Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), describes the huge range of developmental benefits that are facilitated by ICTs, and reports on ITU’s current work and the recent Telecom World 2015 conference
Today there are almost as many mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide as there are inhabitants on the planet, and more than three billion people are online. This represents an enormous potential for socio-economic development, if we can accelerate the delivery of vital public services through the medium of information and communication technologies (ICTs). ITU is committed to playing its part in bringing the benefits of secure and trustworthy ICTs to all – through the coordination of global resources, including spectrum and satellite orbital slots; through international standards; through developmental support; and by convening policy dialogue.
ICTs are supporting innovation across a range of different sectors and industries, most notably with regard to service delivery and means of consumption.
Historically, the ways in which we consumed content, products and services have remained the same: static and physical. However, as our world becomes more interconnected, the possibility of reaching people, through ICTs is becoming more of a reality, and digital services are becoming more widespread. From taxis to entertainment, advertising to insurance, logistics, agriculture, health and education, the ways in which we consume these services is being transformed by innovative ICT-based applications.
Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)