Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is a great honour for me to address here at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. On behalf of the Republic of Turkey, I would like to thank the government of the host country for their hospitality and for welcoming us to the beautiful city of Dubai. I would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao and his team for their efforts for the preparation of a successful conference. 

ICTs have a great potential in terms of creating new opportunities that boost the economic and social growth. New technologies have a direct impact on digital transformation of the societies as an accelerator of “development” and “innovation”.

The amount of data and the number of complex relations increase exponentially while technology develops, and governments face new problems that could not be solved with traditional approaches. This inevitably urges us to develop regulations and precautions according to today’s needs and to consistently update them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Turkey, being aware of this reality and in order to fulfil promised benefits of new technologies, not only encourages rapid growth of the ICTs but also keeping an eye on the sector to ensure sustainability in the market.

Turkey’s Strategic Vision of 2023 sets very important goals regarding ICT-based economic growth, transformation to knowledge-based society and enhancing high-speed broadband access for all. As seen, our vision is compatible with the new proposed ITU Strategic Goals and Targets and aims to contribute to the Connect 2020 Agenda.

Turkey’s ICT market has a structure that supports innovation and collaboration. After the launch of LTE advanced (4.5G) services in 2016, mobile broadband subscribers almost doubled their average monthly internet usage. Most of the cities in Turkey are covered by the 4.5G service. 4.5G subscribers consists 86% of the total mobile subscriptions. The numbers are promising and we strongly believe that the measures taken by the government of Turkey would expedite the rapid increase in high speed mobile broadband coverage and quality of life of our people.

An example for the dedicated efforts of Turkey which aims to foster telecommunication/ICT-centric innovation is the establishment of the open test-bed called “5G Valley” which has recently been created in our capital, Ankara. Three mobile operators of Turkey and 3 top universities in Ankara have combined their powers to establish this test-bed. This test-bed is open to all researchers and developers. This will also be a good example of how SMEs, universities, government entities, operators and potential users could work together.

Additionally, to streamline 5G and beyond efforts in Turkey, 5GTR Forum was created two years ago. 5GTR Forum brings together Turkey’s prominent academics, R&D firms, vendors and operators. 5GTR Forum is a platform where ICT sector meets other vertical sectors that will use 5G products and services.

Esteemed Colleagues,

We believe that ITU plays a leading role in promoting the connectivity worldwide, increasing the effective partnerships and contributing to the development of an environment that is conducive to innovation.

Turkey, being one of the founding members of the Union, has always supported ITU in pursuing its objectives and is committed to continue to contribute to the Union to achieve its goals. We would be pleased receiving your support for our Council membership candidacy from Region-B. To you, Mr. Chairman, and to all respected colleagues we extend our very best wishes for a successful and fruitful conference.

Thank you very much.