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Confidence key to surviving the downturn

20 февраля 2009

ITU unveils new report at MWC to provide information and analysis about the impact of the global crisis on ICT.

The telecoms industry will be hit by the global downturn, although probably not as hard as other business sectors. But attitudes need to change to ensure that the industry makes the best use of its opportunities during this recessionary period.

"What's changed is how fast money is moving around the world," said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Toure. "That speed is slowing down and this is having a psychological effect on people."

But Dr Toure stressed that it is important to remain confident at this time.
Key to this, he said, will be the provision of regular hard facts and analysis about the global situation in order to avoid any groundless fears of what might come next.

"There is a crisis, but the crisis should not overshadow connecting the world," he added.

The ITU has stepped in to help provide more information about how the crisis is affecting the ICT industry. At the Mobile World Congress in
Barcelona it launched a new report, Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry, which gathers together views and analysis from companies, banks and analysts around the world.

In the report, analysts underlined the need for ICT as vital services and also suggested that fixed-mobile substitution and a switch to mobile telephony may gain momentum in developed markets during a prolonged recession.

The report also said that long project lead times for the satellite industry mean that it has been less affected in the short term, with strong recent growth in demand from developing countries.

Further key points were that the financial difficulties facing the private sector could add to pressure for government intervention in the financing of national backbone infrastructure; that although by early 2009 some operators had cut capital expenditure (CAPEX) by 10-15%, many telecommunication companies acknowledge that investment is vital to maintain quality of services; and that equipment vendors may be first in the firing line of cuts in investment, but soaring growth in mobile telephony in developing countries has not yet been affected by the crisis.

Dr Toure added that an important role for governments is to ensure that they put in place clear and effective regulation to enable investment in new infrastructure and thus create jobs.

He said they should also work more closely with international organizations like the ITU to identify what services and applications will emerge in five years' time in order to prepare the workforce "at the right time".

He added that mistakes will be made and lessons can be learnt from bad experiences. But these lessons need to be made available to everyone so that mistakes are not repeated: "We enter the 'knowledge society' only when citizens can use and share information globally," Dr Toure said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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