IMT 2000

16th Meeting of ITU-R Task Group 8/1

Opening Address

International Telecommunication Union

Fortaleza, Brazil - 8 March 1999

Mr. Michael Callendar, Chairman of this meeting,
Mr. Renato Guerreiro, President of the Board of ANATEL,
Mr. Josť Leite Pereira-Filho, Member of the Board of ANATEL, Mr. Juan Zavattiero, Chief of the ITU Office for the Americas, Mr. Fabio Leite, Technical Secretary of this meeting,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to address these opening remarks to you all at the 16th meeting of Task Group 8/1.  First of all I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the Brazilian administration for its kind invitation to host this meeting. My particular thanks go to our friends of ANATEL and all the staff dedicated to make this important meeting a success.  You may think it unusual for the Secretary-General of the ITU to be here.  This is my first mission outside Geneva after taking up office on February 1st , and all elected officials of the ITU are very busy tackling many administrative issues which have been handed over from the previous officials and are preparing the budget for the forthcoming ITU Council meeting. But I dared to come to Fortaleza to say a few words to you. I will tell you why.

Studies on IMT-2000 were initiated in ITU many years ago and, today, it is the most important project of the ITU. It is the next generation mobile systems whose new services will include fast wireless access to the Internet, full-motion video-phone, real-time video-conferencing, etc. which are expected at the beginning of next century. It aims at system compatibility for international operation so that you can use your terminal wherever you go on the globe.  To do so, a global standard to secure maximum commonality among systems has been looked for.

It will achieve economies of scale and will ensure that the overall cost per mobile user is significantly less than with present systems. For developing countries, fixed wireless access to basic telecommunications will be an important application of IMT-2000 because of its cost-effectiveness and ease of implementation and management. It will surely benefit everybody in the world, not only those in industrialized countries, but also in developing countries.

You have worked hard targeting this highly ideal goal with respectable enthusiasm, and your work has come to the stage of today. As all of you know, you are facing critical points at this moment. I came here today to you to recall the original idea, or motivation of the work of Task Group 8/1, that is to say maximum commonality and compatibility. We have to bear in mind the inspiring target, and we have to think about the future benefit to be brought to the whole world, or billions of people, by your work.

Your efforts to develop global standards for third generation mobile systems are really admirable and a global standard is the most crucial goal wished for by the telecommunications users of the world today. I feel that it is my duty to do my utmost to assist you in building this important pathway towards the ideal global personal mobile communications network. Therefore, I am here to express my thoughts to you and to the world.

I have recently established an inter-sector IMT-2000 Task Force in the Headquarters of the ITU. Since a number of Departments and Sections in the Headquarters are involved in the work for IMT-2000, the Task Force will align their work toward one direction and ensure more concerted, coordinated and efficient actions in the different areas involved, and thus assist your work better. It will also pursue a number of specific tasks, such as improvement of web pages, some actions in TELECOM-99, actions for cooperation and collaboration with other organizations and legal analysis of IPR issues.

There is another movement in the ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Sector. To provide better focus and faster results in mobile network standards, it is being proposed to set up a Joint Group on IMT-2000, specifically for signaling, management and security. Since concerned Study Groups are meeting in Geneva next week, I expect that the establishment of the Joint Group will accelerate the ITU-T work and ensure effectiveness in meeting industry needs for global standards. Again, I will extend my utmost support to such activities for IMT-2000.

Among others, the current Task Group 8/1 activity of evaluating and harmonizing the different candidate radio transmission technologies for IMT-2000 is of the most importance, because it decides the framework of IMT 2000.

Your preparation for the next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) should also be one of the hottest topics. I heard you have identified the need for more spectrum for IMT-2000 based on the forecast of the dramatic worldwide demand.  The ITU has already started a preliminary discussion about the 4th generation mobile communication systems. Taking into account the time-scale spent for the work of this Task Group on IMT-2000, it would be natural for the ITU to start some work for the 4th generation systems now, although your work on the 3rd generation systems has yet to be finalized.

IMT-2000 will play a vital part of the next generation telecommunications and information industry. The increasingly global nature of all telecommunications requires leadership by the ITU for the establishment of truly international standards. I assure you that the ITU will continuously provide the industry with what is necessary for the effective and timely accomplishment of their goals.

I wish you a very successful meeting!

Copyright 1999