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ITU’s Bogdan-Martin punts satellite for connectivity

Africa , 04 Oct 2023
ITU secretary-general Doreen Bogdan-Martin.
ITU secretary-general Doreen Bogdan-Martin.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, secretary-general of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), says satellite networks are critical for improving access to information, education, health, and other key services.

She believes half way through the United Nations 2030 Agenda, satellite can assist re-establish the Sustainable Development Goals.

“With 2.6 billion people still offline worldwide, satellites are a critical part of our toolkit to connect the unconnected. Innovative space-based technologies offer increasingly economical connectivity for remote and underserved people and communities, including in the least-developed countries where about two-thirds of the population remains offline,” she said.

Bogdan Martin, writing in ITU News Magazine, stated that space services rely on efficient use of radio spectrum and associated orbits, and that these will be major topics at the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference, WRC23; the outcomes of which will shape digital development for the rest of the decade and beyond.

She noted: “When over 3,000 delegates from the member states of the ITU gather in Dubai towards the end of this year, they will negotiate intensively over updates to the radio regulations.

“The regulatory procedures outlined in that unique, extensive, ITU-maintained treaty include the coordination of radio-frequency assignments and avoidance of harmful radio interference to and from space services.”

The latest ITU News Magazine highlights such key topics for space services at WRC‑23.

“Alongside the nuts and bolts of spectrum regulation and harmonisation, we will tackle pressing questions about sustainability of the radio-frequency spectrum and associated satellite-orbit resources used by space services. In parallel, the conference gives us a prime opportunity to advance ITU’s central mission: connecting the whole world and leaving no one behind,” she said.

Bogdan-Martin began her four-year term as secretary-general of the United Nations technology agency in January, following her selection in September of last year.

She is the ITU's 12th secretary-general and the first woman to lead the organisation since its inception in 1865.

Before her appointment as secretary-general, Bogdan-Martin had been the director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau since 2019.

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