The Telecom Business Continuity Forum, an event organized by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), has recommended the regular update of various sectors’ emergency plans, particularly in telecommunications, noting the importance of telecoms’ role as a vital link for other sectors to continue its operations during a crisis. The forum highlighted the importance of keeping pace with contemporary innovations and solutions in telecommunications to address the unpredictable nature of disasters amidst unprecedented technological developments.
The Forum has noted in its recommendations issued during the final session last week to promote the integrity of emergency plans and crises through the participation of government entities in the telecommunications continuity programs and meet the needs and requirements of those entities
The Telecom Business Continuity Forum, themed ‘Global and National Competitiveness of Telecom Business Continuity’ It has issued a set of recommendations that will help promote the UAE’s competitiveness in ICT, as well as the sector’s business continuity and sustainability. It also discussed the need for managing a secure environment for the government’s information security system to ensure business continuity and propagate awareness among individuals.
In addition, the forum has recommended the importance of forecasting future scenarios as well as the significant role of flexibility and continuity from the initial planning stage. It looks into the building of technology systems in smart cities and choosing the locations of data distribution centers to tackle hacking attempts, apart from providing alternative setups to locate the data and landline necessary in ensuring business continuity in case of disasters and unusual circumstances. It also suggested studying collaboration methods between TRA and Estmrary Academy to formulate general framework and approach to implement business continuity programs.
H.E. Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General- Telecommunication sector TRA, said: “The contemporary technological transformations and the global trend in smart cities has produced new challenges that must be addressed to ensure sustainability and continuity. As we face the risks in the future, it requires urgent reflection on our security and development, which we have are very proud of, following the directions of the UAE Government’s wise leadership. The Telecom Business Continuity Forum was initially launched in 2011 and has continued since then to address the rapid pace of development in the telecommunication sector as innovative ideas today becomes obsolete tomorrow.”
“The accurate response to disasters is absolutely not possible as we do not have the ability to predict when they will happen, but a good preparation for the worst case scenarios would protect individuals and organizations’ interests and save lives during such circumstances. Disasters’ impacts are not limited to loss of material possessions or the length of time of market disconnection online. It affects the core of security in all economic, social and human life, so it is more than a matter of winning or losing,” H.E. Al Mesmar explained.
Abdulrahman Al Naser, TRA’s Manager, Telecom Business Continuity and Crisis Management stated that the forum’s recommendations have focused on the integrity of emergency plans between the TRA and various government entities. The TRA has worked to establish the significance of the forum during its successive sessions, covering the biggest possible number of partners, including major telecoms operators. In the latest edition, the event has included various licensed partners, academics and other government entities to expand its scope and further increase the awareness about the importance of business continuity.
Al Naser has expressed the TRA’s appreciation to the participants for their response and interest in the forum and commended the various programmes and other interventions submitted in the forum’s recommendations. He also underscored the increase in awareness on the importance of ICTs’ business continuity as the TRA placed a priority in spreading more information since the launch the forum. The outcomes of the forum were distributed in Arabic language to raise the level of awareness among Arabic readers regarding the importance of telecommunications and to make ICT-related knowledge available not only limited for English speakers, as most researches and studies related with the sector were being published only in English. He emphasized the forum’s efforts to Arabize the terminologies, featuring the Arab language’s comprehensive grasp to clarify the meaning and technological concepts.
The forum has discussed the possible impacts in the community in case of sudden telecommunication disconnections that may happen for any reason, given the unprecedented growth in the global ICT sector, the prevalence of smart applications and devices, and heavy dependence on ICT technology services to the public. It promoted major hubs such as future forecasting, smart and sustainable cities, scientific research and technological innovation.
The forum provided an interactive platform for scientific exchange among the attendees on the best domestic and global practices the promote ICT business continuity management under various circumstances, including disasters and crises.
The Telecoms Business Continuity Forum was created to ensure licensed operators have the proper planning and understanding of roles required to address emergencies. The forum’s inaugural session was held in 2011.