Telecommunications and Information
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The APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL) aims to improve telecommunications and information infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region by developing and implementing appropriate telecommunications and information policies, including relevant human resource and development cooperation strategies. This is reflected in the TEL's expanded vision of promoting the transition from an Asia-Pacific Information Infrastructure into the Asia-Pacific Information Society.

The TEL was established in 1990 and conducts its work programme through the following steering groups:

A Mutual Recognition Arrangement Task Force (MRATF) was created under the LSG to implement a mutual recognition arrangement on conformity assessment of telecommunications equipment (MRA-CA) and to draft a mutual recognition arrangement for equivalence of technical requirements in telecommunications equipment (MRA-ETR).

The steering groups and task force propose and implement projects that address priorities set by both Telecommunications and Information Ministers and Leaders. In 2010, the 8th Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications and Information endorsed the Strategic Plan for 2010-2015, with the following priority areas to:

  • Develop information and communications technologies (ICT) to promote new growth;
  • Enhance socio-economic activities through the use of ICT;
  • Promote a safe and trusted ICT environment;
  • Promote regional economic integration; and
  • Strengthen cooperation in the ICT sector.

  • Current Activities
  • Achievements
  • Contacts
  • News
  • Events

The 48th Meeting of the Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL) was held in Honolulu, USA, from 16-21 September 2013.

Highlights of initiatives include:


The group is focused on expanding broadband networks and deployment of advanced internet technologies in the region. This year, they are working on the following initiatives:

  • Viet Nam shared their information on Mobile Broadband Deployment in their economy.
  • The Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) updated APEC member economies on the current status of upgrading to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in the Asia Pacific region in order to facilitate broadband infrastructure, ubiquitous network development and economic growth.
  • The Internet Society (ISOC) provided their views on Internet Development for Enhancing Growth.
  • AT&T presented the AT&T Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Global Solution, wirelessly connecting diverse devices from health care to automotive to enable automated two-way communication and exchange of information.

Fixed broadband penetration rates per 100 inhabitants (Source: ITU 2010)


  • Extension of APEC e-Government Research Center at Waseda University, established to provide solutions for e-government implementation challenges and self-funded by Japan.
  • Extension of ICT Applications for people with special needs-aging and disabilities, funded by APEC and led by Japan and Singapore.
  • APII Test Bed Project, self-funded by Korea. The APII Test-bed project connects research and experimental networks between economies. With these facilities, developments and experiments for applications of tele-medicine and other fields are being conducted.
  • Enhance competence in implementing ICT universal services programs led by Viet Nam.


  • Workshop on Interoperable ICT: semantic, linguistic and other aspects, led by Russia, is focused on ensuring interoperability in information technologies across languages and cultures.
  • Workshop on multi-languages email address technology led by China
  • Workshop on APEC e-Government Research Center led by Japan
  • Symposium on Disaster Management and ICT for APEC Region led by Japan
  • APEC Workshop on “Enhancing Business Competitiveness and Growth through Data & Analytics” will be organized by Singapore.


The group is focused on trade and investment liberalization in information technologies and effective policy and regulatory frameworks. This year, they are working on the following initiatives:


  • Workshop on Transparency of Internet Broadband Access Speeds led by Singapore.
  • Promoting the Development of ICT Revolution to Assist the Economic Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the Small and Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), led by Malaysia.

Technology Roundtable, US

  • Information and communication technology to be used in creative ways to solve societal-scale problems, such as the use of sensors to monitor the actual situation of infrastructure such as roads or bridges.
  • Large scale data analytics and new ways of conductive randomized controlled experiments to develop new applications as well as evaluate whether they yield the desired outcomes.

 Industry Roundtable, US

  • To provide an overview of the “Internet of Things,” the concept where smart objects from stock inventory to transport are seamlessly integrated to the information network or “internet of everything.”
  • To utilize Machine to Machine Computing, where machines are connected wirelessly through an automated network with data and exchange sharing.
  • Applications of the above technologies in commercial world, such as automotive and healthcare.
  • Conclusion and Next Steps: Conduct survey or overview of the commercial deployment of the “Internet of Everything" in economies across sectors; Conduct future workshops on technology and services being deployed for the “Internet of Everything;” and Develop a policy framework for enabling the deployment and identify potential barriers for the “Internet of Everything.”

 The Internet of Things

Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) Task Force

  • Updated information on Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) implementation and/or regulatory changes in 5 member economies. The APEC Telecommunications Mutual Recognition Arrangement (APEC-TEL MRA) is a multilateral arrangement between economies in the APEC region to facilitate the recognition of each other’s conformity assessment results. These arrangements are intended to streamline the conformity assessment procedures for a wide range of telecommunications and telecommunications-related equipment, facilitating trade among signatories to the APEC-TEL MRA.
  • The Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) delivered a presentation on “Accreditation – Benefits to Regulatory Agencies” to demonstrate the technical support that regional and international accreditation infrastructure such as APLAC can provide to facilitate the APEC Telecommunications Mutual Recognition Agreement (APEC TEL MRA).
  • A new project on Guidelines for Market Surveillance.


The group is focused on promoting security and trust in e-commerce and networks and cybercrime prevention. They are working on the following initiatives:


  • Comparing Approaches to Combating Botnets or computers that are compromised and illegally controlled by botnets or robot-like networks via the internet.
  • APEC-OECD Symposium on Security Risk Management in the Internet Economy.
  • 2nd Phase of APEC Training Program for Preventive Education on ICT Misuse  

Cybersecurity Awareness Raising Activities

  • Cybersecurity Awareness Raising
  • APEC TEL Cybersecurity Awareness Raising

Collaboration with OECD Working Party on Information Security and Privacy (WPISP)

  • Review of project on Developing Indicators with Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs)


  • Security of Mobile Devices led by Malaysia
  • Cybersecurity Policy Developments in the APEC Region led by USA
  • APEC Training Program for Preventive Education on ICT Misuse led by Korea
  • Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) Capacity Building and Cooperation led by USA

Other Business

  • Internet Governance Forum (Oct. 22-25, 2013 in Bali)
  • Meridian 2013 Conference Update(Nov 4-6, 2014 in Buenos Aires)
  • Seoul Cyber Conference 2013 (Oct 17-18, Seoul)
  • ITU Telecom World 2013 (Nov. 19-22, Bangkok)

 For further information, please refer to the TEL 48 Chair’s Report (TBC).

TEL 49th meetings will be held in the first half of 2014 and the schedule will be announced shortly.


APEC economies have achieved the goal of tripling internet access in the region, originally set in the 2000 APEC Leaders' Declaration (the Brunei Declaration) and the goal of universal internet access by 2010. Economies are currently working to establish and implement policies to reach the goal of universal access to broadband by 2015.

The TEL has also been promoting the use of ICT for socio-economic development and recently conducted workshops on transfer of green ICT and disaster management. In addition, the TEL has been working towards trade and investment facilitation in ICT, including the implementation of MRA.

The MRA on Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment (MRA-CA) is in its 12th year of implementation. It benefits manufacturers by reducing the cost of getting a product approved and by reducing the time taken for products to reach the market. It also benefits consumers by ensuring access to a variety of competitively-priced products. The MRA TF completed the text of the MRA for equivalence of technical requirements in telecommunications equipment (MRA-ETR) to complement the MRA-CA, which was endorsed at the 8th Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications and Information in October 2010.

Promoting a safe and trusted ICT environment is another priority for the TEL and various cybersecurity initiatives have been conducted by the TEL. In 2010, the TEL created and observed Cybersecurity Awareness Day on 29th October 2010 with exhibition of posters on cybersecurity, which will continue to be observed by TEL members every year.

The TEL has been also successful in its active engagement of the private sector and other international organisations to achieve synergies and progress work in areas of mutual interest. Many TEL projects are initiated and driven solely by the private sector, and others are joint private-public sector initiatives in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Global Business Dialogue on e-Society (GBDe), the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), the Internet Society (ISOC) and the International Telecommunications Users Group (INTUG).

Nur Sulyna ABDULLAH (Ms)
Director, International Affairs
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
Noraini Noor Khan (Ms)
Assistant to the Chair
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
Joji KOIKE (Mr)
Program Director
APEC Secretariat