Radical change underway, but who’s in the driving seat?


Radical transformation of the ICT sector has already brought us a host of life-changing innovations. Take the mobile industry, which has transformed from a niche luxury for a small pool of users at its inception in the 1980s to must-have devices and a critical utility for billions of the world’s population today. This impressive growth in the power, connectivity and flexibility of devices and networks has also hugely impacted the type, availability and monetization of content we now expect to readily access on them.

Now, a host of new developments and technologies that have been discussed, planned or initiated over many years are coming both to fruition and to the market, moving beyond the realm of science fiction or the reach of only the very wealthy. IoT, cloud computing, social media, driverless cars, big data, predictive analysis, artificial intelligence, augmented humanity, virtual reality, immersive experiences, robotics, deep learning, wearable technology, embedded technology, 3D and 4D printing, solar power, digital currencies, nano-, neuro- and bio-technology – these things are happening now, at the same time, with very quick developmental cycles and with huge economic and social impact.

This is exponential change, and looks set to continue its dramatic acceleration, leading to entirely interdependent and co-dependent ecosystems, a mash-up of new players disrupting existing, and forging entirely new industries and business models.

Because of the need to innovate and test products at increasingly rapid pace, small and medium businesses (SMEs) entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators are an increasingly integral part of this industry transformation. Small and nimble, they are able to act quickly to meet the ever-changing, or even unimagined, needs of the industry and consumers and bring their innovative ideas to market. It is SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs who are driving innovation in local markets and contexts, powering the digital economy. Major players as well as governments and regulators need to actively foster these small businesses and their innovative concepts, and in so doing, play their part in accelerating the development and scale of innovative solutions, driving industry growth.

Accelerating innovation, realizing potential and maximizing impact

ITU Telecom World 2015 is the global platform to accelerate ICT innovations for social and economic development through exhibiting solutions, sharing knowledge and making meaningful connections. Taking place from 12 to 15 October, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary, the event aims to help ideas and businesses go further, faster to make the world better, sooner.

ITU Telecom World 2015 builds awareness of the ongoing transformation of the ICT industry and its implications for businesses and society, highlighting the importance of SMEs, entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators as an increasingly critical link in the ICT system. It works to develop the enabling framework, policies and partnerships for innovation to happen more quickly and at scale, bringing the enormous benefits of digital technologies to as many people as possible, as soon as possible.

The event brings together leaders from public and private sectors including heads of state and government, ministers, regulators, industry CEOs, investors, SMEs, entrepreneurs and innovators, academics and consultants to facilitate ICT innovations for economic growth and social good.

The exhibition at ITU Telecom World 2015 enables national pavilions, industry stands, SMEs and start-ups to showcase products, technologies, investment opportunities and potential partnerships from around the world in a unique international business environment. A range of structured networking events, occasions and spaces facilitates the connections between the private sector and government, and between individuals and ideas, which are central to success.

Interactive Forum discussions at ITU Telecom World 2015 examine the key trends and developments in technology, regulatory and policy issues, business models, services and applications – focusing on four major areas:

Innovation: How can governments, regulators, operators and vendors foster small businesses and innovative concepts, accelerate innovation and drive industry growth?

Partnerships: How can we break down silos between governments, public/private sector and across verticals, to forge mutually beneficial partnerships? And what are the opportunities for partnerships with SMEs, start-ups and innovation hubs?

Regulation: Regulators are the key enablers in the new ecosystem, responsible for the framework for growth from spectrum to privacy and security, cross-sector partnerships to new business models, fair competition to universal connectivity. What approaches and regulatory concepts are working best?

Emerging Markets: Nowhere does ICT development offer so many opportunities as in emerging markets. Not only do they offer the potential to leapfrog existing development stages, avoiding complications of legacy infrastructure but also offer exciting opportunities to existing players and newcomers alike. But what are the unique opportunities and challenges from an emerging market perspective.

ITU Telecom World 2015 takes place from 12-15 October in Budapest, Hungary at the Hungexpo venue. For more information about how to take part visit http://telecomworld.itu.int/

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