“Digital Greece: The post – crisis era”

The 13th International Conference InfoCom Word (www.info-com.gr) will take place on Tuesday,October 25th, 2011 at Divani Caravel Hotel, in Athens, Greece. The Conference is under the auspices of the following institutions: Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, Ministry of Regional Development, Competitiveness and Shipping, the National Committee of Communications and Post (EETT), the Greek Union of Mobile Telephony Companies (EEKT) the Hellenic Association of Mobile Application Companies (HAMAC), the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Global Suppliers mobile Association (GSA).

InfoCom World is organized by Smart Press, one of the leading publishers in Greece in the field of specialized media emphasizing on digital technology. Smart Press is also the publisher of the leading telecommunication magazines “Kiniti Tilefonia & Tilepikoinonies”, “Info-Com” & “Mobile Life”. InfoCom World conference is the most outstanding event in the field of digital technologies in the Southeastern Europe region, as it has been formed based on the constant development in broadband and the convergence of technologies of communication, informatics and media.

Focusing on the needs and concerns of the market, as well as the challenges the market should live up to nowadays, the organizing committee of the 13th InfoCom World chose this year’s subject, being: “Digital Greece: the post-crisis era”

The search for solutions on exiting the crisis brake, constitutes one of the central goals to be achieved, not only by the ICT sector, but also for the whole country. The regression shown in companies of the ICT sector and the observed delays in law and regulating issues that slow down the growth and sabotage its viability, are facts that raise deep concern for the market and demand aggressive solutions.“Change or die” is a slogan more up to the point than ever and the state is asked to meet the circumstances and provide a way out of regulatory issues that have been deploring the market of Electronic communications for years, and establish a safe environment for investments.

In a permanently evolving environment, the market seeks new business models. At the same time though, it seeks developmental exits through the establishment of extrovert enterprises that can succeed in the international market.

It is also interesting to analyze the way leading telecommunication providers see the perspective of the sector entering a development era again: What are the possibilities, the challenges, the technologies, the operation models and the emerging opportunities? What are the difficulties and the drawbacks? Which is the best strategy to overcome crisis? All the above mentioned questions will be analyzed and be addressed in depth all through this year’s InfoCom World Conference.

The sessions of the 13th International Telecommunications Conference InfoCom World will be as follows:

1st Session: Next Generation Networks in Digital Greece

With the EU having placed evident objectives for the member states in regard to their broadband growth through the “Digital Agenda 2020” initiative, Greece is asked to respond with no further delays. There are many important questions raised: Will the creation of new generation networks proceed to Greek households of the major cities and towns? Will there be any infrastructure in the rural/semi-urban regions? Will there be any means of cooperation between the state and providers with the aim of developing certain kinds of infrastructure? The views to be stated by companies that will be asked to utilize next generation wired and wireless networks, will be of particular importance. It will be equally important also to hear the views of scientists and analysts, regarding the technologies and business models that will ensure the viability of investments which will enable Greece to remain within the context of the “Digital Agenda 2020”.

2nd Session: Innovation and Extraversion: New Entrepreneurship brings winds of change

The economic recession experienced in Greece, it is often said to have a digital antidote. Reality shows that this is not just wishful thinking. It is a practice that gains ground within Greek business and has started to become less detached by the “government assisted” models that have proven impasse. On the contrary, this practice focuses in technological breakthrough and the global market. Innovative Greek companies have already found their place in the international financial universe and have set an example to be followed by smaller scale businesses.

To strengthen the extrovert mentality in local ICT entrepreneurship, which coincides with innovation and technological breakthrough, know-how and access in capital funding is required, which will set off a successful business model. Such arguments and thoughts will be developed by institutions that advance extrovert business dexterity and innovation, as well as by innovative companies that have already proven a successful model in the international market.

3rd Session: Investment and Regulation in Digital Greece

To ensure the broadband development in Greece, it is essential to continue investing in new generation wired and wireless networks. Investments of the kind are necessary in order to enable advances in all aspects of the Greek economy. In order to advance though, apart from the funding capital, these investments require an evident and stable regulatory environment which will ensure the viability of such endeavors. Having a variety of “open issues” in the market, such as the renewal of mobile telephony licenses, the allocation of the spectrum, the digital dividend, and other regulatory questions (licensing base stations, rights of passage etc.) leads to a climaxing distress for the market: the distress of whether anything is being done to guarantee the terms of a viable growth of the Greek ICT sector. Given the companies’ intention to advance towards such investments, and given also the necessity for development and higher employment, this proves as a very important session. Political, institutional and business representatives are asked to give their opinions and seek solutions, hoping to reverse the devastated investment setting of Greece.

4th Session: CEO Summit: How business leaders react to new facts

The Electronic Communication market has been immensely influenced by the difficult macroeconomic environment, being it obvious in the financial results of the companies. The central questions needing to be answered by the leading telecommunications groups in Greece is the extend of resistance Electronic Communications market can achieve within the new context. To be able to realize the new generation networks, will there be a need for synergies and co operations? Will there be a need to create an additional circle of market consolidation, so that new, stronger business forms emerge? What will be the post-crisis situation? Who will be still present in the market after the crisis? Representatives of the state as well as network CEOs are asked to answer on the strategy they will follow in order to establish a stronger ICT sector in the post-crisis era.

Parallel Sessions

Cloud Computing: Everything as a Service

Cloud computing is the new important trend in the world market of digital technologies. Day by day it gains ground, as modern needs ask for the implementation of certain technologies and infrastructure to the cloud, for almost all large scale and middle scale companies, as well as organizations. Even if a certain minority of such institutions has not implemented the cloud services yet, they still need to examine the possibility of utilizing such a resort, hoping to save resources both in human and financial level and create economies of scale. Cloud computing has hardly shown the extend of its possibilities so far, as it is widely believed to be able to change existing business models by offering new resources of income in the entire ecosystem that is functioning around digital technology in the perspective of “everything as a service”. The momentum towards a “cloud revolution”, the opportunities and the challenges posed to companies of all sizes will be analyzed in depth by the most appropriate: the already established “players” in the international cloud computing market.

Digital TV: The new regulatory framework and the formed landscape.

While the transition to digital era has already started, many aspects for the Digital Television still remain open. The digital dividend and the required legislation, the licensing scheme between service content providers and network providers, which are the two main axes, are among them. Settlement of such issues will allow potential new investors to enter in the market, therefore enhance entrepreneurship, create new jobs in the industry and in parallel increase public revenues.

However, there are several unresolved issues to be addressed, such as: evaluation and the probable auction of spectrum, the impact to the market due to possible merger of private channels, the future of the broadcasting stations in rural areas, the adoption of new technology, the shrinking of the National TV channel (ERT), are only few of the main aspects that are forming a vague landscape for the day after. So, the new landscape is as much uncertain as the timing of the ‘switch off’ that should happen within the timeframe set by EU. All abovementioned issues will be addressed in detail within the specific section, where all relevant Institutional actors and major market players will participate.

Digital TV ‘The Day After’: Survival or Destruction?

The settlement of the regulatory Framework, the unregulated growth, State’s backtracking, the unfair treatment by Regulator (ESR) and the economic crisis, have led the TV market to a dead-end.

As such, it is of key importance to establish clear and consistent rules of operation in order to create appropriate conditions for the survival of both National and Regional broadcasting channels. Moreover, considering the convergence of technologies between IT, Digital TV, Web TV, Satellite and IPTV as well as the interactivity between them, it is certain that new revenue sources will appear and prevail in the future. Will these be able to ensure sustainability for the Market? How important is the correct ‘timing’? Are there appropriate business models and synergies that could ensure survival and prosperity? Representatives from the market, scientists and Institutional factors, will analyze in depth the opportunities and market outlook.

Mobile Apps: The new era of Mobile Internet.

The astonishing rise in the popularity of smartphones, reaching an impressive 35% of the market and the explosive increase of their share, shed the light on the ecosystem created around those devices. The pioneers were Apple with iOS, followed by Google Android, Nokia Symbian, Microsoft Windows Phone and Samsung with bada. As such, a brand new ecosystem emerged that leads digital services to a completely new level that includes new business models, new approaches, new technologies and new challenges. It is more than evident that applications are here to stay as, apart from the smartphones, they have established a presence in tablets, TVs and all compatible devices. The four pillars of this ecosystem (devices – operation systems – applications – networks) compose the new set of emerging economy, offering opportunities of new revenue resources. Representatives from all sides of this ecosystem are asked to review on the perspectives offered by mobile applications and their effect in the market, as well as the evolution path of this ecosystem.

Apps Show: Applications demonstration from the developers

The driving force behind the development of smartphones and tablets are the applications. As such, all Operating Systems providers are encouraging developers to build applications to their OS providing significant benefits. On the other side developers enlist their inventiveness providing amazing solutions. There is a verity of applications today that cover most of user needs: news, music, business, travel, sports, photography, education, books, games, entertainment, are just few categories. However, the development of an application and its promotion is not that trivial. Key to success is usually hidden in the details. Leading developers of the Market will share their experience and present their applications.

InfoCom World Awards

After the completion of the Conference the InfoCom World Awards ceremony will take place as well as a cocktail – networking event.