Minister urges local investment in development of telecommunications industry to assure diversity of UAE economy
At the Seventh Global Symposium for Telecommunications Regulators (GSR – 07) held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the UAE Minister for Development of Government Sector urged local investment in the development of the telecommunications industry to assure the diversity of the UAE economy.
Bringing together regulatory authorities from around the world, the first day concluded with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretary General of ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Touré and Tom Phillips, Chief Government and Regulatory Affairs officer of the GSM Association. On the occasion, Touré expressed, “Focusing on fostering the development of ICT in undeveloped areas, this agreement is a step in leveraging the promises of next generation networks to ensure all the world’s villages are connected to ICT by 2015.”
Dr. Mohamed Al-Ghanim, Director General, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE (TRA) and the Chairman of the 7th GSR, expounded on the need to capitalise on world-wide regulatory experience, “The TRA has only been in business for two years, during which we have put into place a regulatory framework, licensed a second operator and initiated interconnection negotiations. Why so quickly? Because we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, we just had to make it fit UAE circumstances.”
Regulatory reform has been at the heart of the progress already made to improve access to ICTs. Between 1999 to 2006, global mobile subscribers increased from 500 million to nearly 2.5 billion, with consumption in the UAE alone surpassing 125 percent.
Organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) of the United Nations and hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates (TRA), this years theme focused on “The Road to Next Generation Networks (NGN): Can Regulators Promote Investment and Achieve Open Access?” and provided an opportunity for addressing the challenges brought about by the migration of Next Generation Networks (NGN).
The 2007 GSR also introduced a new feature, Speed Exchanges, to provide additional opportunities for participants to meet informally and exchange views. Topics to be discussed include interconnection, the enabling environment, consumer protection, quality of service, cyber security issues in an NGN world, universal access and international internet interconnection amongst others.
Running alongside the symposium, ITU’s Telecommunications Development Bureau (BDT) is running an exhibition focusing on NGNs. Open to ITU-D Sector Members, the exhibition deals with the provision of affordable ICT solutions for rural areas, personalised and blended services and advances in the build of the Information Society.
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