Executives from the world's leading telecom companies will gather in Hong Kong this week for the industry's largest trade show with digital connectivity fast becoming an integral part of everyday life.
This edition of the triennial International Telecom Union (ITU) World Show will be the biggest yet and is where the sector's power-brokers will come to strike deals and meet government regulators.
Among the guest speakers are Cisco Systems chief executive John Chambers, Hewlett Packard chairman and chief executive Mark Hurd, PCCW (電訊盈科) chairman Richard Li (李澤楷) and Motorola chief executive Edward Zander.
The ITU Telecom World is also where the leading brands unveil new designs and technology. Some some 600 of the world's leading technology companies from 40 different countries will exhibit including Microsoft, Agilent, Sony Ericsson and Mitsubishi.
The event coincides with the release of an ITU report yesterday that showed digital technology had permeated almost every aspect of our lives thanks mainly to the spread of mobile phones, which are now owned by about 2 billion people worldwide.
"We're in the midst of a digital revolution," said Lara Srivastava, one of the authors the report entitled Internet Report 2006: Digital Life.
One person in two on the planet is expected to be a mobile phone user within two years, said the report.
"Around one in three people on the planet own a digital mobile phone today and they're hard pressed to be separated from it," Srivastava said.
The ITU estimates that Internet and communications markets -- consumer electronics, broadcasting, telecoms, computers -- are worth about US$3.13 trillion or 7 percent of global GDP.
It also said individuals were increasingly being tied into the flow of information.
"The fact that we now have an always-on mobile phone, that we have cookies that track our online behavior, have invaded our privacy a little bit," Srivastava said.