Treaty to give new impetus to ICT sector development
European telcos propose constructive input to global ICT treaty
Geneva, 20 April 2012 – European operators meeting at a joint International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) event have agreed that upcoming revisions to the treaty that governs international telecommunications should act as a positive catalyst for the future development of ICT, to benefit all countries.
Meeting in Brussels this week to discuss preparation for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) which will be held in Dubai, 3-14 December, ITU representatives described the mechanisms for input into the WCIT process and some of the emerging themes. An open discussion allowed industry to present its views.
All participants agreed that revisions to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) should foster the right conditions to allow markets to flourish within a long term vision backed by sustainable business models.
WCIT-12 will review the ITRs, which are widely credited for creating the basis of today’s connected world, thus the international regulatory framework governing all ICT technologies. The ITRs opened the door in the 1990s for mobile and the Internet.
WCIT-12 will express the common will of ITU’s major stakeholders – its government and private sector membership – including many of ETNO’s membership. Meetings such as this, as well as ITU’s formal Council Working Group and the other regional preparatory meetings are part of an ongoing process to ask for input and feedback from all stakeholders.
Some of the proposals currently being discussed by ITU membership, governments and private sector companies from around the world, include the right to communicate; security in the use of ICTs and the protection of national resources; taxation, roaming; misuse and hijacking of international numbers and interoperability.
Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “WCIT will be ITU’s second treaty making conference in 2012. The World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) was a shining example of what can be achieved for the good of industry and the world’s inhabitants. A lot has changed since the ITRs were last revised. I think we can all agree that this conference comes at a time when technology is having a major impact on economic and social development. WCIT represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity, for all stakeholders to work together to extend the benefits of ICTs still further.”
Luigi Gambardella (ETNO), Chairman Executive Board ETNO: “The current ITRs have been a great success and have allowed us to get to where we are today in terms of Internet growth. However, today’s Internet business models are becoming unsustainable in the face of an exponential growth in data traffic. We need to address the current disconnect between sources of revenue and sources of costs and decide upon the most appropriate way to do so.”
ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For over 145 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. www.itu.int
ETNO’s 40 member companies and 10 observers from Europe and beyond represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than €600 billion and employ over 1.6 million people. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.