Wednesday, March 05, 2008

ITU strengthens partnership with space industry

Global telecom regulator, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said its strengthening collaboration with space industry to make communication more affordable for remote communities.

Addressing participants at the Space Business Round Table in Washington D.C. at the weekend, Secretary General, ITU, Dr Hamadoun Touré, said at the session held on the theme: Looking Forward to Space, that the outcomes of the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07), which met in Geneva for four weeks last autumn was to address the worldwide use of radio frequencies and to meet the global demand for spectrum, fuelled by rapid technological developments and growth in the ICT sector.

He also pointed out that over 2800 delegates, representing 161 member states and 94 observers, WRC-07 focused on the impact of the latest technological developments in satellite services, mobile communications, digital broadcasting and spectrum/orbit resources for satellite applications, including voice, data, digital and high definition TV and the Internet.

Satellite communications, he said, is aimed at improving remote communities, stressing that the role of satellite communications in providing access to communications in remote and isolated communities is to bridge the so-called digital divide.

He said ITU had embarked on a major initiative to connect the world, beginning with Africa, aimed at attracting investment for infrastructure development by developing an enabling environment through appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks and capacity building.

Dr. Toure further said the Connect Africa Summit, held in Kigali, Rwanda last October also brought together African leaders and business from around the world “seeking not aid or charity but to mobilize investment and business resources to support sustainable growth, employment and development.”

With seven years to go to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and the targets set by the World Summit on the Information Society, the connectivity process needs to be accelerated.

“The role of the space industry is very important in meeting our connectivity access targets and to contribute to the well-being of the world’s population,” said Dr TourĂ©, adding that there is need to form a global coalition to put together our resources and efforts within a framework of international cooperation and collaboration to bridge the digital divide.

ITU scribe emphasized the role of satellite communications in emergency telecommunications and relief efforts in response to natural disasters.

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