January is closing up, February will fly by and next thing you know, it will be 2012, which will be the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan Calendar. Ha! My point being, time is flying. School is three weeks deep, nope, don't feel like I'm learning yet, but such is the fact that time is ticking and the new smell has worn off the no longer new year. I'm doing one class, which may not sound like a lot but it's a "futures studies" class (don't ask) plus I'm supposed to write a couple of hundred pages in my spare time, so in actual unfortunate fact, I actually do have to wake up in the morning.

About two weeks ago I attended PTC'08 - annual Telecom conference held in Honolulu - the personal equivalent of Disneyland for Telecom enthusiasts. Comparing it to last year's conference, I got a lot more out of this one, perhaps because I wasn't so awe-struck at being surrounded by some fricken cool people/ gadgets and could utter more than a dumb nod and a whispered "whoah" under my breath this time round. Highlights this time round for me were attending PITA (Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association) meeting. All I did was listen, be awe-struck and utter "whoah" but I definitely gained some insights into current issues faced by Telcos around the region. Main ones are Competition and HR, specifically Technical HR. It seems carriers around the region are in a bit of a pickle about how to act now that they actually have to share the responsibility of providing service. Not only are competitors making the pie bigger and taking bigger chunks out of it, they're head hunting like crazy and quite simply, business models and HR strategies which have worked for decades are in dire need of a revamp. It's interesting times in Telecom in the Pacific.

Another interesting session I attended was a special interest group meeting for ICT for Development. I compare them to the greenies in Telecom, they're the Rainbow Warrior in amongst the evil Verizons, Apples and SamoaTels of the world who want nothing but to nuclear test their service in unsuspecting good people's land, steal their harvest, and take their women. I exagerrate, of course, but only a little bit. Concerns about bridging the digital divide are discussed - "Do these people even want technology?" seems to be a genuine concern. Who are you to make that choice for "those people" I say. It's all a bit I don't know... touchy feely, but deep down I too want to save the planet, so I keep my mouth shut and vow to try not to litter. Mostly big name researchers who are of course, genuinely concerned that the least developed countries of the world might fall into the abyss of the digital divide, all around the comfort of the airconditioned polished conference table of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, with all their Blackberries on silent of course. It's all very interesting, but I'm too young, progressive and too much of a business major to subscribe.

I attended a bunch of plenaries with some big names in the industry and by far the most interesting speaker in the whole conference for me was the German Regulator, Mattias Kurth. Perhaps it's the fact that he was the only European in amongst a bunch of Americans or maybe he was just brilliant but his views on light handed regulation and his stand against Universal service resonated with me like he was a father and I agreed with his child rearing views. (Lol) I want to be like him. Or rather I want to do my job like he does his. :)

All in all, it was a great conference, great free food, great free stuff, oh yes, and great insights gained. Granted it was a bunch of rich people and researchers gathered at the Hilton letting off steam, but hey, we take the lessons where we find them right?

Here's a group shot, for good measure.


Alright, time to do some real work.


Sida said…
Quick! Somebody say "Laundry Eyes". Ahaaaaar! Magaia si pe'u gale gae on your shoulder mai ia eo.