The ICT sector and the innovation generation

The ICT sector is constantly changing, as today’s cutting-edge developments quickly become yesterday’s news. In the digital age it’s not the questions that the industry needs to be concerned with, but the answers

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Albert Einstein sometimes used to torment his students at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. During a period of dramatic changes in physics he would set an exam paper containing exactly the same questions as the previous year. When challenged about this he remained unrepentant. The questions may be the same as last year, he observed, but the answers are now different.

In the ICT sector today, everyone is after everyone else’s business

Just like physics in the middle of the last century, the ICT sector is currently undergoing a period of dramatic transition. And, again like physics, the end points of that transition are unknown. A few years ago life was simple. We bought phone services from the telephone company, watched TV transmitted by the broadcasters and left the internet to the scientists.

Today it’s so different: millions of people get their telephone services from TV broadcasters or internet service providers. They download TV programmes from telephone companies and not only watch videos, but upload them themselves.

Communication 2.0
Use of social media has dramatically changed how people interact and communicate. Instead of direct communication, in the digital world people are increasingly communicating through YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.

In the ICT sector today, everyone is after everyone else’s business. Services are arriving over the top, under the floor and round the side. The ICT world is changing.

For the players in the ICT sector – new as well as old – the fundamental questions remain the same. How do we remain competitive, deliver customer value, make money, and ultimately, survive? But the answers are changing as new technology breaks down the previous relationships between services and delivery mechanisms, and as new players with entirely new business models burst onto the scene.

ITU Telecom World 2013 takes place from November 19-22, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand and will confront all these issues. Influential leaders of industry, government, regulatory bodies, consultancy and academia will come together to explore the best and most beneficial ways to harness the changes that are characterising our digital world today.

The vocal network
Speakers embracing all aspects of change include Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, the OII’s Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute, who addresses the profound way in which the sheer volume of digital data created each day is reshaping our world and our very way of thinking, as well as renowned futurist and CEO of Futures Agency, Gerd Leonhard. Intel are co-hosting a series of sessions on the tremendous promise of e-education: McKinsey will explore how the growth of the internet in Africa is enabling the region to leapfrog development milestones; and Nigeria will host an investment forum showcasing major ICT initiatives.

Speakers from the supplier, manufacturer, vendor and operator communities will join regulators and ministers from all corners of the globe in debating changes, networking and sharing, innovative thinking, projects and partnerships. Bringing together this diversity of participants, spanning the public and private sectors is a key feature of the ITU Telecom World series. These are networking and knowledge-sharing events open to all stakeholders. They do not formulate rules or propose treaties. But they do further understanding and cement relationships. They track the continuing evolution of the answers to the fundamental questions we all face.

ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok will provide a trusted platform for all concerned to review the new answers that have emerged and continue to emerge. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of a landmark industry event. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to continue sharing knowledge, experiences and ideas in an open and honest fashion.

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