Vice President Al Gore opens ITW in Chicago

13 May 2013 | Kavit Majithia


US Vice President Al Gore opened the sixth annual International Telecoms Week (ITW) last night and heralded the future growth in technology as a major driver towards global change.

US Vice President Al Gore opened the sixth annual International Telecoms Week (ITW) last night and heralded the future growth in technology as a major driver towards global change.

Al Gore, who served as the 45th Vice President of the US under President Bill Clinton between 1993 and 2001, has been outspoken in his views on a range of issues involving the sector as a whole, and reiterated his belief in the importance technology can have on shaping global societal trends.

At last night’s opening keynote panel, Al Gore highlighted the challenges carriers face due to the democratisation of technology, and how disruptive technologies could further impact traditional telecoms services providers in the future.

“The consumption and availability of technology is beginning to change the way people think and behave,” said Al Gore. “The fact that there are an increasing amount of digital forms which are connected to global data networks means society is beginning to depend on things like email, social networks and text messaging. With this, there are increasing opportunities and challenges for the carrier community to ensure it plays a vital role in ensuring this required seamless connectivity.”

Vice President Al Gore warned the industry on the strategic and macro changes that face the telecoms ecosystem, which global operators will need to address. The Vice President expressed his belief that the US will continue to hold a global leadership position for the growth of a range of technology services, including social media, application evolution and internet development.

Alexandre Pebereau, EVP of international carrier services at Orange, who was on the panel with Al Gore, proclaimed the Vice President as “a pioneer and internet visionary for the future”. Pebereau told Capacity: “Al Gore’s involvement in the cornerstone event for wholesale telecoms, ITW, continues to highlight the importance of the industry, and underlines the fact that we are truly global. Al Gore’s vision and commitment to technology is a great thing for our industry. America is leading the way, and Al Gore epitomises inspiration for the carrier community to develop. “Pebereau and Al Gore discussed a range of themes throughout the session, and the Vice President drew on the growing partnership model between telecoms operators and value add partners, which should serve to present opportunities for global companies and governments to grow its communications initiatives. 


“As carriers we look to provide the connectivity that enables over-the-top services, and we have the opportunity to work with companies like Skype and Google,” added Pebereau.