Yoshio Utsumi’s vision and expertise have helped shape world policy on emerging information and communications technologies and paved the way for Internet Protocol (IP) communications networks and standards for 3G mobile communications. In Japan, Dr. Utsumi’s policy-making decisions during the 1980s were instrumental in introducing fully competitive telecommunications services and privatization of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone. His reforms resulted in a sharp drop in telephone rates and expansion of the cellular market. Dr. Utsumi’s efforts also enabled the introduction of Internet services in Japan and the high penetration of broadband networks seen there today, with over 99% of all households having access to optical-fiber subscriber lines. Serving as secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) from 1998 to 2006, Dr. Utsumi transformed one of the world’s oldest international organizations into a leader for the emerging information society. He helped navigate the change from traditional telephone-based technology to IP-based technology and led the adaptation of international rules to meet the needs of the emerging technologies. The ITU’s standardization efforts under Utsumi’s leadership have helped realize today’s all-IP communications networks and 3G mobile communications. His organization of the two phases of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) resulted in adoption of many international agreements such as the Geneva Declaration of Principles and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society. WSIS agreements provide world leaders with a clear roadmap for shaping a people-centered, inclusive, and development-oriented information society.
Dr. Utsumi is currently president of the Japan Telecommunications Engineering and Consulting Service and advisor to Toyota Info Technology Center Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan.