Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

ITU Telecom World 2013

TD-LTE Technology and Spectrum Workshop

 Opening Remarks

19 November 2013, Bangkok, Thailand

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be here with you this afternoon for the TD-LTE Technology and Spectrum Workshop.

We are honoured today by the presence of:

  • Miao Wei, China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology, MIIT; and
  • Air Chief Marshal Thares Punsri, Chairman of Thailand’s National Telecommunications and Broadcasting Commission, NBTC.

This event is co-organized by ITU, the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), the Telecommunication Development Industry Alliance (TDIA), and China Mobile – and as such, it clearly demonstrates the tremendous power of cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

ITU is committed to connecting all the world's people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through our work, we protect and support everyone's fundamental right to communicate. With the help of our membership, we bring the benefits of modern communication technologies to people everywhere in an efficient, safe, easy and affordable manner.

We have made quite incredible progress in the opening years of the 21st century.

Back in the year 2000, mobile cellular penetration in the world’s richest countries was around 50%, and mobile penetration here in the Asia and Pacific region was just 6.4%.

According to the latest ITU report, ‘Measuring The Information Society 2013’, there will be nearly as many mobile phone subscriptions globally as there are people on the planet as we come into 2014 – and in the Asia-Pacific region, mobile penetration will surpass 88%.

Over the same period we have seen the invention of smartphones and tablets, and market research suggests that over 100 billion apps will be downloaded this year, generating over 25 billion US dollars in revenue.

As a result, mobile data traffic is growing exponentially, doubling every 13 months by some estimates.

LTE, a new generation of mobile network technology, promises to revolutionize the use of data services on the move.

As part of the next stage in mobile network development, spearheaded by ITU’s work on IMT-Advanced, TD-LTE technology, with its flexibility in resource and spectrum configuration, has the potential to provide users with much faster data speeds than we have today.

Let me offer my appreciation to China for its contribution to this technology. I would encourage China and experts from developing countries to further raise their voices in our global standardization work.

As of last month, TD-LTE commercial networks had been launched in 19 countries, and 39 LTE TDD commercial networks are either in progress or planned, with more and more operators considering the practicality of TD-LTE operation.

I appreciate this progress and achievements. Indeed, as with all great advances in communications technologies, ITU is delighted to see progress being made in connecting the world’s people, and we are always keen to join forces with the global ICT sector to ensure further advances in this domain.

Indeed, together, we are shaping a bold and bright future, and it is a future that I think will amaze us all.

Let me therefore wish this event every success, and let me thank you for your attention.

Thank you.