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As the Chief Growth Officer at Bankai Group and member of the Pacific Telecommunications Council Organization (PTC), Nakul Rege is responsible for successfully expanding the Group's footprint globally across all segments – wholesale, retail and technology solutions. Telecom Review explores PTC’s vast influence on the ICT sector and what this means for the future of telecoms in the Pacific Rim.
For the benefit of our readers, could you please explain the organization’s role within the industry and how it has benefitted its subscribers?
The Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) is a global non-profit membership organization promoting the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Pacific Rim, including Pacific islands, through collaboration, knowledge, and outreach. PTC is led by a Board of Governors and an Advisory Council, both comprising of global executives in the telecom, academia, and other ICT industries.
I first attended PTC’s annual conference in 1992. I found it gave all operators and carriers working with Pacific region operators an opportunity to meet and negotiate with senior executives in a less formal setting, to get to know them better and to set the course of action at the start of the business plan year.
You are always learning something new at each PTC annual conference, meeting new faces and it helps you keep in touch with developments and changes in the world, particularly in the Pacific area. A few years ago, I decided to serve on the Advisory Council and give back to PTC and share with newer members my experience and knowledge in this field.
Unlike other organizations, funds from PTC annual conferences and membership support research and projects to improve the quality of life in the Pacific Rim. One example is the PTC Academy where experts share their knowledge and experience with young executives from around the globe. Many ‘students’ welcome this opportunity to learn and improve their skills and are able to go back more motivated and it has a positive effect on their fellow colleagues and their organizations as a whole.
Another example is the PTC Young Scholar Program (YSP) and Research Awards that encourage young scholars to submit papers, which are independently reviewed and awards given, with the opportunity to present their research at PTC’s annual conference. This brings in new blood into the telecom and ICT industry.
In addition to its annual global conference, what other events or projects does the PTC get involved in to advance its role in the ecosystem?
Many people think of PTC as simply the January conference but it is a lot more than that. There are various chapters in Japan and India associated with the PTC. Apart from the Academy Young Scholar Program, and Research Awards mentioned earlier, PTC also funds projects that promote the use of telecommunications and ICT to improve the quality of life in the Pacific region.
Additionally, the PTC network continues to expand, as there are individuals involved with subsea cables, data centers, satellite technology as well as the major players these days like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. PTC’s Board of Governors and Advisory Council, with their knowledge and industry experience, work hand-in-hand to provide strategic direction of PTC’s involvement and work in the industry.
In your experience, what do you believe are the advantages of being a member of the PTC?
I have attended every PTC annual conference since 1992 and by being a PTC member, it has enabled me and my colleagues to develop long relationships with people. Knowing your subject matter is important but earning the respect and understanding of people takes a very long time – it is difficult to imagine this developing without my companies (over the years) being members of PTC.
Over time, as you understand the challenges that some of the Pacific Islands face in their day to day operations to communicate with their own people (some countries extend over 1 million square miles across the Pacific), you want to assist them to the best of your abilities. The academy and research studies that the PTC is involved with is only a small step but it is in the right direction.
The telecom and ICT community is very closely knit. Based on my personal experience, once you are in it, you are often associated with it for a long period of time. Your actions are seen by all and communicated by others in different parts of the world. People will also find the need to communicate with each other as long as life exists - there were days of Telex and Telegram, then voice (regulated and unregulated), Internet, now OTTs but more and more people are being brought together as part of the ecosystem.
Membership fees at PTC contribute to the overall growth of activities that the Council can run – it is a non-profit organization. The memberships have been tailored according to company size, university, and individual member capabilities. In addition, if there are specific topics or areas that members would like to be addressed, PTC welcomes the feedback and insights on new ideas and initiatives.
Do you have any future plans in the pipeline for the PTC?
Some of the steps that the council has recently taken is to expand the Board of Governors categories to Middle East and Africa regions and encourage global participation and not just restrict the area of coverage to the Pacific Rim/Asia regions.
The PTC Job Board is a recent PTC Member benefit that has been set up to allow members to post job vacancies that are available for the general public to view and apply. The PTC Academy was being held once or twice a year, and in 2020 is now expected to be held four times.
All these actions have been based on member feedback but the core mission and objectives of PTC remain. I am sure as the participation of the OTTs increases, it is expected that they will also make some changes based on their outlook. New contributing members and fresh ideas are therefore important for the long term success of PTC, their members and the Pacific region.
Deputy head of Moscow’s IT Department, Alexander Gorbatko, said at the Moscow Ubran Forum that a 5G demo center for testing promising technologies and city services will be set up in the city. The center will be accessible for both Russian and foreign companies.
Apple’s South Korea unit has proposed a settlement agreement with the country’ antitrust regulator, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei has stepped up its legal battle in the United States by filing a lawsuit which is requesting that a US court overturn a federal ban that has been imposed on the company.
The market value of SoftBank Group, Uber’s biggest stakeholder, has decreased by $16 billion following Uber’s disappointing initial public offering.
Vodafone, the British Telecom giant, announced Tuesday its losses for the fiscal year which ended in March 2019 of 7.6 billion Euros ($ 8.5 billion).
Spotify recently made an official complaint against Apple to the European Commission, accusing it of anti-competitive behavior and their complaints have now warranted an investigation.
The UAE has adopted a new national AI strategy in the hopes of establishing a brand of artificial intelligence within the nation.
US electronics behemoth Intel has made the decision to withdraw from the 5G smartphone modem business following the unlikely resolution agreement that was brokered between Qualcomm and Apple.
Apple and Qualcomm managed to settle the dispute between both parties over royalty payments and reached a deal ahead of fresh court case that was set to get underway in San Diego next week.
The modems that connect smartphones to telecommunications networks were at the heart of the battle between Apple and Qualcomm. Following the announcement the dispute had been resolved Intel wasted no time in exiting the 5G smartphone modem business.
Intel had clearly recognized and identified that there was an opportunity for them to capitalize on the dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, and then Apple had turned to Intel before reaching the agreement with Qualcomm.
The lawsuit was expected to be a protracted legal battle, but after the unlikely resolution it’s expected that Apple and Qualcomm will now become partners again before there fall out in 2017.
Intel issued a statement in which it indicated that it would complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, Internet of Things devices and other data-centric devices while pursuing investment opportunities in its 5G network infrastructure business.
CEO Bob Swan insisted that 5G will remain a key focus for the US electronics conglomerate and said its diverse portfolio of products will help them to become a major player in the 5G space.
Swan said, “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world."
The company also added that it would meet commitments to customers for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, though it has no plans to launch 5G smartphone modem products, including those previously set to premiere in 2020
Currently under deployment, ultra-fast 5G wireless networks require terminals that are equipped with 5G models and specific network infrastructure.
Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple to the European Commission. Spotify claims that Apple gives itself an “unfair advantage at every turn” as it takes a 30 per cent cut of digital goods sold via iOS apps.