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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Turkey to host ITU plenipotentiary confab

Remmy Nweke

THe city of Antalya, Turkey, would next month host the 17th Plenipotentiary conference organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Highlights of the meeting slated for November 6 through 24, this year, include organisational reform with consideration of a possible review of ITU’s federal structure, its role in the two-phased World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

Also mapped out for discussion at the meeting is the enlarged participation of new stakeholders in its work, including civil society, given the expectations raised in the WSIS process; 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 call 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 its implications for the union.

Additionally, the convergence of technological platforms and the deployment of common network infrastructure for multiple communication services and applications as well as the continued but uneven growth of the Internet and other Internet Protocol (IP)-based platforms and related services, and the deployment of national and regional IP-based backbone networks.

Mr. Acharya also noted that the continuing rapid development of wireless and mobile communications, and their convergence with both fixed lines and broadcasting services would receive some attention, even as the need for market-driven, high-quality, international standards, which are developed swiftly, in line with the principles of global connectivity, openness, affordability, reliability, interoperability, and security.

Further, he informed that the emergence of key technologies including radio-frequency identification (RFID) and sensor network technologies expected to create new services and applications and to enhance efficiency in a revolutionary way and the importance accorded to Next Generation Networks (NGN) by service providers as well as equipment manufacturers illustrated by their substantial investment of resources in standard-making activities among others would not be left out.

Over 2,000 participants from 150 countries are expected to represent both the government and private sector, regional and international organizations.

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