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Girls in ICT

Combating counterfeit and substandard ICT devices (Geneva, Switzerland, 17-18 November 2014)


Substandard and fake ICT products are a serious issue that impacts developed and developing economies, the ICT industry, as well as the consumer population around the world. The costs and negative effects of substandard and fake ICT products on all stakeholders are broad and numerous—ranging from lost taxes, royalties and other revenues; decreased sales, prices and operations; erosion of brand value, goodwill and reputation; reduced incentive to innovate and invest; lower employment and economic growth rates; network disruptions and interoperability challenges resulting in poor quality of service delivery and reception; and risks to health, safety and environment. According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the value of counterfeit products globally is expected to exceed USD 1.7 trillion by 2015.

In November 2014, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 (PP-14) adopted a new Resolution on “Combating counterfeit telecommunication/ICT devices” (Busan, 2014).  Prior to that, the ITU’s World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014 (WTDC-14) adopted new Resolution 79 (Dubai, 2014) on “The role of telecommunications/information and communication technologies in combating and dealing with counterfeit telecommunication/information and communication devices.”  A link to the text of each of these Resolutions may be found on this website, below.  Among other things, these new Resolutions:

The objectives of this ITU event are threefold, namely to: (1) discuss the global scope and impact of counterfeiting and substandard ICT products on various stakeholders; (2) highlight the common concerns, challenges, initiatives, practices and opportunities of the various stakeholders in their fight against counterfeiting and substandard ICT products; and (3) examine the possible role of ICT standards development organizations (SDOs) and in particular the ITU, as part of the global strategy and solution to curtail counterfeiting and substandard ICT products as well as to assist members in addressing their concerns regarding counterfeit devices.


Both participants and non-participants in this Event were invited and encouraged to submit to ITU their written contributions concerning the following:
  • Specific experiences, data, statistics or studies that help illustrate the problem of counterfeit and/or substandard ICT devices, as well as its scope, impact and related security concerns at all levels (including business, consumer, national and international).
  • Country case studies, including policy, regulatory and enforcement measures and initiatives taken by governments, regarding the combat against the spread of counterfeit and/or substandard ICT devices, and lessons learned in respect of the same.
  • Examples of ways in which ICTs, standards and other technologies are currently being used, or could be used in the future, as tools to fight counterfeit and/or substandard ICT devices.
  • Particular initiatives, including campaigns, partnerships or other programmes, implemented to enhance awareness and combat counterfeit and/or substandard ICT devices, and lessons learned in respect of the same.
All contributions were made publicly available on the ITU’s website.
Although the contributions were not specifically presented at the Event, they may be used by ITU in connection with any of its future work on issues relating to counterfeit and substandard ICT devices.