The fifth Asia Pacific Forum on Telecommunications and ICT Policy and Regulation was concluded today at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore. Hosted by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the ...
Singapore, 17 June 2005| For Immediate Release
Broadband Access and Competition Strategies Discussed
The fifth Asia Pacific Forum on Telecommunications and ICT Policy and Regulation was concluded today at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore. Hosted by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the three-day forum was organised in cooperation with the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT). At the close of the forum, APT members had shared their broad strategies to promote broadband access and competition in their respective economies. Mr. Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms) of IDA was also appointed as the new Chairman of the Asia Pacific Forum on Telecommunications and ICT Policy and Regulation. As Chairman, Mr. Leong, supported by 4 Vice-Chairmen from Fiji, Macao, Malaysia and Nepal, will guide and direct program formulation for the next Forum in 2006.
Themed, "Access and Competition in Broadband and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Development", the forum observed that there has been rapid ICT developments in the Asia Pacific region. Data from the International Telecommunications Union indicate that at the end of 2003, broadband subscribers from the Asia Pacific region constitute about 42.9% of total subscribers globally. The Asia Pacific region is also home to about 560 million mobile services subscribers, making up about 41% of total world mobile subscribers in 2003. Over the last decade (1993-2003), mobile telephony in Asia also grew by a compound average growth rate of about 39.4%.
Member countries also shared a wide array of views and experiences on licensing, financing schemes, new technologies such as VoIP and next generation networks, and strategies for leveraging ICT to create digital dividends and enhancing rural broadband access. The discussion reflected the diversity of the APT membership, which represents Asia Pacific countries of all sizes, economic structures and levels of development.
The forum also noted significant developments in the Asia-Pacific region, which have in recent years introduced competition in their telecommunications sector. This in turn, has brought about significant growth to the region within a short period of time in infrastructure development, introduction of broadband services and massive reduction in telephone connection charges and tariffs.
A total of 135 participants representing governments, international organisations and the private sector attended the forum. Regulatory heads from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Iran, Japan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Southeast Asian countries as well as the Pacific Islands participated in the annual forum which lasted from 15 - 17 June 2005.
Realising the value of continuing dialogue and exchanges among telecommunications regulators and ICT policy makers, the APT has decided to make the forum a regular feature of future APT programs. The next forum will be conducted next year at a yet to be determined location.
JOINTLY ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE &
ASIA PACIFIC TELECOMMUNITY
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocomm in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies.
About the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity
The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) is the leading intergovernmental organisation for the development of telecommunications and ICT in the Asia-Pacific region. The APT was established by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in July 1979 with the objective to promote the development of telecommunications and ICT services in the Asia-Pacific region, with particular emphasis on the developing countries. Currently, the APT has a strength of 32 full Members, 4 Associate Members, and 94 Affiliate Members. The Headquarters of the APT is located in Bangkok. Further information about the APT is available at the APT website, http://www.aptsec.org.
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