"Communications Convergence" conference on 13-14 Dec

MUMBAI: The first international conference on Communications Convergence : The Multi-Billion Indian Opportunity takes place on 13-14 December at The Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. Hinduja TMT will be main sponsor at this event organised by The Indian Merchants' Chamber.

The two-day conference will bring together top authorities in each field of Voice, Internet, Convergence and Data Services and engage the luminaries from the industries, the investors and the government.

At the legislative level, the convergence bill looks to be in limbo but there is a huge amount happening in the IT and telecom space, especially as regards the IT-enabled services business. The conference will provide a forum where the relevant issues will be addressed.

According to the IMC, Union minister for parliamentary affairs, communication and IT Pramod Mahajan will address the valedictory session of the two-day conference on 14 December. Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and minister for finance & planning Jayantrao Patil will be the chief guest and guest of honour respectively, for the luncheon session on 14 December.

The sessions run from 9:30 am to 6 pm on a daily basis. While the developed world has been seeing slower growth and problems in the telecom industry, Asia (particularly China and India) has seen scorching growth in the last decade. This growth is expected to continue in India, with the accelerated demand for telecom and converged services.

The Indian telecommunications industry has seen a revolution in recent times with deregulation, convergence, new spectrum allocation, new technologies, mergers and acquisitions, and new market entrants altering the wire-line, wireless, cable, satellite and ISPs landscape.

The changes have been driven by large investments, both by Indian companies and overseas telecom companies and institutional investors, spurred by the investor-friendly environment provided by the Government.

It is estimated by the IMC that India will need a huge investment of US $60 billion by 2005 in the telecom sector to keep up with the planned increase in teledensity. The reasoning is that the business opportunity offered by this new wave in India has tremendous potential and needs to be explored and tapped by investments, both Indian and foreign. In spite of all this, there has been very little information available on the specifics of this investment opportunity. The conference organised by IMC aims to identify and focus on the following:

- Business segments as defined by the regulatory framework & their prospects

- Legal and financial framework for investments

- Current competitive scene and investment climate.

Also on the table, is a series of tutorials on relevant topics of Convergence, which could provide the requisite background information to interested businessmen and enable them to take make further progress in the field.

According to the IMC, the speaker lineup at the Conference includes :

CEO Hinduja TMT - R. Mohan

Co-Chairman Hinduja TMT India - Ramkrishan P. Hinduja

Chairman, TRAI - M S Verma

Chairman, World Tel, UK (Video Conferencing) - Sam Pitroda

MD, net2phone Western Europe - Bryan Rowe

Regional Director-Asia of Aon (UK), an associate of Global Insurance Services (Mumbai) - David Hill

MD, NEC Singapore - Noel Hon Chia Chun

VP- Asia Pacific, Polycom (USA) - Leo M Cortjens

Chairman, Dishnet DSL Ltd. - Dr. Vijay Bhatkar.

In addition like any other International Conference there will be four tutorial sessions, to be conducted by experts in their own right on 12 December. These sessions will focus on several business and technical aspects.

The sponsors for the event include Hutchison Max Telecom, Hinduja Group India,, Bharti Enterprises, IDFC, Global Insurance Services, Aon (UK), Global Tele and Tellabs India.

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