• Sunday, April 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

ITU gets $9bn commitments from operators to expand connectivity

IXPN boosts Internet connectivity in Lagos

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has said it has secured commitments of $9 billion from mobile operators to expand global connectivity.

This was revealed by Doreen Bogdan-Martin, secretary-general of ITU on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) on Monday.

“Universal meaningful connectivity is within our grasp. Thanks to these new commitments, millions of people will benefit from accessible and affordable connectivity across the world,” he said.

John Giusti, chief regulatory officer at GSMA, applauded the ITU secretary-general’s focus on the importance of infrastructure investment to enable the digital economy.

“Mobile operators continuously invest in deploying and upgrading their networks, delivering benefits to citizens in all corners of the globe,” he said.

“I congratulate e&, China Telecom, Ooredoo, and VEON on their investment pledges. I am encouraged that MWC is the event of choice for such commitments and collaboration between the public and private sectors,” Giusti said.

The International Telecommunications Union said in a statement that these commitments build on the mobile industry’s strong support for ITU’s efforts to connect the world.

Alongside the new commitments, the UN Digital Agency also announced that it now has over 1,000 industry, academia, and organizational members in addition to its 193 Member States. This milestone marks the largest, most diverse membership in the agency’s history.

The new industry commitments brought the total current value of planned investment in infrastructure, services, and support to ITU’s Partner2Connect Digital Coalition since the platform opened in March 2022 to over $46 billion.