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2008 Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2008

Six Degrees of Sharing

image of Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2008

Many developing countries are preparing for a second wave of regulatory reform designed to enable them to harness the promise of new technologies and participate fully in the information society. This report examines a range of innovative sharing strategies regulators can use to speed up the uptake of ICTs and promote widespread, affordable broadband access. This year's Trends focuses on "Six Degrees of Sharing", examining active and passive infrastructure sharing, open access to international capacity, business sharing, end-user sharing and regulatory sharing.

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Market and regulatory trends in the ICT sector

The year 2008 began with high hopes for developing countries’ dreams to connect their citizens to information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure. Late 2008 saw the number of mobile subscribers rise to an all time high, reaching an estimated 4 billion worldwide. A growing array of broadband wireless systems were now available, opening the way for users in developing countries to access the Internet on mobile phones and other handheld devices. At the same time, more developing countries were deploying national fibre backbones and backhaul networks to transport their growing data-rich traffic. In addition, several new international submarine cable networks were set to connect developing countries to the global network of Internet backbones – just as a group of high-tech entrepreneurs were working to revive plans for a constellation of broadband satellites for the developing world. Indeed, the first half of 2008 presented perhaps the rosiest picture in recent years for the ICT sector in developing countries.

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