ICT crucial for sustainable development

Broadband will be key in solving global challenges of our time, such as poverty, climate change and the economic crisis

March 26, 2010

Broadband will be key in solving global challenges of our time, such as poverty, climate change and the economic crisis. 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). With 5 years to go, the ICT sector is poised to play a key role in fighting poverty and climate change, as well as accelerating economic recovery, stated Hans Vestberg, CEO of Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).

Co-hosting the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet conference in New York, Vestberg highlighted that telecommunications is unique because it can impact on all of the Millennium Development Goals.

“Mobile communications access is critical in breaking the cycle of poverty in developing countries. The right tools can help people to escape from poverty and achieve the MDGs,” he said. It is making a very meaningful difference in people’s lives. Today there are 4.6 billion mobile subscriptions and in five years we are set to reach seven billion,” said Vestberg.

He also pointed out to be successful in achieving the potential, “scale up is needed” and that this will require commitments from many different sectors and international organisations.

When it comes to the role of telecommunications to accelerate economic recovery, Vestberg reflected on the fact that governments across the globe are increasingly recognising the importance of infrastructure spending as a way out of the current financial crisis and mobile operators as traditionally large infrastructure investors can play a significant role in supporting these government efforts.

Vestberg concluded that “economic growth and environmental protection do not need to be in conflict. On the contrary, investments in broadband can help to stimulate both and bring a new era in green economy. Broadband will be a pre requisite for a 21st Century low carbon economy, and will enable services such as smart grids, intelligent transports, e-health, all of which have significant contributions to reduce CO2”.

This year’s global discussion between New York and four additional hubs (Beijing, Nairobi, Dehli, and London) was enabled by Ericsson’s TV solutions. In the future, Ericsson’s vision is that video communication will be available anytime, anywhere, and that everyone should be able to take part in the global conversation around state of the planet, at a fraction of the cost.