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World Telecommunication Development Report 1996-1997

Trade in Telecommunications

image of World Telecommunication Development Report 1996-1997

The third edition explores the theme of telecommunications trade, covering both trade in equipment and trade in services. As well as providing up-to-date information on the outcome of the trade negotiations and analysis of new developments in electronic commerce, the report also presents ITU’s authoritative World Telecommunication Indicators for year end 1995. These statistics monitor the main indicators of network growth, mobile communications, pricing, revenues and investment for 200 plus economies worldwide.

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Telecommunication trade

What is trade in telecommunications, why does it matter and what are the benefits? The answers to these three questions occupy most of the substance of this book. International trade in telecommunications can be defined as sales of telecommunication equipment or services that cross national borders. The import and export of telecommunication equipment conforms well to our traditional understanding of trade as buying and selling. But trade in telecommunication services is a more difficult concept to grasp. It includes transactions that cross national borders, such as telephone calls or electronic mail sent from one country to another. It also covers foreign investment, such as the purchase of telephone companies by foreign investors or joint ventures between local and foreign partners to establish new telecommunication service companies. But what exactly is being bought and sold? In this report we explain how telecommunications is traded both as a product (visible) and a service (invisible).

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