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

Mobile World Congress (MWC 2012): LTE TDD/FDD International Summit

Opening Remarks

27 February 2012, Barcelona, Spain

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen

It is a great pleasure to be here with you in Barcelona this afternoon for the opening of the LTE TDD/FDD International Summit which has been organized by the Global TD-LTE Initiative, GTI.

ITU continues to be a strong supporter of the benefits of new technologies, and it is clear that we are now on the road to a dramatically-improved mobile Internet experience, with the approval at ITU’s Radiocommunication Assembly last month of the IMT-Advanced standards, which of course include TD-LTE-Advanced, as supported by China Mobile and other members of the GTI.

We are honoured here today by the presence of the CEO of China Mobile, Mr Li Yue. On a personal note I am very pleased to meet him, and ITU looks forward to continuing close cooperation and further development with China Mobile and the other members of GTI over the coming years.

I single out China Mobile, because of course it is not just the world’s most valuable mobile telecommunications company, but also the builder of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications network. And it remains the operator with far and away the largest number of mobile cellular subscriptions in the world – with 650 million subscribers at the beginning of 2012, including 51 million 3G customers using TD-SCDMA, the Chinese 3G Technology adopted by ITU at the Radiocommunication Assembly in the year 2000.

China Mobile has supported ITU activities across its standardization work and in particular at the ITU Telecom events, and we greatly appreciate China Mobile’s contributions.

At Expo 2010 in China, almost two years ago, I was honoured to be invited, along with the ITU Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Houlin Zhao, to test China Mobile’s TD-LTE trial operation – and we were very impressed with that demonstration in Shanghai.

China Mobile, with its other partners in the GTI, will be launching its LTE TDD/FDD initiative now that TD-LTE-Advanced has been approved by ITU’s membership at RA-12. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere congratulations to the achievements and contributions China Mobile has made, and to wish you all great success.

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

Ladies and gentlemen,

As you will know, we have just concluded WRC-12, the World Radiocommunication Conference, in Geneva, and I would very briefly like to mention some of the key achievements from that conference.
  • Mobile broadband requirements were adequately addressed – and the decisions of WRC-12 in this respect are a clear message to governments and industry of the importance placed by membership in the role of wireless in making broadband accessible to all.
  • This conference also addressed the issue of the digital dividend in a very elegant fashion, and this now provides for a great deal of global harmonization of the use of the 700 MHz band for all regions by the services which most need it.
  • Significant attention was paid during the conference to Earth observation radiocommunication applications, recognizing the growing importance of collecting and exchanging Earth observation data.
  • Other decisions taken by the conference will help improve safety and security for both air and maritime transportation.

Distinguished colleagues,

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 some six billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide, and well 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 2.3 billion people who have access today, and reaching the remaining 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 for this Summit today. Together, we are shaping a bold and bright future, and it is a future that I think will amaze us all!

Thank you.