Countries in Southeast Asia will intensify cooperation in the ICT space to support the region's economic integration.
Three areas were identified by Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore's Prime Minister, who officiated the 13th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) held in his country last week.
According to its closing statement, the three areas highlighted for cooperation were:
- Harmonization of the 700MHz frequency band;
- Acceleration of the shift from analog to digital television broadcast;
- Enhancement of the resilience and protection of submarine communications cable systems.
The harmonizing of the 700MHz spectrum will help allow mobile broadband services to be in line with the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) 700MHz Band Plan. This will help free up spectrum potentially for future use by telcos.
The shift to digital TV signals will also free up spectrum capacity for other services such as wireless broadband.
The ministers agreed on the importance of raising awareness over policies involving submarine cables, which were key to regional and global connectivity. This includes ensuring that damaged or cut cables are expeditiously repaired in the event of man-made and natural disasters.
The 14th TELMIN meeting will be held in Thailand next year. The summit is a forum for Asean ICT ministers to discuss regional industry issues.