ITU, the International Telecommunication Union, is making final preparations ahead of Telecom World 2006, an exhibition and conference held by the United Nations agency every three years. The show, which is set to be smaller than in previous years, will open its doors in Hong Kong on Monday 4 December, the first time it has been held outside Europe.

Organisers expect up to 57,000 visitors to attend Telecom World, between 4 and 8 December, compared with the 102,000 visitors that attended the last Telecom World show, held in Geneva in 2003. The ITU expects 60 percent of visitors at this year's show to come from Asia and the Middle East.

This year's show will be about the need to make technology both easier to use and more accessible to people globally.

In a summary of a report, the ITU outlined the range of challenges faced by governments and operators that will be discussed during the show, including regulatory issues that affect mobile services and internet content, such as IPTV.

The full report will be released during Telecom World.

With less than a week to go before the show opens its doors, exhibitors and organisers are putting the final touches on exhibition stands and making sure the required infrastructure is in place. For example, electricians have so far installed 35km of cable to make sure each booth has power, ITU has said.

The show is expected to consume 350,000 kilowatts of power, enough electricity to power the US state of Wyoming.