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Living the Digital World

What are the aims of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)?

ITU is the United Nations Agency responsible for telecommunications. Within ITU governments and the private sector coordinate global telecom networks and services. ITU TELECOM is a key part of the ITU, and organizes prestigious ICT events.

What does the TELECOM WORLD look like?

Participants are usually struck by the scale and diversity of exhibitors and the huge range of technologies on display. In the midst of the show floor is the TELECOM Village, a business and networking hub where companies can base their onsite corporate headquarters. Alongside the Exhibition is the Forum, where participants can hear presentations from the world's leading ICT names and take part in forward-looking debates. Of course, there is more to see like the Youth Forum and networking functions.

What are the issues of ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 "Living the Digital World" in Hong Kong?

Exciting new technologies such as different wireless standards and IP-based services are entering the mainstream. Attendees will be keen to explore these, as well as meet the right people for talks and negotiations. With so many top representatives of the industry expected at the event, it provides an ideal opportunity to discuss major issues and get down to business!

Why have you chosen Geneva for 2009?

We were very impressed with all the candidates: Paris, Birmingham, Dubai and Geneva. All are well-known trade destinations with excellent infrastructures. It was a close fought competition to select a host. Ultimately we chose Geneva, as it offered the most attractive destination for our attendees. It possesses know-how of staging our events, having hosted them previously. It enjoys a central geographic location, and a "neutral" telecommunications market. The decision also takes into account the need to respond to the ICT industry to see the event move to another major ICT market after Hong Kong.

Why is it attractive for cities to host ITU?
Our next WORLD event is expected to attract up to 57,000 visitors, including 2,000 VIP-guests. From an economic point of view they bring considerable benefit. Hong Kong's Financial Secretary is expecting direct economic benefits to the local economy approximately USD155m. We are expecting around 1,500 media from 45 countries, guaranteeing a lot of visibility on the world stage!

Fernando Lagrana is Executive Manager of ITU Telecom in Geneva. www.itu.int

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