The Telecommunication market
The Telecommunication market is the second largest market in the world as it is evident that financial institutions are transferring about $2. 3 trillion or more electronically everyday . Further researchers, educators, politicians, and other use electronic means to exchange information. Due to interconnectedness, the demand for telecommunication services that transmit voice and data electronically is swiftly escalating.
Trade in telecommunication services include the transmission of an electrical signal that always crosses national boundaries and it has to be received, routed and terminated within the foreign nation in order to be successful. The supply of telecommunication services require an underlying infrastructure whereby the supplier and recipient of service can communicate. Telecommunication Industry has witnessed rapid changes and the diversity in policies which in turn have resulted in an impulsion for exploring new common ground in the global market scenario.
ITU tried to offer such frame work but its heritage as the institution tied to monopoly in the telecommunication industry proved too be an uphill task. Further ITU has lacked the power to lay down definitive rules for a market in which the cross-border supply of telecommunications services and capital, the hallmarks of every other market in high technology, was now a decisive issue.
This research is specially focusing its attention whether telecommunications policies laid by GATT and ITU are competing with each other or of more complementing nature and what are the positive effects of such liberalization and privatization on telecommunication industry in detail. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the world’s oldest intergovernmental organisation and it was established in 1865 as International Telegraph Union. The main purpose of the ITU was to support standardization of radio and telephone operations and became the International Telecommunications union in 1932.
ITU became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1947. Recognition by United Nations helped ITU to rebuild its international acceptance. ITU has 188 member states and about 500 sector members in private sector. Out of the above members, about 72 are also part of the WTO world either in whole or in part. It is to be noted that about 116 member states accounting for less than 45% of global population are not part of the WTO telecom world. About 60 WTO members are yet to make market access commitments.
ITU is currently in charge for international radio and telecommunication standards and regulations which includes provision of radio frequency spectrums , endeavoring to reduce international radio interference ( jamming ) , propagating technical standards for telephone equipment ( including computer equipments such as modems) and services ( including international telephone service numbering plan ) setting rate structures for international telephone service and settlement of access charges and providing technical assistance to allow developing nations to promote telecommunications services.
The main function of the former the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT) and the present Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (ITU-T) is to propagate recommendations concerning technical standards and it is to be noted that these recommendation does not have any coercive power behind them and these recommendations were being followed by the manufacturers or providers of telecommunication equipment and services.
ITU is also concentrating on development of standards for emerging technologies. Understanding the need for frequent changes in standards due to rapid technological innovation, the ITU calls for telecommunication standardization conference once in four years or special conference at the request of one-quarter of the ITU member states to approve, modify or reject proposed standards and adopted standards become Recommendations and a Recommendation means a life or death to proposed telecommunication services.
ITU also recommends tariff rates and structures and these recommendations are used as a fundamental for bilateral agreements between countries or telecommunication companies regarding accounting and settlement of access charges and other rates for international communications. 1. Accomplishing improvement and rational use of telecommunications of all kinds by maintaining and extending international cooperation among all its member States.
2. To encourage and augment participation of entities and organisations in the activities of Union and foster fruitful cooperation and partnership between them and Member states for the attainment of the overall objectives as embodied in the purposes of Union. 3. To sponsor and to offer technical assistance to developing countries in the field of telecommunications and also to develop the mobilization of the material, human and financial resources needed for its implementation as well access to information. 4. To promote the expansion of benefits of the new telecommunication technologies to the entire world’s populace.
5. To promote the exploit of telecommunication services with the objective of facilitating peaceful relations. 6. To synchronize the actions of Member states and promote fruitful and constructive cooperation and partnership between Member States and Sector members in the attainment of those ends. 7. To develop at the International level, the espousal of a broader approach to the issues of telecommunications in the global information economy and society, by co-operating with the other world and regional intergovernmental organisations and those non-governmental organisations concerned with telecommunications.