Countdown to the 16th Session of the General Assembly
The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity gears up for its 16th Session of the General Assembly. As the Community is stepping into the new three years cycle, GA-16 will adopt the Strategic Plan of APT for 2024-2026 which will outline the overall objectives and targets of APT in the next three-year period, and will also elect the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General who will lead us into a new era of the Community.
Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) organized the Meeting of the SATRC Working Group on Spectrum from 19 to 21 September 2023 in Colombo, Sri Lanka in hybrid format. The meeting was hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL). It was attended by 30 delegates including the enlisted experts of this Working Group from 9 SATRC Members and 4 Affiliate Members of APT. This meeting was organized as a part of the activities of SATRC Action Plan Phase VIII (SAP-VIII) which was adopted by the 22nd Meeting of SATRC (SATRC-22) in 2021. It was the second and final meeting of the WG SPEC for SAP-VIII.
The meeting discussed in detail and finalized the following draft SATRC Reports:
1. Approaches to Spectrum Harmonisation for 5G in SATRC Countries
2. Evaluation of Spectrum Utilization in SATRC Member Countries
3. Regulatory Approaches for Sharing, Trading and Leasing of Spectrum
4. Cross-border Coordination for Interference in SATRC Countries
5. Development of Spectrum Management Infrastructure, Procedure and Tools
The meeting also discussed and finalized the following proposals for new Work Items for SATRC Action Plan Phase IX (SAP-IX):
1. Spectrum Approaches and Regulatory Requirements for NGSO Satellite Constellations for Space-based Communication Services
2. Current Practices of Licensing and Spectrum Assignment in Land Mobile Radio Systems particularly in VHF and UHF Person-to-Person Voice Communication System in SATRC Countries
3. Spectrum Approaches and Regulatory Requirements to Enable Satellite-IMT Integration
4. Spectrum Outlook in SATRC Countries
5. Registration of Frequency Assignments in MIFR by SATRC Countries
6. Backhaul Infrastructure Readiness and Requirements for 5G Deployment in SATRC Countries
7. Efficient Valuation and Pricing of Spectrum in SATRC Countries
The above-mentioned draft SATRC Reports and the proposals for new Work Items for SAP-IX were considered by the 24th Meeting SATRC (SATRC-24) held from 3 to 5 October in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Based on the decisions of SATRC-24, WG SPEC will resume its activities for SAP-IX in early 2024.
SATRC-24 was held from 3 to 5 October 2023 in Dhaka, Bangladesh in hybrid format. The meeting was hosted by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). The meeting was attended by 101 delegates representing 9 SATRC Members, 13 Affiliate Members, 1 international organization, 2 other organizations, and APT Secretariat. The objectives of the meeting were to approve the outcomes of Action Plan Phase VIII, adopt the SATRC Action Plan Phase IX, as well as exchange views and share experiences among the Member regulators.
The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Honorable Speaker, Bangladesh Parliament with the presence of Mr. Mustafa Jabbar, Honorable Minister, Post and Telecommunication Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The meeting elected Mr. Shyam Sunder Sikder, Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) as the Chair of SATRC. The meeting also elected Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as Vice Chair of SATRC. The meeting considered the outcomes SATRC Action Plan Phase VIII and approved the reports on each work item under the SATRC working groups which have been undertaken for SATRC Action Plan Phase VIII. The meeting also approved SATRC Action Plan Phase IX for the period of 2024 to 2025 for its implementation. SATRC-24 also approved estimated budget for implementation of SATRC Action Plan Phase IX. SATRC Members committed to maintain their current level of extra-budgetary contributions for implementation of SATRC Action Plan Phase IX. The government of Japan also pledged to provide extra-budgetary contribution for organizing a SATRC Workshop under the implementation of Action Plan Phase IX.
The meeting also included Regulators’ Roundtable discussion and Regulator-Industry Dialogue. The theme for this year’s Regulators’ Roundtable was ‘Regulatory Interventions and Innovations for Sustainable Digital Future’. Under the theme, the roundtable session focused on two key issues:
- Digital Transformation, a key component to build Digital Future. Topics for discussion included policy and regulatory framework, digital governance, and the digital transformation process.
- Digital Infrastructure to realize a sustainable digital future. Topics for discussion included safe and resilient infrastructure, expanding access, and digital inclusion.
The theme for this year’s Regulator-Industry Dialogue was ‘Spectrum for Future’. Under the theme, two sessions were organized on
- how the management of spectrum is playing a crucial role from universal affordable connectivity to making a connecting digital future.
- efficient use of spectrum, role of the regulators, and cooperation among stakeholders. Availability of spectrum for emerging radiocommunication services and applications including satellite and terrestrial services were addressed in depth.
India offered to host the 25th SATRC Meeting in 2024. The meeting was completed successfully with the commitment of future cooperation and collaboration among the nine SATRC Member countries.
The 20th APT Telecommunication/ICT Development Forum (ADF-20) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 9 to 10 October 2023. The meeting was organized by Asia-Pacific Telecommunity in hybrid format (both physical and virtual/online attendance through APT Zoom meeting) and hosted by the Ministry of Communications and Digital (MCD) and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Malaysia.
The meeting was attended by 208 participants from APT Members, Associate Members, Affiliate Members, International Organizations, other organizations, and APT Secretariat.
The opening session was graced by Mr. Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa, Secretary General of the Ministry of Communications and Digital, Malaysia.
ADF is part of APT’s continuous effort to provide assistance to members in bridging the digital divide. This has become important amid the rapid changes in technology, fast-changing telecommunications scenarios, and tremendous growth of the ICT sector. The ADF is a platform that provides an opportunity to identify the specific issues that hinder the development of telecommunication networks in rural areas and to discuss the appropriate use of new technologies available for rural telecom development.
ADF-20 included Thematic Sessions on topics including 5G, WiFi, Satellite communications, AI technology, and applications amongst others. In addition, it discussed strategies for accelerating the digital economy with an overall vision of building a digital-savvy society. Various eminent speakers including regulators, policymakers, industry, and academia from APAC region participated in the sessions.
Further, sessions highlighted processes of formulating APT projects with mobilization of Extra-Budgetary Contributions (EBCs) followed by discussion on outcomes and achievements of projects supported by EBC-J, EBC-K, and EBC-C.
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5 November 2023, Bangkok, Thailand (Hybrid)
6 - 7 November 2023, Bangkok, Thailand (Hybrid)
8 - 11 November 2023, Bangkok, Thailand (Hybrid)
The General Assembly meets in ordinary session every three years, it will establish general policies and principle to achieve the objectives of the Telecommunity, establish the basis for the annual budget and determine limits of three years annual expenditure, conclude and revise necessary agreements between the Telecommunity and Governments, Administrations or Organizations. The General Assembly will also elect the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the APT.
The Management Committee meets once a year. It will pursue the policies and principles of the General Assembly, and supervise the Secretariat's function, review, and approve work programmes, annual budget and accounts, and draw up regulations, etc.
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