ITU Telecom World 2016 Concluded in Bangkok

ITU Telecom World 2016 Concluded in Bangkok

ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and over 700 private sector entities.

ITU Telecom World 2016 took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 14 to 17 November 2016. ITU Telecom World 2016 launched proceedings, welcoming influential participants from public and private sectors and across the ICT industry, including SMEs, from around the world.

Here is a round-up of ITU 2016 event:

Day 1

Collaborating in the digital economy with a specific focus on the key role of SMEs in the digital ecosystem was the theme that kicked of the ITU Telecom World Forum Debate. The opening session provided unique and powerful perspectives from heads of state, government and international organizations worldwide including  H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Kingdom of Thailand, Chan-o-cha Prayut, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Thailand and Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union.

H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn officially opened the Event, noting how it offers “investment opportunities for SMEs and start-ups which help accelerate economic growth in many countries.”

What sort of collaboration do we need to build in today’s fast -changing ICT ecosystem? What opportunities and challenges will we face along the way? And how to beat digital inequality? These were some of the questions presented in the panel discussion.

New challenges and opportunities were also discussed. Issue of security emerged as a great concern due to so many devices communicating all together.

International guidance and global standards are needed, particularly in new areas such as “establishing” a bio-metric ID, a foundation element of digital financial services

International involvement

Protecting the consumer, without killing innovation is key, according to Anne Jellema, and knowledge and guidance is needed on how to tackle a number of key issues such as cybersecurity and regulation. International guidance and global standards are needed, particularly in new areas such as “establishing” a biometric ID, a foundation element of digital financial services, according to Sarker.

At the end of the day, Tim Unwin asked whether it is possible to expect the industry to produce business models supporting attainment of the SDGs. The panel agreed that SDGs can only be met by deploying ICTs

A memorandum of cooperation was signed between Japan and Thailand at ITU telecom

The SMEs shortlisted for the prestigious ITU Telecom World Global SME Award came together at the Nigeria Pavilion in order to pitch their innovations and creative ideas to the jury, comprising social entrepreneurship and tech experts.

Day 2

Ministerial round table part 1:

Opening the first session of the Ministerial Roundtable at ITU Telecom World as chair of the meeting, Thai DPM welcomed ministers from around the world to debate the role of government in growing the digital economy. Calling it a timely and important debate, he outlined some of the key priorities for Thailand’s governments, including improving the transparency, credibility, speed and accuracy of public services such as e-government, e-taxation and e-payments.

Ministerial round table part 2:

Opening the second session of the Ministerial Roundtable, H.E. Dr Mohd Salleh Tun Said Keruak, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Malaysia, highlighted three key areas of government activity in growing the digital economy: network infrastructure, interoperable platforms for services, and relevant regulation.

The power of Collaboration was also discussed by inviting ICT leaders from across the ecosystem to work together, to engage world leaders in dialogue and act as spokespeople for the industry, ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao opened proceedings at the Industry Leaders Roundtable on “Creating value, accelerating growth, opening new markets: the power of collaboration”.

Thailand in 360° degrees

ITU Telecom World delegates were invited to experience THAILAND in 360° Virtual Reality as a Business Event Destination, with Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).

Delivering 5G

Collaboration, healthy competition, together with the technologies, spectrum and ecosystem that will deliver 5G to the world were some of the key issues explored by the panel.

Collaboration and competition

Panelists agreed on the vital importance of collaboration. “If we want to realize 5G ambitions, collaboration needs to take place on a level of regulatory, policy and standardization of technology” Said Telenor’s Kjøl, a viewpoint echoed by other participants.

Concluding the discussions, ITU’s Rancy noted that significant collaborative effort would be needed to get harmonized solutions from a spectrum point of view. Although room for competition is needed within the 5G space, cooperation and collaboration is needed at this point “in terms of defining something that we call 5G that all will take up.”

Creating value, accelerating growth, opening new markets: the power of collaboration

Pitches continued on Day 2 as well from the SMEs shortlisted for the prestigious ITU Telecom World Global SME Award. Pitches included:

Neofect, Republic of Korea: exoskeleton device for rehabilitating movement in stroke and other patients

UMS Queen, Myanmar: cloud based system for managing school administration processes.

uLALALabs, Republic of Korea IoT devices for monitoring productivity of factory floor.

 Is the future finally here?

Discussion was made on how AI can or should be used to predict the future. Session, moderated by Global Industry Council Founding Chair and IP3 Board Vice Chair Stephen Ibaraki. ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau Director, Dr Chaesub Lee opened the session, noting that in a world where increasingly vast amounts of data are being generated, the big AI challenge we are facing is how to interpret this data, and also how can we utilize AI innovation across other industry domains. Opening the debate, Ibaraki spoke of how AI was now one a top global trend. In a world where anything can be automated, he also noted the potential of AI to support the SDGs.

Asia Pacific exchange on broadband regulation and policy

The key areas of the debate on day 2 were; what are the best ways to achieve accessible and affordable broadband in the in the Asia Pacific Region. However some light was also put on the common challenges faced by the Digital economy. Including, decelerating economic expansion, stimulating sustainable growth in the most populous region of the world, rapid urbanization or natural disasters- to name just some- participants shared their perspectives on broadband network development, the challenges it faces and the opportunities broadband can provide.

Day 3

Balancing financial incentives to promote investments in ICT

The main concentration of Day 3 was on how we can balance the needs of the ICT industry against the wider needs of the society and how should governments and industry work together so that the wealth created by ICTs is split between tax revenue and industry investment to the mutual satisfaction of both parties

B2B dialogue

ITU’s Brahima Sanou, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, welcomed delegates and a diverse panel line up, spanning cutting edge start-ups to key industry players including Intel and Mastercard as well as GSMA, to the B2B dialogue. This was ably moderated by Stephen Ibaraki, Founding Chair Global Industry Council & Vice-chair, IP3 Board, International Federation for Information Processing. Commending the nature of the panel, which brought MSMEs and industry together, he noted that we are seeing this kind of dialogue more and more frequently.

Representatives from leading global players empathized with the MSMEs on the challenges they face, particularly navigating their way to the right decision maker within an organization.

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhou concluded the session by outlining his vision for ITU Telecom World events as the unique international platform, connecting ICT SMEs, business and governments, a platform that we still need to work hard to promote.

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