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2016 Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2016

Regulatory Incentives to Achieve Digital Opportunities

image of Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2016

The annual Trends in Telecommunication Reform publications are a key part of the dialogue with the world’s information and communications technology (ICT) policy-makers and regulators in an increasingly converged digital environment. Under the overarching theme “Regulatory incentives to achieve digital opportunities”, the 16th edition of Trends explores topical issues regulators need to address to ensure that citizens can benefit from the social and economic opportunities brought about by the digital economy. For digital opportunities to fully materialize, an adaptive, consultative and innovative approach to ICT policy and regulation is more than ever necessary. The thematic chapters, drawing up from discussion papers presented at the 2015 ITU Global Symposium for Regulators, examine investment strategies to foster the deployment of broadband and access to the digital economy, network sharing and co-investment regulation, regulation and the Internet of Things (IoT), interoperability in the digital ecosystem and smart regulation to facilitate m-services and applications uptake and diffusion.

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Conclusion

Midway through the 2010s, evidence points strongly to the potential for a global take-off of mobile broadband services, bringing with it expanded access to the Internet and the Digital Economy. ITU statistics indicate that the number of mobile-cellular subscriptions worldwide is approaching the number of people on Earth, which is estimated at above 7 billion -- up from just 738 million in 2000. This corresponds to a global mobile service penetration rate of 97 per cent. Meanwhile, an estimated 3.2 billion people globally are using the Internet, of which 2 billion are from developing countries.

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