Nº 10 2012 > Regional focus
Enhancing public-private partnerships in the Commonwealth of Independent States
From 22 to 24 August 2012, on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan, ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), in collaboration with the Razzakov Kyrgyz State Technical University's Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications, held a workshop to discuss ways of enhancing public-private partnerships in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the context of ITU Sector activities.
The CIS are endowed with considerable scientific and technical potential in the sphere of telecommunications and infocommunication technologies. Almost all these countries have universities training specialists in this area. Scientific and technical institutes, equipment manufacturers, private communication company operators are as a rule involved in many public and private development programmes in information and communication technologies (ICT), tackling such topics as deployment of broadband, e‑government, e‑education, e‑health and e‑commerce.
Yet many of the private-sector entities in the CIS are poorly integrated into ITU Sector activities, with the result that national ICT programmes may not benefit from international experience and innovative solutions adopted by other countries. Enhancing public-private partnerships in the context of ITU Sector activities would help to resolve such difficulties.
ITU Sector membership, which comprises regional organizations, scientific and financial institutions, private companies and academic institutions working in the sphere of ICT, acts as a catalyst in the development of partnerships between public and private institutions. Joint participation by private companies and State institutions in the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU–D) projects can boost innovation and economic activity.
ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU–R) plays a crucial role in global management of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. Its mission is to ensure the rational, equitable, efficient and economical use of the radio-frequency spectrum by all radiocommunication services, including those using satellite orbits, and to carry out studies and approve Recommendations on radiocommunication matters. In doing so, ITU–R aims to create the conditions for harmonized development and efficient operation of existing and new radiocommunication systems.
The mandate of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU–T) covers the development of technologies and global standards. ITU–T promotes accessibility and the adoption of international standards to ensure seamless global interoperability for next-generation networks. Other important areas of ITU–T work involve bolstering confidence and security in the use of ICT, emergency communications, reducing the impact of ICT on the environment, and using ICT to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The workshop in Issyk-Kul was attended by representatives of all three ITU Bureaux and the Executive Committee of the Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications (RCC), and 61 other representatives of public and private bodies from nine countries.
At the opening session, participants were welcomed by the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic, Nurlan Bayaman, and by representatives of ITU and RCC.
The first session considered public-private partnerships in the context of ITU–D. Pyotr Petrovich Vorobienko (Ukraine), Rector of the A.S Popov National Academy of Communications in Odessa, Ukraine, gave a presentation on “Strengthening ITU–D’s presence in the developing countries”. E. Bondarenko (Russian Federation), Deputy Director of the closed joint stock company Interveil, presented draft BDT Recommendations on the use of mobile communications for building e‑government services, while three reports by representatives of Kyrgyzstan gave interesting examples of public-private partnerships. In Mr Vorobienko’s view, “initiatives such as the creation of a laboratory training complex at the Razzakov University, the development of its data centre and collaboration with other universities on distance learning, the interactive television channel “Alippe.TV”, and the “Megabilim” Internet access programme for schools in Kyrgyzstan, are all examples of public-private partnership in the CIS within the framework of ITU Sector activities”.
The second session focused on ITU–R, and François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, described the history, mission, methods and role of the Sector. “The ITU Radiocommunication Sector plays a vital role in the global management of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits, which are limited natural resources”, said Mr Rancy. ITU representatives provided an overview of the work of ITU–R study groups, and A. Kononov, Director of the open joint stock company Giprosvyaz of Belarus, outlined the work of the methodological advisory centre for assistance to RCC Member States on analogue to digital transition.
The third session was devoted to ITU–T and covered the mandate, methods and role of the Sector, and its conformity assessment and interoperability testing programmes. A. Osadchi, Director of the Leningrad Branch of the Central Scientific Research Institute for Communications in St Petersburg in the Russian Federation, presented new developments in broadband access technologies.
A round table wrap-up discussion looked at ways of developing partnerships between the region’s scientific and academic institutions and the ITU Sectors, and ways of expanding public-private partnerships: “The whole gamut of ITU Sector activities has been discussed”, said Vadim Anatolevich Kaptur, Pro-rector for academic activities of the A.S Popov National Academy of Communications in Odessa, looking forward to “training for staff from the region in collaboration with ITU”.
Mr Vorobienko stressed that “people need to be informed about ITU’s role as part of their education. I would suggest that higher educational establishments should introduce three or four hours’ worth of classes on ITU’s role as a separate course”.
Taking up that theme, Baiysh Nurmatov, Director of the Electronics and Telecommunications Institute, Razzakov Kyrgyz State Technical University, said that “in order to enhance public-private partnerships in the context of ITU Sector activities, we need to start training people from the moment they enter the lecture room. We intend to set up a special ITU activities page on the Institute’s website. This will help students and anyone else working in the sector to study ITU’s international experience and will thus promote the development of an environment conducive to active partnerships between public and private actors in the framework of ITU Sector activities”.
Vadim Vladlenovich Fitsov, Vice-Dean of the Faculty for Communications Networks, Switching Systems and Computing Technology, of the Bonch-Bruevich State Telecommunications University in St Petersburg in the Russian Federation, agreed that “having an information webpage devoted to ITU’s work will encourage students to use the resources available at www.itu.int in their own areas of study. With the rapid pace of communication technology development, higher education establishments cannot equip their labs with the latest technology that is so vital for training future specialists. It is only with the help of the vendors and State communication operators that we can provide today’s specialists and managers with the skills they need. One example of this is the transfer free-of-charge of telecommunication equipment to our university for student training. Demonstrations of the latest developments by the vendors are also very important, not only for operators but also for students, as a way of familiarizing them with the latest trends in the sector”.
As Mr Bayaman said, “enhancing public-private partnerships within the framework of the activities of the ITU Sectors will help solve the problems of ICT development in Kyrgyzstan.”