Connectivity and collaboration in the ICT industry: the key to socio-economic development

Sponsored Content

itu-telecom-world-2016-bangkok

From left to right, Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General; Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister; Dr. Uttama Savanayana, Minister of Information and Communication Technology; and Air Chief Marshal Thares Punsri, Chairman of Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Thailand. © Pico (Thailand) Pcl.

Why is it so important to ensure that as many people in the world as possible have access to information and communication technologies? And why does collaboration within and across the ICT industry matter so much in driving socio-economic development?

These questions are at the very heart of ITU Telecom World 2016, the annual platform for governments, corporates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the ICT industry. Organized by ITU, the United Nation’s specialized agency for ICT matters, and taking place this year in Bangkok, Thailand, from 14 – 17 November, ITU Telecom World features an international exhibition of digital solutions, a world-class forum of debates, a programme of targeted networking activities and an Awards programme recognizing the best in innovative ICT solutions with social impact.

On the agenda in the forum, on the stands and pavilions in the exhibition and amongst the networking leaders of governments and businesses big and small, the focus will be on working together to speed up innovation in ICTs to improve lives everywhere.

ICTs are the cross-cutting enablers behind sustainable development throughout the world, in emerging and developed markets alike. This means, quite simply, that ICTs are the essential backbone, the infrastructure behind development in economies, businesses, societies and homes everywhere. The transformative potential for ICTs is unprecedented: from e-health to e-education, digital financial services to e-government, agriculture and transport, there is not one vertical sector or field of activity which does not both rely on and benefit from ICTs.

The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the global community in September 2015, set a new international agenda for the period up to 2030 – and recognize the enormous potential of ICTs in improving development outcomes worldwide.  Not just by measuring progress and enhancing the effectiveness of initiatives designed to meet the SDGs, but by providing access to a whole range of new digital products and services which can grow local economies, build on local innovation and strengthen local communities.

Millions of children currently without access to primary level schooling; millions of deaths from easily-preventable non-communicable diseases; millions of unbanked or underbanked living outside national economies;  those without adequate basic sanitation, without access to water or electricity, let alone to government services – innovative ICT-based solutions can meet all of these challenges.

Providing connectivity is the key: once everyone is connected, the speed of progress towards attaining the SDGS will be extraordinary, as emerging technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics and data-driven innovation truly take off on a global scale.

Getting everyone connected, however, is not so straightforward. More than half the world’s people are still offline, and the ICT sector’s commitment to connecting an additional 1.5 billion by 2020 is highly ambitious. It calls for innovative approaches to universal connectivity to tackle the multiple barriers of access, affordability, education and relevance.

Building out networks, whether fixed, fibre, mobile, satellite, wifi, or any combination thereof, is the first step in providing access to the unconnected. The price of handsets, of network access and of products and services must be affordable for local communities.  And to be useful and sustainable both socially and financially, those products and services must be relevant to local needs and practices – in local languages, offering content that is valued and understood by local users. Finally, educating end-users disadvantaged by remote locations, illiteracy, gender or age, and increasing skills and capacity in local communities, are critical to ensure internet take-up and entry into the digital economy.

The barriers are huge, the challenges significant – but the potential benefits to humanity are enormous. This is why connectivity is so important. It is also why the theme of ITU Telecom World 2016 is so pertinent: “Collaborating in the digital economy”.

Because no one can do this alone. The private sector building out the networks, providing the equipment, products and services is reliant on government policies, on financial incentives, on supportive regulation. Public private partnerships are often the only solution to increasing access in remote or underserved regions.

Within the private sector, the ongoing radical transformation of the ICT industry also calls for new partnerships, new business models and new approaches. A complex mix of factors is coming together: the rise of internet companies providing services over operator networks; the growth of SMEs throughout the world working in niche or innovative areas; new markets in the borderless digital global economy; new technologies and customer behaviours, from social media to 5G and IoT; and the collision of markets, ways of doing business, cultures and mindsets as ICTs cross into vertical sectors such as health, agriculture and education.

Which is why collaboration within and across the global ICT ecosystem is so crucial. Working together in one way or another is the only way to extend connectivity, expand access and drive socio-economic development. It’s the only way to meet the SDGs and improve the lives of the world’s citizens everywhere.

This is also why events such as ITU Telecom World 2016 are so important. By providing a meeting point and market place for the governments, regulators, international organizations and companies, both corporate and SME, of the world, the event opens the door to partnerships. To exchanging views and perspectives, to understanding challenges and needs, to debating policies, strategies and models. To meeting face-to-face to meet the needs of the world, now and in the future.

To find out more about ITU Telecom World 2016, its full programme of debates, exhibits and activities, and to register to take part, visit telecomworld.itu.int.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This is how rice is hurting the planet

These countries have the most powerful passports

Paid paternity leave should be the norm in the US

Countries violate rights over climate change, argue youth activists in landmark UN complaint

Budget MEPs back €1.6 million to help 400 former workers of Carrefour Belgium

A new Europe for people, planet and prosperity for all

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

Dramatic drop in South Sudan political violence since peace agreement signing

LGBTQ+: The invisible poor on our healthcare

The West and Russia took what they wanted from Ukraine

Zhua Zhou: Choosing The Future

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

We have to fight for a fairer tech industry for women

Access to health in the developping world

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Secretary-General condemns attacks on UN peacekeepers in Mali

Replacement for United States on Human Rights Council to be elected ‘as soon as possible’

After music and TV, where will the streaming revolution take us next?

UN chief ‘following very closely’ reports of chemical weapons use in Syria’s Aleppo

Built by a woman: supporting the dreams of mum entrepreneurs

I accidentally went viral on TikTok. I learned we failed our youngest generation.

South African women’s fury at gender-based attacks spills onto the streets

UN sees progress in fight against tobacco, warns more action needed to help people quit deadly product

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

An economist explains how to value the internet

This start-up is making a palm oil alternative from used coffee grounds

Joris in Indonesia

Here’s how tech is revolutionising transport for low-income communities in urban Africa

Algorithms are being used to convict criminals and decide jail time. We need to make sure they are fair

A record one million Syrians displaced over six months, during six key battles: UN investigators

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

1 in 13 young British people have PTSD. Here’s why

UN mission welcomes Afghan government’s announcement of Eid holiday ceasefire

Colombia: ‘Significant strides’ towards integrated peace, UN envoy tells Security Council

UN migration agency launches $10 million appeal to support hurricane recovery in The Bahamas

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

Trump fines China with $50 billion a year plus some more…

E-commerce is globalization’s shot at equality

Restoring government control across Central African Republic is ‘key’ to lasting peace, stability – UN envoy

It’s time to ditch our obsession with trade deficits. Here’s why

From Policy to Reality: Discrepancies in Universal Health Care Systems across the EU

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

The world invested almost $2 trillion in energy last year. These 3 charts show where it went

A Sting Exclusive: “China-Africa Cooperation Sets a Fine Example of South-South Cooperation”, by China’s Ambassador to EU

Growth is running out of steam. How do we prepare for the next crisis?

“There are many converging visions and interests between the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan”, Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU highlights from Brussels

Greece leaves EU aid program, gets last 15 billion euro

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year?

‘Stronger’ effort must be made to cement peace deal for South Sudanese women and girls: UN Women chief

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

“Beating pollution for our planet”, a Sting Exclusive by Mr Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment

Zimbabwe ‘facing worst hunger crisis in a decade’

First peaceful transfer of power in DR Congo ‘an extraordinary opportunity’ for advancing rights

Trade negotiations with US can start under certain conditions

The Impact of climates changes in health: a problem for all of us

As conflicts become more complex, ‘mediation is no longer an option; it is a necessity’, UN chief tells Security Council

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

5 reasons to be more cheerful about the future of the oceans

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s