Nelson Mandela electrified the ITU

Mandela at ITU 1995 230In 1995, 77-year-old Nelson Mandela electrified ITU Geneva predicting, “in the 21st century, the capacity to communicate will almost certainly be a key human right. … Justice and equity demand that we find ways of overcoming the division between the information rich and the information poor. If more than half the world is denied access to the means of communication, the people of developing countries will not be fully part of the modern world.” Journalist and former rocket scientist Lee Goldberg tells me he will never forget that day. 

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao reminded ITU Telecom World 2018 in Durban that Mandela’s dream has not been fulfilled. Four or five billion people cannot afford the Internet. The technology is ready; Reliance Jio is making a profit selling gigabytes of 4G to 250 million Indians for about US$4.

One easy way to make a difference is to join me on ITU Focus Group 2030, working towards 6G. Some of the work is about carrying holograms and sub-millisecond latency. There also is a proposal to continue to enhance mobile broadband by making sure standards include ways to deliver affordable broadband to everyone. Sign up in minutes at, lower right corner. Email me for help

Click through for Mandela’s words. They remain crucial 23 years later

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