Ever wonder what the industry leaders of the telecommunications industry think the future holds for the future of ICT? Well a 35-page report on the outcomes of discussions like that can be downloaded from the International Telecommunications Union.
Commonly known as ITU Telecom, the United Nations agency establishes worldwide standards to help smooth over compatibility issues. This is the agency that decides, for example, what wireless speeds can be deemed “4G” and what satellite orbits a nation’s outer-space communications gear can occupy. So what did the agency’s members discuss in Dubai at the ITU TelecomWorld meeting last October?
Broadband Supply: providing fast speed Internet access around the world will help boost the economy and address poverty, but many areas of the world are still struggling to provide basic coverage to their populations, members of the ITU say. With a large amount of up-front capital needed for investment in fibre optic networks, it’s likely that a model involving an oligopoly of corporations or even a government-backed monopoly will be necessary in many markets.
Broadband Demand: To drive interest and access to the information and products made available by broadband Internet, countries need to target different socio-economic groups with affordable devices. Content must be provided on those devices that is locally-relevant and services should be available in the local language.
Big Data: Data has no value on its own, but can be monetized via complex analytics such as predictive behavioural models, location-based services, and personal data vaults offering secure storage. Adopting regulator-enforced standards and putting the consumer at centre-stage as both the source of data and the market for personalized services. It’ll be important to collect data transparently and provide the ability to opt-in or opt-out to varying degrees.
Overall the report on the 55 panel discussions and other sessions is broad and wide-ranging. But some main themes that emerge are how telecom companies are taking a customer-first approach and grappling with how to adapt business models in the face of over-the-top technologies.