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Mon 1 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

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"Living the digital world” indeed

The ITU Telecom World 2006 event held in Hong Kong earlier this month brought together representatives from the world’s communications sector and reconfirmed the vibrancy of the industry.

The ITU Telecom World 2006 event held in Hong Kong earlier this month brought together representatives from the world’s communications sector and reconfirmed the vibrancy of the industry. The event, which included a forum, an exhibition, and a series of breakout sessions aimed at discussing new trends and ideas, highlighted the opportunities that still exist at the most basic as well as at the most sophisticated levels of the industry.

The official theme of ITU Telecom World 2006 was “living the digital world”, pointing to the importance of emerging and developed markets alike in maximising the benefits of a connected world. Muhammad Yunus, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate is a key proponent for the digital world lifting people out of poverty. His Grameen Bank micro-lending philosophy is transferable to other economic areas, and he outlined the creation of the ICT Empowerment Network, which is a joint project between Grameen Bank, the ITU, and technology suppliers such as Qualcomm and Cisco Systems to collaborate in bringing ICT solutions to poorer individuals.

Big business was also on display at the show. Richard Li, chairman of multimedia giant PCCW spoke of his company’s position as the largest IPTV supplier in the world, and detailed the real moves being made in the demand for quadruple play services.

ITU Telecoms World also stood as the first event in which the recently merged Alcatel-Lucent was able to start building a new and distinct corporate identity as a combined entity. Late last month the companies announced the completion of their merger transaction and that they would begin operations as the world’s leading communication solutions provider on December 1.

The new company Alcatel-Lucent, with one of the largest global R&D capabilities in communications and the broadest wireless, wireline and services portfolio, is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. The company is now traded on Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange.

“Alcatel-Lucent will be for our customers a partner with the scale and scope to design, build and manage increasingly complex networks that deliver advanced converged services and communications experience to the end-user,” commented Serge Tchuruk, chairman of the board of Alcatel-Lucent. “That is what Alcatel-Lucent will deliver with an unparalleled focus on execution, innovation and service for our customers: the company will have the most experienced global services team in the telecommunications industry, as well as one of the largest research, technology and innovation organisations in the industry.”

Other suppliers were also keen to headline their progress. Home-grown Chinese telecoms equipment provider Huawei Technologies announced that its wireless datacard products have recorded sales of more than 1 million units, and showcased a HSDPA and a CDMA EVDO Rev. A datacard at the event. Huawei now expects full-year contract sales across the business to reach US$11 billion by the end of this year, having already achieved contract sales of US$5.2 billion in 1H06.

Amongst a number of announcements issued by resurgent Nortel at ITU Telecom World was the opening up of a new customer network management centre in Asia. The company’s Asia Network Management Centre in New Delhi joins similar facilities in London and Raleigh to provide network management, technology transformation and hosted application services for multivendor, multi-technology telecoms networks serving both local and multi-national companies. The move is aimed at heightening Nortel's local talent in the region.

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