Lior Yafe
Economic Counselor
Embassy of Israel in Mexico
Expert Contributor

From the Telegraph to 5G: A Reflection of Technological Evolution

By Lior Yafe | Wed, 05/26/2021 - 09:03

The International Telecommunication Union is the world's oldest multilateral organization, with a history dating back to 1865. The ITU is the telecommunications expert body of the United Nations. It is responsible for regulating telecommunications at the international level.

This organization was born out of the need to standardize processes, regulations and operations in the newly created telegraph systems of the time. Prior to this multilateral agreement, there were a multitude of bilateral attempts to standardize telegraph systems, but despite the similarity of their provisions, these conventions were not entirely consistent. The rapid expansion and technological evolution of international telegraphy increased the need for uniformity. This led to the signing in Paris of the first International Telegraph Convention by 20 states and the creation of the ITU in 1865.

May 17 marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the subsequent creation of ITU. This International Telecommunication Day call is an opportunity for ITU members, together with businesses, organizations, governments and individuals around the world, to continue to drive the digital transformation, promote national strategies for ICT development and support smart policies to foster investment, cooperation and partnership.

However, despite all the momentum for today's digital transformation, it should be noted that not everyone benefits from the socio-economic benefits of telecommunications. In 1985, the ITU published the famous Maitland report, entitled "The Missing Link," which, for the first time, clearly defined the digital gap. Since then, the ITU has worked with determination to bring the benefits of information and communication technologies within the reach of all mankind.

The inaccessibility of connectivity for many families in the country is further widening the education gap. According to UNESCO data, in Mexico, 24.84 percent of students between the ages of 7 and 17 do not have access to the internet. As far as television is concerned, 4.47 percent do not have a television at all, so they cannot study remotely during this health contingency.

This framework then lies in the gap, and contrasts with access to information technologies and resulting technological and educational inequality. How can this inequality be eradicated?

The adoption of new technologies that are disruptive, affordable, innovative and reduce the carbon footprint are a clear alternative to solve the technological inequality that telecoms are experiencing today. These new technologies help accelerate the use of ICTs to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals.

Telecommunications is one of the fields in which Israel's high-tech expertise has brought it to a position of prominence in global markets. The country's telecommunications industry integrates a broad spectrum of companies working in fields including semiconductor development, hardware design, software, content and systems integration.

If we want to bridge the technological gap that exists in Mexico, we need to partner with key global high-tech players, and Israel can be a great strategic ally.

Photo by:   Lior Yafe