Nº 3 2013 > Digital Village in Mexico sets Guinness World Record
ITU Secretary-General visits Digital Village and meets with new ITU Sector Member, América Móvil
Telcel’s Digital Village (Aldea Digital) was recognized in April 2013 by Guinness World Records as the largest event for digital inclusion. From 16 to 26 March 2013, the Digital Village — a free-of-charge and open-to-everyone event — brought together more than 154 000 people at a site in the centre of Mexico City, on the Plaza del Zócalo alongside the Presidential Palace and Cathedral, emphasizing that broadband networks, services and applications are already at the centre of our everyday life.
Visitors were able to use smartphones, tablets and computers, as well as attend workshops and training, ranging from how to turn on a computer and surf the Internet, to the development of 3D and augmented reality design and building business online.
As reported in the March 2013 issue of ITU News, the meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in Mexico City on 16–17 March coincided with the opening of the Digital Village, and ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré addressed and toured the event, along with Carlos Slim Helú, the President of the Carlos Slim Foundation and Rwandan President Paul Kagame and other Broadband Commissioners.
According to Telcel, the high-level line-up of speakers from all over the world drew diverse crowds spanning all ages and generations — from young kids to their parents and grandparents — from tech-savvy developers to those for whom access to computers and the Internet was a novelty.
Having witnessed the Digital Village first-hand, the Secretary-General praised Telcel for their efforts to extend access to information and communication technologies (ICT) to all parts of society. “This is a great example that should be replicated elsewhere,” he said during the visit.
Dr Touré also met Daniel Hajj Aboumrad, CEO of América Móvil, to personally welcome América Móvil as a new member of all three Sectors of ITU. With 326 million subscribers at the end of 2012, América Móvil is now one of the world’s largest mobile operators.
Teams from América Móvil and ITU got together to address a number of key topics, including industry and policy and regulatory trends, as well as upcoming ITU events. These include the World Telecommunication/Information and Communication Technology Policy Forum (WTPF‑13), to be held in Geneva from 14 to 16 May, preceded by a high-level Strategic Dialogue on 13 May; the Global Symposium for Regulators in Warsaw, Poland, from 3 to 5 July; and the Global Youth Summit, to be held on 9–11 September in Costa Rica. The Secretary-General encouraged América Móvil, through its operating companies, to organize a digital village during the upcoming Global Youth Summit.