Opening the conclave, International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Hamadoun I Touré said, "We are at a tipping point in our global society; a tipping point where the pace of technological innovation has the potential to change the world for good - and for the better. Our discussions here at ITU Telecom World 2013 are an important part of that change."

Sharing his perspective on the theme of embracing and adapting to change in a digital world, chairman of Doha-based Ooredoo Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani said, "Change has driven how we work. From the early days of phone lines and fixed connections through to the beginnings of mobile, to today's data revolution, where the mobile device has become the essential portal to the opportunities of the Internet. To survive and thrive in this industry, companies have needed to be nimble, innovative and capable of responding to change."

China Mobile president Yue Li referred to the impressive growth of the global ICT market and the opportunities this presents.

"By 2016 the global ICT market will exceed USD 5,000 billion, and for the Chinese market it will be more than USD 631 billion, creating a whole brand new opportunity for the telecom industry," he said.

Outlining his vision for making this a reality, he added, "We believe there are three major characteristics for this opportunity: smart devices, the cloud computing platform and a 4G-based mobile broadband network."

Thailand's Information and Communication Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap said, "Being the host of this notable event indicates the good sign of collaboration to strengthen ICT development in South East Asia and to enhance the whole region to be ready for the Digital Era."

Over four days, the delegates will focus on five central topics: changes in the way people communicate with each other, the need for new business models in a data-centric era, shifting industry dynamics, changes in technology and the need for new regulatory and standardization approaches.

The event will feature a showfloor showcasing products, technologies and investment opportunities from around the world and a range of networking events and occasions.

The showfloor will also host the InnovationSpace, where the finalists of the ITU Young Innovators' Competition will demonstrate their winning technology-based solutions to developmental challenges, and The Lab, showing the future in action from robotics to wearable tech and 3D printing.


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