Following his meeting in Geneva with Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Shola Taylor, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) has pledged to ensure the Organisation plays a greater role in coordinating the views of all Commonwealth member countries at international meetings, especially at treaty meetings convened by the ITU.
The meeting between the two organisations was the first of a series of meetings planned by Mr. Taylor with international organisations since assuming office on 17th September 2015.
“Coordinating the views of Commonwealth countries and agreeing on common objectives in advance of key international ICT decision-making meetings is an area where the CTO can do a lot more. Deliberations at conferences convened by the ITU, such as the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), the World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly (WTSA), the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC), or the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) can be made more effective with prior consultations among Commonwealth countries.”
“Meeting with Secretary-General Zhao was an opportunity to share first-hand with the ITU my vision for the CTO. And we are starting immediately, with a Commonwealth pre-WRC-15 meeting to take place in London on 7 – 9 October 2015, and which will be honoured by the presence of Festus Daudu, Chair-designate of WRC-15,” Secretary-General Taylor explained.
Welcoming Mr Taylor’s commitment to supporting global consensus efforts on ICTs, Secretary-General Zhao said he looked forward to both organisations working even more closely in the future. “The CTO has been a very engaged and active partner of ITU for many years, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to further strengthen this bond. The Commonwealth is an important and very diverse global group of countries, and we welcome the opportunity of ITU helping its members realise their connectivity goals in collaboration with the CTO and the Commonwealth Secretariat, as will be reported to the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in just a few weeks. Our relationship with the CTO will be a cornerstone of those efforts,” he said.
The two secretaries-general also discussed ongoing initiatives by the two organisations and agreed to collaborate more closely, including on regional initiatives.
In addition to holding preparatory meetings, the CTO plans to maintain its role in international fora, such as with the recent 2015 WSIS Forum held in May during which the CTO formally called for a sustainable development goal for universally accessed and universally used ICTs.
Spacecom inks deal for services on AMOS-6 Ka-Band payload
Spacecom, the operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, has announced that its AMOS-6 satellite was selected by Eutelsat and Facebook to provide satellite communication services in Sub Sahara Africa using the entire satellite’s Ka-band capacity.
Facebook and Eutelsat have partnered on a new initiative to leverage satellite technologies to increase the number of African citizens online. AMOS-6 will be the satellite backbone for this major operation.
The platform’s service is scheduled to commence during the second half of 2016. AMOS-6’s Ka-band payload will be combined with a dedicated system comprising of satellite capacity, gateways and terminals. It will be configured with high gain spot beams covering large parts of West, East and Southern Africa. The satellite’s Ka capacity is optimised for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment.
Using state of the art satellite technology, Eutelsat and Facebook will each deploy Internet services designed to relieve pent-up demand for connectivity from the many users in Africa beyond range of fixed and mobile terrestrial networks. Satellite networks are well suited to economically connecting people in low to medium density population areas. The high throughput satellite architecture of AMOS-6 is expected to contribute to additional gains in cost efficiency.
Commenting on the agreement, David Pollack, Spacecom’s president and CEO, said: “Eutelsat and Facebook’s selection of AMOS-6 for the initiation of this new platform provide further evidence of the quality of AMOS-6 and a statement of confidence in Spacecom. We are looking forward and proud to take part in contributing to the success of this tremendous venture.”