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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Nigeria eyes ITU-R council seat

Remmy Nweke

BARELY 12 days to the global telecommunications regulator confab known as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-organised Plenipotentiary conference (PP-06) in the city of Antalya-Turkey, indications are awash that Nigeria is eyeing a council position at the ITU-Radio Regulations board.

This development came in the wake of advanced plans to mark the centenary of signing the international radio regulations at the 1906 Berlin Convention.

ITRealms Online gathered of this indication that Nigeria has interest in the ITU-R board showed that the chief executive of Kemlinks International, Mr. Shola Taylor, has been tipped to fly the nation’s flag at the council elections slated as part of the 18-day conference.

Sources close to Kemlinks International and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), informed our correspondent that Mr. Taylor’s nomination has since received the green light of the federal government through the relevant telecom bodies led by NCC, to contest for the position of a council member of the ITU Radio Regulations (ITU-R) board.

Seasoned telecommunications engineer, Mr. Taylor has been an active player on the international scene on development of telecommunications especially on radio and broadcasting.

The PP-06, which is 17th in the series would have as agenda to organisationally review ITU’s federal structure, its role in the two-phased World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and highlighting discussions on the blown up participation of new stakeholders in its work, including civil society, based on expectations raised at the WSIS process.

These expectations include broadening the mandate of ITU to encompass Information Society issues such as maintaining ITU’s pre-eminent role in global ICT affairs and balancing the union’s budget within a general framework of zero-growth despite the need to respond to the challenges of a changing ICT environment which calls for additional resources to carry out an ever increasing number of activities.

Chief Media Relations and Public Information at ITU, Mr. Sanjay Acharya, said the confab equally would look into the future of the union, mostly on its strategies in addressing the rapidly changing ICT environment and implications for the union.

Meanwhile, plans have been advanced by ITU to commemorate the 100 years of endorsing the international agreement on radio regulations that took place at the 1906 Berlin Convention.

The 1906 Convention, according to ITU, aimed at two-way coast to ship radio communication free from harmful interference. These first regulations laid down rules for spectrum use for the operation of stations to reduce radio interference and establish technical standards for radio equipment.

The regulations, which have since been expanded and revised by numerous radio conferences, are now known as the ITU Radio Regulations.

Presently, radio regulations; a binding international treaty, apply to frequencies ranging from 9 Kilo Hertz (kHz) to 400 Gega Hertz (GHz), and incorporate over 1,000 pages of information describing how the spectrum could be used and shared by over 40 services around the globe representing around 1,265,000 frequency assignments for terrestrial stations, while 390,000 frequency assignments related to around 380 GSO orbital positions and around 250 non-GSO satellite systems along with another 50,000 assignments related to 3,700 satellite earth stations2.

The commemoration, holding at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG), Room 1, Mr. Acharya said, has been slated for Monday, October 30, this year, even as keynote speakers comprise the Deputy Secretary-General, ITU, Mr. Roberto Blois; Director, Radiocommunication Bureau at ITU, Mr Valery Timofeev and Vice President, Marketing, Mobility and Converged Core Networks, Nortel, Mr Scott Wickware.

Also the Executive Vice President, Head of Radiomonitoring and Radiolocation Division at Rohde & Schwarz, Ing. Gerhard Geier, would be making a video presentation at the event.Other participants expected at the event include honorary guests representing the original 27-member state signatories to the 1906 convention.

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