Wednesday 8, June 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has participated in the recently concluded 25th GCC Ministerial Committee for Post and Telecommunications, chaired by Dr. Mohamed Bin Ibrahim Al-Swail, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Saudi Arabia, held in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The meeting focused on the recommendations raised by the GCC Committee for Undersecretaries of Post and Telecommunications during its meeting held in May this year.

It also discussed the recommendations by the Secretariat General regarding the outcomes of the 31st GCC Posts Chiefs and Undersecretaries Meeting, Mobile Roaming Team, recommendations from the GCC Technical Committee for Telecommunications Bureau and the legislation and regulation of application services provided through the Internet. Supporting the joint initiative between Jordan and GCC in formulating a plan for collaboration and integration within telecommunications have also been discussed, in addition to several issues such as ways to limit blackmails, impersonation, and other types of spam emails. The meeting also noted the need for collaboration among GCC countries and companies providing applications on how to respond to these concerns.

Members also raised the plans to create a strategy which aims to reduce the price of mobile roaming within GCC and review current procedures for the benefit of consumers. Other concerns were also raised such as the review of the tasks of the regulation and legislation committee, regulatory and operational issues, present partnership with international organisations and regional and multinational companies, and other ways to promote information and communications technology (ICT) in the region.

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the TRA, led the UAE delegation, which is composed of Engr. Tariq Al Awadhi, Executive Director for Spectrum Management; Engr. Mohamed Al Zarooni, Director for Policies and Programs; Engr. Nasser Bin Hammad, Senior Manager for International Affairs; Hasan Al Ahbabi, Regulatory Economist; and Mr. Sultan Al Madfaa from Emirates Post Group.

Engr. Mohamed Al Zarooni has suggested during the meeting a project which aims to unify all the telecommunications devices in GCC to further strengthen the level of coordination between Arab Gulf countries. The project will ensure that documents related to the devices distributed in the GCC are uniform to protect the market from counterfeit products and documents which pose risks on users’ safety. The project presents an innovative solution to limit fraud by forming a quality review team within the GCC which will help unify laboratory standards following global standards and establish a database within a joint electronic system for the project.

H.E. Al Mansoori said: “Our participation in this meeting is in line with TRA’s efforts to promote collaboration and coordination with the GCC in telecommunications and information technology sector (ICT) in order to face the challenges brought about by the sector’s rapid growth in the region and the world. The UAE is keen to take leadership in adopting advanced technologies and systems to meet the demands of the sector and enable other organizations and national entities to acquire a solid IT infrastructure and meet the people’s needs, happiness and comfort.”

“This annual assembly is an important tool to monitor and follow up the GCC’s progress in its workflow in its joint ICT goals. The meetings have also effectively helped the respective members to remove the barriers that hinder the continued development of the sector as well as strengthened the integration and linkage between member countries to move ahead with the GCC’s development plans,” H.E. Al Mansoori added.

He emphasized: “It is important to coordinate the regulations between the member countries and work together to come up with unified policies and follow up with projects and strategies in keeping with global developments. This can be done by establishing a high level committee at secretary general level to study the joint projects within the GCC.”

The GCC Ministerial Committee for Post and Telecommunications is a high-level board meeting held annually to discuss the reports of all committees and teams involved in the operational, regulatory and postal services, among others. It aims to promote the collaboration and coordination between GCC and global and regional organizations related with the sector, as well as build regional and international partnerships to develop and support ICT in the region. It is responsible in protecting customers’ rights and address primary issues that will help improve all other aspects of telecommunications.

The TRA participated in the GCC Committee for Undersecretaries of Post and Telecommunications held last month in Riyadh, which served as the preliminary meeting for the Ministerial Committee where the UAE contributed in the formulation of recommendations discussed during the 25th GCC Ministerial Committee for Post and Telecommunications.