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ACA involved in harmonisation of standards

Media Release Australian Communications Information Technology and the Arts Portfolio

ACA involved in harmonisation of standards to assist regional recovery

The first working meeting of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity Telecommunications Standardisation Program (ASTAP) was held from 23-25 June in Singapore in conjunction with the CommunicAsia trade show.

The meeting agreed on priorities for a program of advanced standardisation in telecommunications and accelerated development of standardisation contributions relevant to the Asia-Pacific region, within the framework of international standards.

Participants in the meeting were telecommunications regulators, operators and industry suppliers from throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Important contributions were considered and priorities set down for the following areas, with work focused on adding value within the region:

network management;

intelligent networks;

environmental issues;

International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT-2000);

intelligent transport systems;

fixed wireless access;

interoperability;

the Internet;

Asia-Pacific information infrastructure; and

digital broadcasting.

At the meeting Dr Bob Horton, Deputy Chairman of the Australian Communications Authority, was elected Chairman of the ASTAP program. Tjai Cheong Hee of Singapore, P.K. Mittal of India, Kenji Tanaka of Japan and Dr Byong-Moon Chin of the Republic of Korea were elected Vice-Chairmen. Dr Theodor Irmer, former Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau of the ITU, was elected as a member of an Advisory Board for the program.

ASTAP was first proposed in February 1998 by the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) to accelerate standardisation activities in the Asia-Pacific region and to enhance the region's participation in the global telecommunications standardisation process. The organisation involves some 27 countries within the Asia-Pacific region, representing enormous market potential, on a scale that potentially dwarfs other regional markets.

Dr Horton said, "It is estimated that global industry revenue for telecommunications equipment and services will be around US$1,300 billion in the year 2000. Although the Asia-Pacific region constitutes a potentially huge market for the industry, the region does not yet draw the full benefit of the influence of harmonised standardisation. ASTAP is working to promote regional influence, which will, in turn, assist economic recovery and achieve new heights within this region.

"Increasing business and community demands, coupled with globalisation and rapid technological development, have led to an urgent need to ensure global connectivity of telecommunication networks. Standardisation of telecommunications equipment and services should thus also be cognisant of global connectivity, and ASTAP's work is a vital key to this process," he added.

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