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Chance to meet Buzz Aldrin at Auckland Conference

Planet 2010 – Kiwis to celebrate future with
second man on the moon

Kiwis will get a chance to meet the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, next year as part of an innovative new communications and technology conference Planet 2010: Visit the Future.

Organised by the Telecommunications Industry Group (TIG), the inaugural Auckland based conference on 12 and 13 March 2010 will see the telecommunications industry come together for the first time to showcase the future and value of communications technology to New Zealand.

Rob Spray, Chief Executive Officer of TIG, believes visitors to the conference, which is aimed at both businesses and the public, will be impressed with how far the industry has come and what the future holds.

“Planet 2010 will give attendees a real taste for what telecommunications has delivered in our lives, in New Zealand society and for the economy. Telecommunications is opening up a whole new world of opportunity and possibilities for businesses, consumers and society in general – and this will all be on display,” says Mr Spray.

“We’re honoured to have Buzz Aldrin on board. He is a real pioneering spirit, innovative and inspiring – his very character epitomises all that this future-focused event is about."

A leading space exploration advocate, Aldrin was the Lunar Module pilot on Apollo II, the first lunar landing. On 20 July 1969, he was the second person to set foot on the Moon, following his mission commander Neil Armstrong.

Mr Spray adds: “Like the ‘one giant leap for mankind’, the telecommunications sector has made huge leaps over the past decade. Businesses, farmers and consumers can look forward to many more major developments as new and better technology becomes available.”

Planet 2010 will feature 25 speakers and 45 exhibitors. Day one is set down for businesses with Mr Aldrin speaking, and day two is open to the public also with an appearance by Mr Aldrin.

“The interactive exhibitions will be incredible and quite unlike anything previously seen in New Zealand,” says Mr Spray. “Businesses can examine future trends and discover a range of products and services that will enable them to future fit themselves for further growth.”

The event offers businesses an opportunity to evaluate how they can make improvements through technology, including reducing costs, increasing productivity, effectively leveraging supply chain and building customer loyalty. These sessions will be structured into specifically targeted presentations on telecommunications-enabled solutions for five industry sectors – Small Businesses, Corporates, Rural, Education and In the Home (consumers).

“Telecommunications has a huge role to play in business growth and this event is the first of a number of initiatives TIG is planning to acknowledge and increase the social and economic value of telecommunications to New Zealand,” says Mr Spray.

Over the last 10 years the telecommunications industry has invested over $12 billion in private money in New Zealand, making it the largest private investor in the country, employing over 60,000 people and having a significant impact on GDP. The past decade has seen the industry deliver over 30% of productivity improvements nationally, and it is expected to deliver even more over the next 10 years.

“The conference is not so much about high-tech hardware, though there’ll be plenty of that,” says Mr Spray. “It’s more about how telecommunications is opening up a whole new world of opportunity, linking devices and applications with needs and unleashing some amazing possibilities for businesses, consumers and society in general.”

Planet 2010 is sponsored by companies such as Vodafone, Telecom, TVNZ and Hewlett Packard, and will take place at SKYCITY Auckland on 12 and 13 March 2010. There will be a range of national competitions launched over the coming months and much of the event content will be available nationally via TVNZ online and TVNZ 6 and 7.

ENDS

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