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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

ITU Telecom World 2011
TD-LTE Technology & Spectrum Workshop

25 October 2011, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be here with you this morning to open the TD-LTE Technology and Spectrum Workshop.
This event is co-organized by ITU, China Mobile and TD Industry Alliances, TDIA, and demonstrates the tremendous power of cooperation.

We are honoured today by the presence of:
  • Mr Li, China’s former Minister of MIIT;
  • Magdalena Gaj, Poland’s Under Secretary of State, responsible for telecommunications matters;
  • and Mr Wang, Chairman of China Mobile.
China Mobile is the world’s most valuable mobile telecommunications company. It is the builder of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications network. And it is of course the operator with far and away the largest number of mobile cellular subscriptions in the world – with more than 627 million customers at the end of August 2011, including 40 million 3G customers using TD-SCDMA, the Chinese 3G Technology adopted by ITU at the Radio Assembly in the year 2000.

So China Mobile is a beacon not just in mobile telecommunications, but across the whole ICT sector.

At ITU, we are honoured to have Chairman Wang as a member of the board of ITU Telecom. We are also delighted that he agreed to be one of the Commissioners of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which was launched last year by ITU and UNESCO.

Chairman Wang has been of enormous influence in the ICT sector over a long and distinguished career, and truly stands as one of the giants in what is arguably the most important sector of the global economy in the 21st century.

At World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2010, held during World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, ITU was pleased to present Mr Wang – together with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Mr Robert Kahn – with the WTISD 2010 Award.

Mr Li, here with us on the panel this morning, was at the WTISD event in Shanghai last year, and also joined with us in organizing the first thematic workshop of Expo 2010 in Ningbo.

Also at Expo 2010 last year, Chairman Wang invited me, along with the Deputy Secretary-General, to test China Mobile’s TD-LTE trial operation, and we were very impressed with that demonstration in Shanghai.

TD-LTE-Advanced, as supported by China Mobile, was accepted by ITU-R as one of the IMT-Advanced candidate technologies in October last year, and China Mobile, with its foreign partners, is expecting to launch its LTE TDD/FDD initiative in this context. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all great success with this initiative.

Ladies and gentlemen,

During the second decade of the 21st century, I believe that we will see changes in the ICT landscape unlike anything that has gone before.

Changes that will be even more dramatic than the growth in mobile cellular subscriptions over the past decade, which now mean we have well over five billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide, and over a billion mobile broadband subscriptions.

I believe that this will be the decade when the Internet, and especially the mobile Internet – becomes truly pervasive and truly ubiquitous, going far beyond the two billion people who have access today, and reaching the unconnected billions worldwide.

I believe that we will see the Internet spread everywhere this decade – not just connecting people, but connecting objects, machines, cars, households, factories and governments in hitherto unimagined ways.

And this will very largely be brought about by the rapid deployment of advanced mobile technologies – such as TD-LTE-Advanced.

In closing, therefore, let me thank all of the companies who have joined us here at ITU Telecom World 2011.

I think we can all agree that this is a unique and most excellent platform for ICT companies to showcase their advanced products, technologies and solutions, and to organize high-level networking activities.

Together, we are shaping a bold and bright future, and it is a future that I think will amaze us all!

Thank you.