masanori Kondo, Deputy Secretary General, APT​
  • Dr Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman, PTA, Pakistan [presentation]
  • Shahajan Mahmood, Chairman, BTRC, Bangladesh
  • Dr Adisak Srinakarin, EVP, Electronic Government Agency, Thailand​
12:45-14:00 Lunch Break

​Session​ 3: Building our Digital Environments – Smart Cities and Development​​

Stefano Nicoletti, Connected Living, GSMA [presentation]
Part 1: Smart Cities and Key Lessons in our Physical Environment
With the trend of urbanisation as a key backdrop, this panel will look at the most pressing issues that cities face in building urban environments that work for citizens through the integration of ICTs. It will provide an opportunity for participants to learn from panellists who have already undertaken the difficult journey of building a Smart City in Asia Pacific. ​
Moderator: Jeanine Vos, Executive Director, Connected Living, GSMA
  • David Sehyeon Baek, Chief of Informational Affairs Cooperation & Public Relations,  
    Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation, South Korea [presentation]
  • Mike Lee, EVP, Far EasTone, China (Taiwan) [presentation]
  • ​Klee Aiken, External Relations Manager, APNIC, Australia
15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
​Raj Singh, Regional Director, ISOC​
Part 2: Locally Relevant Content and Uptake of Services
Building inclusive digital societies entails addressing the basic requirements that would enable all citizens to take advantage of the socio-economic benefits that ICTs bring. This involves not only Internet connectivity, but also components such as digital literacy, locally relevant content and targeted investments to low-income, rural and marginalised communities.
This interactive panel will share insights on successful partnerships and interventions, and deliberate on how lessons learned, along with findings from recent studies on Internet access, can inform and align stakeholders’ priorities as we work towards achieving the UN SDGs. ​
Moderator: Noelle Francesca de Guzman, Regional Programmes Coordinator, ISOC
  • Atsuko Okuda, Head of ICT and Development Section, UNESCAP [presentation]
  • Daniel Gelfer, Head of Strategic Relations and Telecoms, Google
  • Joyce Chen, Senior Manager GSE, ICANN  [presentation]
End of Forum​​ ​


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​​​GSMA Capacity Building Course
Wedne​sday 10 May 2017​​​ ​

GSMA Capacity Building Course: IoT Policy and Regulation
Jeanine Vos and Stefano Nicoletti, Connected Living Programme, GSMA ​​
The Internet of Things (IoT) holds tremendous promise for citizens, consumers, businesses and governments. IoT has the means to shrink healthcare costs, reduce carbon emissions, increase access to education, and improve transportation safety and much more. This course provides a high-level overview of IoT concepts from a mobile perspective, outlines the role IoT can play in enhancing the quality of life of citizens and explains the key differences between traditional telecoms services and the IoT world. It also discusses the implications that IoT has for policymakers and regulators. This course is accredited by the UKTA. Pre-registration is strongly recommended.

Attention: to register the Workshop, contact:​
​End of Workshop​​ ​