ITU Telecom World 2014 highlights innovations, technologies, and ideas shaping future of ICTs

Date: Fri, 12/19/2014 - 15:31

ITU Telecom World 2014 highlights innovations, technologies, and ideas shaping future of ICTs
Interactive debates and showcases focus on future of technology and its impact on society

ITU Telecom World 2014 closed its doors following four busy days of high-level debate, networking, knowledge sharing and showcasing. A dynamic and truly diverse line-up of participants from around the world attended the event, including Cisco, Huawei, Intel, LS telcom, Nokia, Ooredoo, Rohde & Schwarz, Vodafone and ZTE, with pavilions from Argentina, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Chad, China, Hungary, Nigeria, Malaysia, Qatar, Tanzania, Thailand and Zimbabwe, while Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda came together within the Smart Africa zone on the show floor.
“Over the last few days I’ve seen the evolution of a roadmap that provides an immersive, interactive and deeply informative view of the future of ICTs,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “This has been evident in the Leadership Summit and Forum, bringing insights into industry shifts and macro trends from top names on the show floor and looking at new technologies developing in The Lab. I was also deeply impressed by the bright sparks who are building the future of technology and business, in the Young Innovators Programme.”
Organized by ITU, the United Nations Specialized Agency for ICTs, the event was hosted by the Government of Qatar, with the support of leading international communications company, Ooredoo.
“Ooredoo was delighted to work with ITU to organize ITU Telecom World 2014, on behalf of the Government of Qatar,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors Ooredoo Group. “Helping host this unique platform, for global experts to share views and insights on how we can use ICTs to enhance lives, is in line with Ooredoo's and Qatar’s strategic vision, and it has been an inspirational experience. We were also very pleased to be able to showcase our latest technologies to this global audience, and to shine a spotlight on Qatar as a global technology hub.”

Smart showcases and networking
“Huawei was delighted to showcase its visions of "Building a Better Connected World", outlining a more convenient and smarter lifestyle featuring futuristic 5G connectivity technologies, ubiquitous broadband connectivity, connected smart cities and smart homes to the global audience convened at ITU Telecom World 2014.” said Mr Ken HU, Deputy Chairman of the Board and Rotating CEO, Huawei.  “At the event, Huawei also shared views and insights on technology, business and investment model innovation and called for collaboration among stakeholders to rejuvenate global broadband development.”
The event showcased sponsored sessions from Alcatel-Lucent, BBC, CNN, ESOA, Geddes Consulting, Huawei, IPv6 Forum, ITU-D, Nokia, TDIA, TCCA, and tm-forum, and covered a range of different areas from ‘Big Data to universal broadband’, ‘enabling the digital future’, ‘hidden risks’, ‘unexplored opportunities from circuits to packets’, ‘LTE for public safety’, ‘ICTs for saving lives’, and more.

Forum focus on industry transformation
Forum discussions at the event covered the key trends and developments in technology, regulatory and policy issues, business models, services and applications – focusing on three major scenarios of disruption, cross-sector partnerships and the intelligent future.
Sessions took a variety of different formats from top-media moderated Big Conversations to Ministerial round tables and panels.
The underlying focus of discussions was around the radical transformation of the ICT industry, and hot topics included the different uses for Big Data, including ‘Big Data for development’, ‘Mobile networks in the cloud’, the ‘softwarization of network elements’, ‘bringing IT into ICT’, cross-sector partnerships, collaboration and cooperation and broadband rollout in emerging markets. Discussions convened a unique mix of informed speakers from the worlds of government, industry, academia, research, and international organizations, with audience members encouraged to join in, share their insights and experience and quiz the panels on their views.
“ITU Telecom World events convene the right mix of industry players as well as highest-level reps from governments and regulators,” said John Davies, Vice President and General Manager, Intel. “This year Intel has shared visions with this important audience on crucial issues, from the scarcity of spectrum to the challenges posed and opportunities offered within cross-sectoral partnerships. By working together, our goal is to connect everyone on the planet.”
The Leadership Summit on the Future launched debates in an eye-opening and inspiring journey into the future of the ICT industry and of our businesses and societies. Renowned futurists and international experts from a range of disciplines came together to explore potential scenarios of the future with leaders of public and private sectors from across the global ICT sector.
Led by moderator and futurist Gerd Leonhard, the Summit gave a unique perspective into where the industry was heading in the next 3-5 years. According to Leonhard, “We are moving into an exponential future and away from linear changes, as the pace of development means that things we thought were science fiction a very short time ago – such as an app for automatic translation from Japanese to English –  are now happening every day.”
Some 205 speakers from 52 countries contributed to the discussions in Doha and extended around the world with 2400 tweets from 841 contributors with a reach of over 8 million people.

Show floor
Leading players showcased new developments. Nokia Networks, Ooredoo Qatar and China Mobile chose the global platform offered by ITU Telecom World 2014 to achieve a record-breaking speed of 4.1 Gbps over TDD-FDD LTE, in an experiment to demonstrate future user demand. Vodafone unveiled Qatar’s first virtual store experience.
The show floor also included first time pavilion Smart Africa (represented by Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda) which highlighted the Smart Africa initiative focusing on making Internet access affordable to all African citizens and the role of the private sector in ICT development partnerships.
Tanzania shone a spotlight on its global ICT sector. Its National ICT Broadband Backbone project has seen Tanzania evolve into a regional ICT hub, providing vital telecoms infrastructure to eight neighbouring countries.
First time participant, Chad took the occasion to showcase its major ICT projects, such as the African Centre of Information technologies (CATI).
Nigeria also showcased its ICT achievements during the event, under the theme Broadband Nigeria: Enabling Access, Transforming Communities.
Thematic pavilions showcased latest innovations in in ICTs to address specific issues related to emergency telecommunication in Saving Lives and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The Government of Qatar also highlighted ICT development.
The event also saw the launch of the Global Cybersecurity Index 2014. A joint project undertaken by ABI Research and ITU, the GCI provides insights into cybersecurity engagement in countries.
Networking was a key component of the event, with delegates from public and private sectors using the Event App to actively network with other participants and share their experiences.

The future of innovation was showcased in the Lab and by winners of the Young Innovators competition. Social entrepreneurs between ages 18 and 30 from around the world highlighted innovative digital solutions with positive social impact.
“ITU Telecom World was a great opportunity,” said Young Innovator, Hemant Purohit. “I was able to make contacts and receive advice that will be a huge help in taking my work forward. This kind of thing, getting this level of incubation and international exposure, has been a dream for a long time. Now, though, the hard part begins. I have to turn all this into a successful start-up. It won’t be easy, but I have a good start.
Further examples of innovation in action could be seen in the Lab on the show floor, including MineKafon, a wind-powered mine detector; Perpetual plastic, an interactive recycling installation that transforms plastic into new products through 3D printing; Parametric Wall, a responsive surface able to re-model its own shape; and Boreal, an open source interface that can be used to control all types of hardware and software. Also in the Lab was the humanoid Roboy, who presented a new face to human robotic interaction and delighted participants from across the globe with his ability to interact and move, his anthromorphic, tendon driven arm, as well as his charming blushes, winks and waves.

Next Stop ITU Telecom World 2015, Budapest
As the event concludes in Doha, Qatar, the ITU Telecom World “baton” was ceremoniously handed over to Hungary. Conversations that began at ITU Telecom World 2014 are set to continue in Europe next year in Budapest, 12-15 October 2015.

ITU Telecom 2014 numbers at a glance
•    3500 total participants
•    205 Speakers from 52 countries
•    51 Forum sessions
•    144 accredited Media from 18 countries
•    169 show floor entities from 46 countries
•    16 Partners and Sponsors
•    30 National representations and thematic pavilions

Above, Houlin Zhao, next ITU Secretary-General
Image credited to ITU
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