The Symposium attracted more than 320 participants from 85 countries, representing public and private organizations including ministries, regulators, national statistical agencies, universities and research institutions, telecommunication operators, ICT firms, and regional and international organizations.
“WTIS has evolved to become one of the most important events on the ITU calendar as it is the main global forum for telecommunication and information society measurement,” said Brahima Sanou, director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. “We will continue to work with Member States to produce high-quality data based on internationally agreed methodologies to help us understand how ICTs are changing our economies and societies.”
During the Symposium, ITU launched its flagship publication “Measuring the Information Society Report
”. Now in its tenth year, the report is widely recognized as a source of the world's most reliable and impartial data and analysis on the state of global telecommunication/ICT sector.
The report says more and more people now have access to and are using the Internet. However, stronger information and communication technology (ICT) skills are needed to connect people everywhere.
It says ICT prices have dropped globally in the last decade with improved ICT regulation and policy-making playing a pivotal role in creating the conditions for the reduction of prices.
This year’s Symposium discussed at length the skills that people need to have in order to effectively use ICTs, now and in the future.
There were also several interactive panel discussions on various topics including; how progress could be measured in implementing the United Nations adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); measurement in an environment of artificial intelligence, big data, robotics and the Internet of Things; new data needs for the digital economy; smart data for smart ICT regulation and policy-making; and the affordability of ICT services.
The Symposium was chaired by Mohamed Al Ramsi, Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, United Arab Emirates.