ITU's Touré discusses 4G spectrum, wireless broadband and the new FCC - Page 2

FierceWireless: What is your opinion of Julius Genachowski, President Obama's choice to head the FCC?

Touré: It's amazing to see how President Obama is making the choices. This is a wonderful choice, of someone who is very well-experienced in this field, who has proven it over years during the Clinton administration, but also someone who is international. We at the ITU, of course, would like to work with someone in the FCC who has a global vision as well. We are in a globalized world--especially with ICT the world has become smaller. And national policies can influence international policies as well. They all need to be matched with international policies to ensure that there is a real flow in all senses.

We need a very strong collaboration of the FCC with the other regulators in the world. And the U.S. has proven to be a very key player in that for years inside the ITU. We have what is called the Global Symposium of Regulators, which meets regularly in the ITU. We have the Global Industry Leaders Forum, which is an opportunity for industry leaders and regulators to meet and exchange views at a global scale, to see some of those regulations that will enable the catalytic role that regulators [should have]. In fact, the name regulators isn't the right name for them because if you look at it, it's a little negative. They are not regulating. They should be catalysts. I'm pleased with the level of evolution of the regulatory environment worldwide actually. In almost all countries they have picked people of a very high caliber, and the U.S. is certainly one of them. The FCC is the oldest regulator in the world and has a lot of experience to share with others. As I said, in the ITU we try to ensure that people don't have to reinvent the wheel. At the same time ... the problems we are facing now in the terms of regulatory issues are not best solved by highly developed countries or advanced ones, because they are problems that everyone is facing at the same time.

FierceWireless: Do you think that it's a good idea for countries to have multiple approaches to 4G technologies?

Touré: We are for standardization. We standardize to ensure that there is also interoperability between systems. That's what the ITU is about. Our standardization sector has worked very well with all countries to make interoperability a key solution between all services and applications. But the diversity of services and applications brings more innovation. We believe that should be emphasized. That's why we gave room in the spectrum allocation to all of those services actually, and we will continue to emphasize that. Competition is better without having any particular technological constraint. As you allocate, a technology-neutral licensing system [should be used], whereby you leave it to the private sector to decide what technology is best for the services they want to put in place. And I think that has proven to be right, and that policy will continue under my leadership. 

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