LIVE FROM ITU TELECOM WORLD 2011: The heads of China Mobile and Qtel used the opening ceremony to highlight the potential of information and communication technologies to improve lives globally.
Speaking at the event today, Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile, said: “we need to deal with challenges such as climate change, energy shortage, water crisis and natural disasters. To our relief, technology keeps moving forward, despite the difficulties and challenges.” He continued: “we have the responsibility to help people cope with challenges and difficulties by using ICT services, while enabling the sustainable development of our industry.”
Regarding the mobile industry, the China Mobile head also expressed a desire for more open systems in the industry, “including operating systems of mobile devices.” A passing reference was also made to the “positive” results the company is getting from its TD-LTE mobile broadband field trials, stating that the technology “enables the potentially efficient use of unpaired spectrum.”
Abdullah bin Mohammed Saud Al-Thani, chairman of Qtel, reflected on the event’s 40th anniversary, noting: “Like every birthday, this should be a time of reflection, as well as celebration. Looking ahead, I think we can all be sure that the next 40 years will be the more challenging and require even greater effort on our part.” He said: “I believe we are at the start of the era of information transformation. It will be greater than the industrial revolution. Every industry can be improved by instant access to relevant real time information… Around the world, a world of people and objects connected to to the internet will change everything for the better – we hope. Being connected to the internet would become a human right. Times like these require courage. I urge all of you to find courage,” he said.
Reflecting the high-level nature of the event, the opening ceremony also featured addresses from senior government and political figures.
Choi Soon-hong, chief information technology officer of the United Nations, noted that: “one of the universal rights in the 21st century is that people must have effective means to communicate and access to information, in order to lead a productive and happy live. Broadband, and information and communication technology, enables this right to be fulfilled.”
Addressing the audience by video, Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the UN, said that: “Today, there is no part of modern life that is not affected by ICT. With well over five billion mobile subscriptions and over 2 billion people on line, our challenge is to leverage the power of technology to make the world a better place.” He noted that: “you can have an especially important impact on health and education, especially in the developing world, where the resources are scarce and thinly spread.”