ITU Telecom World 2012 highlights wealth of opportunities in transformed ICT market

Date: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 17:54

ITU Telecom World 2012 highlights wealth of opportunities in transformed ICT market

High-level debate on state of ICT sector focused on future opportunities

ITU Telecom World 2012 brought together industry representatives and government leaders at the highest level to engage in five days of critical dialogue on networking, knowledge-sharing and the challenges defining the information and communication technology (ICT) sector as well as the opportunities arising from it.
Participants met in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 14-18 October and included Heads of State, government ministers, corporate CEOs from across the industry ecosystem, heads of international agencies, thought-leaders, consultants and academics. A dynamic agenda examined the impact of new market players and business models emerging across the ecosystem. Debates centred on the roll out of broadband connectivity, the challenges of cyberthreats and the need to beef up cybersecurity as well as the vast opportunities unleashed by smart applications in such critical sectors as health, education, and government services and their role in achieving sustainable development.
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré welcomed the diversity of delegates, themes and solutions at ITU Telecom World 2012, reminding the audience that this event embraces diversity, and celebrates and learns from that diversity. “Together we are diverse – but we are stronger as one and will strive together to meet the challenges of the industry and of the world today," Dr Touré said. "The word "World" is rightly a part of the name of this event. We were hosted this year by the magnificent, connected city of the future that is Dubai – and look forward to celebrating ITU Telecom World 2013 in the ASEAN gateway city of Bangkok."
The Director General of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Mr Mohamed Al Ghanim, hailed the many important conclusions reached at ITU Telecom World 2012 on themes as diverse as universal connectivity, broadband deployment, cybersecurity, child online protection and privacy – themes which touch upon our daily lives and work everywhere. "This event represents a sound basis for the exchange of experience at the national, regional and international levels that is necessary to deal with these subjects," Mr Al Ghanim said.
ITU Telecom World 2012 was launched by the Leadership Summit, convening leaders of government and industry to debate the future of the telecommunications sector, and the ways in which it needs to be protected, funded and communicated.  Innovative features on the dynamic agenda this year included the Visionary Keynotes series of inspirational addresses from Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab; Anders Lindblad, Head of Middle East Region for Ericsson; and Wim Elfrink, Senior Vice President and Global Technology Officer at Cisco.

ITU and the World Health Organization launched a landmark m-health initiative aimed at using mobile communications to address the scourge of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular illnesses. For more detail, please see

The ITU saving Lives pavilion was also the platform to launch two new ITU initiatives for m-Powering smart sustainable development and effective disaster management. See

Big conversations at ITU Telecom World 2012
The Big Conversations with the BBC and with Telecom TV presented lively and engaging dialogue on central topics of privacy, trust and the role of over the top (OTT) players in fully interactive sessions involving participants from all parts of world, following the live webcast and posing questions by Twitter, text and email.
The conversations at other forum debates also took place beyond the conference rooms in Dubai. Social media and live webcasting allowed people from around the world to interact, pose questions and comment on panel sessions. Individuals from 98 different countries engaged with the event online in 19 different languages. The discussions on Twitter reached over 8 million people, and the moderators and panellist were challenged with live questions via SMS and email from those watching around the world via live webcast.

Young Innovators: tomorrow's leaders, here today
Twelve finalists from the annual Young Innovators Competition were present at the Forum Closing Conversation to receive their certificates, rounding off a programme of intensive mentoring, business skills workshops, pitching sessions and debate. "This conference, the past six days here, have been like an accelerated programme for innovators, with unparalleled feedback from our mentors, access to government, to investors and to public policy makers - and to our peers" said competition finalist Anshul Tewari . The young social entrepreneurs from all parts of the globe were selected on the base of the potential business success and social impact of their innovative ICT-based concepts and projects designed to meet real-world developmental challenges.

Forum closing conversation
The event closed with a final forum conversation featuring Stuart Sharrock,  Chairman, Telemates; Laina Raveendran Greene, CEO of green ICT consultancy Get-IT; and Ross Patterson, Chairman, Akhet Consulting, sharing their impressions and conclusions drawn from the many panel debates here in Dubai. "We are going through a period of significant change," said Stuart Sharrock, "But I am delighted to report that during these sessions here, that change has been recognized, addressed and confronted – and we are moving forward with leadership."
In his closing speech, Deputy Secretary-General Houlin Zhao concurred: "There is tremendous optimism about this change – we can manage, direct and exploit this change for our good and for the greater good of society."

ITU Telecom World 2012 on show
The event showfloor featured National Pavilions showcasing regional talent and investment opportunities from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, China, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Republic of Korea, Namibia, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tanzania, UAE, Thailand, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Industry showcases from  TRA-UAE, Qtel, Etisalat, Intel, China Telecom, China Potevio, Datang Telecom, Rohde & Schwarz and others  demonstrated the latest products, applications and services.
The showfloor also featured the unique digital experiences of the Immersive Box, presenting climate change scenarios, and multi-touch interactive tables that entertained and informed on the history of ICTs, cybersecurity and emergency telecommunications.
Actively involved in knowledge-sharing and networking activities were partners and sponsors such as Alcatel-Lucent, China Mobile, Kaspersky Lab, NTT Group, McKinsey, American University in Dubai, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nigerian Communications Commission, The Cyber Guardian, Ernst & Young, Mitsubishi Electric, TD Industry Alliance, Uganda Communications Commission, Verizon, Qualcomm and ZTE.

See you in Bangkok!
Bangkok, Thailand, will host the next ITU Telecom World event in the fourth quarter of 2013. The venue was selected from among international contenders on the basis of the facilities and infrastructure offered by the host country. Bangkok is an attractive destination from both a business and tourist perspective and lies at the hub of a vibrant and growing Asian economy.

Above, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré

Image credited to ITU / R.Farrell


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