The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) Plenipotentiary Conference, dubbed the “IT Olympics,” is set to kick off in Busan. It is slated to open today at BEXCO in Centum City for three weeks from Oct. 20-Nov. 7.
The conference is one of three recent mega-scale global events along with Russia’s Sochi Winter Olympics last February and Brazil’s World Cup last June. This time, the conference will be attended by 150 ministerial-level and 3,000 conference-related personnel from 193 ITU member nations.
The meeting will be the largest ever in its history. It will be even bigger than the 2010 Mexico ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, which was attended by 131 ministerial-level staff from 174 nations, 50 ambassadors and 2,378 conference workers.
It is also expected that corporations specializing in IT, as well as overseas and local buyers and some 300,000 tourists, will visit Busan for the event.
Busan City is planning to turn the Busan ITU Plenipotentiary Conference into an international festival.
The conference includes core agendas such as main and subcommittee meetings at which ITU technology-related pacts are amended and where a secretary general and other officials are elected.
The city is also set to organize a bevy of diverse events such as the World IT Show, Korea Science Creativity Festival and Health-IT Fusion Exhibition where tourists and citizens can participate together.
One of the special events, the World IT Show (Oct. 20-23), is the largest local ICT (Information and Communication Technology) exhibition showcasing mobile communication, networks, software and other products related to ICT.
Nine themed halls will be set up, such as the Ubiquitous, Smart Device and IT Fusion Solution halls. In the Ubiquitous Hall, one can use “giga wifi,” which sends data wirelessly at 1.3 gigabytes per second.
Korea is 2nd Asian country to host ITU
What is the ITU?
The ITU is an international organization specializing in the information and communication field under the United Nations (UN). Ever since its foundation in 1865, the ITU has boasted the highest privilege and status among international organizations. Its roles include managing the international radio-frequency spectrum and standardizing IT-related criteria that vary country to country.
The ITU holds a meeting to discuss major agendas related with ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and is therefore called a plenipotentiary conference.
As the event is held every four years, like the Olympics or the World Cup, it is also nicknamed the “ICT Olympics.” The first conference of its kind was hosted in Paris, France, in 1865, and the Busan event marks the 19th edition.
The next ITU Plenipotentiary Conference will occur in Asia for the first time in 20 years, after being held in Kyoto, Japan, in 1994.
The Korea Information Society Development Institute estimates that the Busan ITU Plenipotentiary Conference’s economic spinoff effect will reach 711.8 billion won ($683.5 million). To break it down, it is estimated that the conference will bring in 140.7 billion won. The ICT exhibition and Hallyu (Korean Wave) tourism will amount to 93.3 billion won while e-government export is projected to reach 117.8 billion won and ICT brand promotion exports should draw in 360 billion won.
Busan anticipates that it will garner a direct economic effect reaching almost 100 billion won from the conference.
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Must-see events at the ITU
Mobile 360, in connection with the World IT Show, is a mobile communication global conference hosted by the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA), which has 1,000 member companies around the world.
The 2014 Big Data World Congress, showcasing the latest local and overseas big data-related technology, is to be held at BEXCO’s auditorium Oct. 22-23.
The Health IT Fusion Exhibition (Oct. 27-29) will display and promote top-notch products and technology in the fields of digital hospital, u-health and bio on the back of Korea’s superb ICT.
This exhibition is considered a must-visit event for Busan citizens and tourists among the ITU Conference events.
Cloud Expo will also kick off at the same place during the same period. The event will be joined by a slew of corporations specializing in cloud (online data storage technology), infra, security and platform services.
The Global ICT Premier Forum (Oct. 27-28) offers opportunities to listen to various lectures as it has invited ICT field experts and CEOs from around the world.
The IPIN (Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation) Conference, an international event related with indoor space information and its use, is scheduled to be held at BEXCO Exhibition Hall 2 for four days from Oct. 27.
Later, the Korea Science Creativity Festival is slated to happen at BEXCO Exhibition Hall 2 from Nov. 3-8. The festival will feature some 400 programs that viewers can participate in and it is where some 300 national schools, research institutes and organizations will display up-to-date science technology. The event is perfect for families as it features diverse activities such as science talk shows and concerts.
During the conference period, colorful performances will be showcased every day in BEXCO’s outdoor plaza. From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. there will be numerous presentations such as taekwondo and magic shows, alongside traditional cultural performances like the Dongnae crane dance, traditional Korean music and a recreation of a traditional Korean wedding.
In many corners of Busan, a wide range of traditional performances will entertain foreign tourists and ITU attendees who visit Busan for the ITU Conference. These include traditional music performances at Busan Cultural Center on Oct. 25 and traditional folk plays at Yongdusan Park at 2 p.m. Oct. 25 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 1.
Visit the ITU homepage www.itupp2014.go.kr for more information.
Source: Busan City News
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