Telecom 99 at Geneva
telecommunication n. 电信 exhibitor n. 展出者 purchase phone vt. 购买 mobile phone n. 移动电话 facility n. 设备，设施（常用复数）
GENEVA-The world's largest telecommunications exhibition and conference "Telecom 99" opened here on October 10 and runs until October 17. One of the major themes of the conference will be how to help developing countries benefit from the advances in the industry.
Today half the population of northern Europe has a mobile phone. In French, it is one in four. In developing countries however, people face a five-to-10 year wait for a fixed phone line.
Providing better telecommunications facilities in the less-developed nations would place the decision to purchase phones into the hands of the user, said Tim Kelly of the International Telecommunication Union （ITU）， the UN agency organizing Telecom 99.
The benefits could be equally as revolutionary in Africa or Asia to shopkeepers or farmers as advances on the Internet and e-mail have been in the developed world.
"There are 36 million people waiting for a fixed phone line phone in the world, who would buy one if they could," Kelly said.
Some 1,200 exhibitors from 45 countries are presenting their latest developments at Telecom 99, which takes place every four years and for the most part will not be open to the public.
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