13 September 2010

East Timor joins International Telecommunication Union

Geneva: ITU is proud to announce that the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste has become the Union’s 192nd member state, effective from 24 August 2010.

The country, which gained its independence on May 20, 2002 to become the 21st century’s first new sovereign state, utilizes the international dialling code +670, and the internet top-level domain country code (TLDcc) .tl.

“We are delighted to welcome Timor-Leste to the ITU fold, and hope that by working together we will help drive rapid ICT development across the country,” said ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun Toure. “Small island states like Timor-Leste can benefit enormously from the power of modern connectivity, particularly in areas like mobile and wireless broadband. ITU is committed to connecting the world, and Timor-Leste’s accession to the Union helps us further that dream.”

Timor-Leste’s mountainous terrain makes for challenges in connecting its people. Latest ITU figures (from 2009) show fixed line telephone teledensity (number of fixed telephone lines per 100 inhabitants) as low as 0.2 per cent, with mobile penetration at 29.1 per cent. Mobile connectivity is growing very strongly, with over 200 per cent growth reported in 2009.

As a new ITU member state, Timor-Leste will participate for the very first time in ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference, which will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico from 4-22 October. Held every four years, the conference defines, in particular, the future work plan and strategic goals of the Union.

(Source: ITU website, Geneva, in English 25 Aug 10 via BBC Monitoring)

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