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ITU Workshop on "Cloud Computing"

Tunis, Tunisia, 18 June 2012

Keynote Address

Saidi Al Wazir H.E. Mongi Marzouk, Minister of Information and Communication Technologies
Saidi Rais Etisalet Tunis Mr Ali Ghodhbani, CEO Tunisia Telecom
Shukran ala alistidaa li Tunis

Salam alekum wa marhaba
Bonjour et bienvenue
Good morning and welcome

It is a great pleasure to be here this morning in the beautiful and historic city of Tunis at the start of a series events this week very kindly hosted by Tunisia Telecom.

On behalf of the ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré I would like to thank Mr Ali Ghodhbani for hosting us and for his kind welcoming words.

We have a very interesting combination of topics this week starting with cloud computing and then addressing other potentially innovative technologies in a workshop on Wednesday and a Focus Group meeting on Thursday to which you are all welcome.

I would like to particularly thank Mr. Slaheddine Maaref of Tunisia Telecom, and Vice-chairman of the Focus Group on Innovation, for all the effort he has put into organising the events this week.

It is very appropriate that these events are taking place in Tunis as Tunisia is a very active member of ITU, and of ITU’s standardisation sector in particular, with more Sector Members, Academia Members and Associates than any other country in the African and Arab regions.

Tunisia was host to the World Summit on Information Society in 2005, and has shown its commitment to those principles by hosting the ICT4ALL each year to follow up on WSIS.

Tunisia is an active member of ITU’s Council, and the testing and research centre CERT, an ITU-T Sector Member, is very active in ITU-T’s conformity and interoperability programme, having hosted a workshop in December last year and offering training and agreeing to become a Regional Test Laboratory this year.

AICTO, the ICT organization of the Arab States, with whom we have organised a number of events, is based here in Tunis.

And with four ITU-T Academia Members we are very much looking forward to some very interesting proposals coming forward this week, which I hope will lead to new areas of innovative standardisation in ITU. Our aim is to link innovators, especially young researchers in developing countries, with the many private sector companies that are ITU members, to their mutual benefit and to the benefit of citizens around the world.

Tunisia is further contributing to the work of ITU-T through Bilel Jamoussi the Chief of our Study Group Department, who will be presenting an overview of our work later this morning.

The subject of discussion today and tomorrow is cloud computing. With the roll out of broadband services, by which I mean at least 2Mb/s, cloud computing offers many businesses and citizens, especially in developing countries, the opportunity to leapfrog generations of technologies.

Cloud Computing is an area of potential business growth for operators, cost savings for citizens and businesses, and an opportunity to improve many e-services.

However, concerns with portability – freedom to transfer data between the clouds of different providers - and the interoperability of cloud solutions has led to calls for standardization to fuel further industry growth. This has been highlighted in the ITU-T Technology Watch Report entitled “Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds” available for downloading free on the ITU-T website.

There are also some legal and regulatory issues that need to be resolved.

In response to a request from our Chief Technology Officers Group ITU-T formed a Focus Group on Cloud Computing last year open to all interested and completed its study into cloud computing’s standardization ecosystem in a seven part report at the end of last year.

The report provides a detailed overview of cloud computing standardization from the telecommunication and information technology perspectives. Two new cloud service categories are identified, and the cloud ecosystems and a cloud reference architecture are defined.

ITU-T’s Study Group 13, which studies Future Networks, has the lead on taking forward the work of the Focus Group. I am pleased that the Chairman of SG13 Chaesub Lee is here with us and will be presenting the current work in ITU-T leading to international standards on cloud computing in ITU-T.

By the way Mr. Slaheddine Maaref is a candidate for vice-chairmanship of SG13 at the World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly in Dubai in November and I wish him every success there.

International standards will be key to ensuring a competitive market for cloud service provision, one where services are affordable and the clouds offered by different vendors interoperate.

Industry demand for the technology and the promise of new revenues to ICT players has led to a great deal of market optimism, with one forecast predicting that global cloud IP traffic will account for more than one-third of total data center traffic by 2015. Cloud computing is an industry expected to grow at an annual growth rate of roughly 30 per cent, consequently more than quadrupling in size between 2010 and 2015 to become an industry worth approximately $120 billion.

The workshop has been structured to address the technical, legal and regulatory issues that will allow cloud to be successfully and rapidly launched in this and other regions.

Tunisia Telecom has recently implemented two data centres near here and has begun a cloud service.

I am sure that the discussion here today and tomorrow will help Study Group 13 propel cloud in Tunisia, this region, and the world, and I wish you a very interesting and enjoyable week.

Thank you