TRA Initiatives in response to COVID-19
In response to the global pandemic of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), the government of the United Arab Emirates has been keen to issue a set of decisions that contribute to ensuring the safety of citizens, residents and visitors on the UAE territory.
In the context of its role in supporting the government's precautionary efforts in the current circumstances, TRA launched several initiatives to enhance the ICT sector in this regards.
List of Initiatives:
Free Internet Data via Mobile phone to enable Distant Learning
In coordination between the Ministry of Education in the UAE and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), service providers in the UAE were instructed to provide a package of data needed to access the distance learning feature for families without home internet, free of charge. For more information, click here.
Awareness voice messages when making a phone call
To support the current precautionary measures in cooperation with the Health Authority in the Emirate of Dubai, the TRA in coordination with the service providers launched an awareness voice message when making a phone call. For more information, click here.
Availability of a set of applications to support distant learning and work from home
In the context of the emergency procedures taken as a response to the emerging conditions, the TRA had in coordination with the service providers announced the availability of a set of applications previously unavailable, to be provided exceptionally and until further notice to support distant learning and work from home. For more information, click here.
In its effort to encourage people to stay at home and practice social distancing, the TRA announced a list of purchasing apps used in the UAE for consumers to use instead of physically performing daily grocery shopping. The TRA updates the list on a regular basis based on market developments. The online stores included in the list include large shopping centers and cooperatives, in addition to grocery stores, meat and vegetable shops, and other services. For more information, click here.
Encouraging the use of Service providers mobile applications
As part of its effort to encourage people to stay at home and avoid social interaction, the TRA announced a recommendation to consumers to use smart applications of the service providers when ordering any of the services, such; managing an account or paying the bills. For more information, click here.
Extension of wireless authorizations and provision of wireless frequency backup
In support of the Health sector, the TRA extended the validity of all wireless permits to hospitals and medical centers regardless of the date of the end of the authorization as well as provided a package of wireless frequency as backup to support the Health sector’s wireless communication systems. For more information, click here.
Network capacity enhancement and re-engineering
To facilitate a smooth experience of distant learning and remote working and due to the significant changes to the demand for telecommunications services and the usual telecommunications traffic flows, the TRA urged service providers to enhance its network capacity, perform network re-engineering when required, and to implement any necessary changes as soon as practicable in order to facilitate the success of distance learning and remote working.
100% Implementation of Work from Home for TRA employees
As part of its effort to promote precautionary measures in the ICT sector and to avoid the physical interaction between its employees. All TRA employees had as off 26 March 2020 started working remotely from home.
In order to make the best of people’s time at home, the TRA provides online training through its “TRA Academy” by the Center of Digital Innovation at TRA. The platform offers interactive, free of charge, online training courses on trending topics of business, technology and soft skills around the clock. For more information, For more information about the award please click here.
As part of TRA’s engagement with the National Emergency and Crisis Management and Disaster Authority NCEMA, the TRA ensured that the telecom sector ensured that the Emergency Broadcast service availability to deliver the government announcements to the public.
SMS Alerts to UAE national abroad
Communicating with UAE nationals though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informing them about processes and procedures for evacuation and precautions to be taken.
Suspension of deactivation of mobile services due to documents expiry to ensure service continuity
The TRA instructed the telecom licensees in the country to suspend deactivating the mobile services due to documents expiry. This is in line with the government initiative to enable work from home and distant learning. For more information, click here.
Assign FM Sound Broadcasting Frequencies for Drive-Through Health Examination Centre.
The UAE government has started an initiative to do health examination centers distributed all over the main cities in the UAE. The initiative aims to conduct test for the new Corona virus, COVID-19, which is done for examinees from inside the car. The examinee receives audio instructions via car radio receiver on FM frequency from the time he/she entre the center till leave and the result will be send later to his/her mobile or can be checked through mobile application. The TRA has assigned proper FM sound broadcasting frequency for each location where the examination center was established. For more information, click here.
Enablement of the UAE Government to Work from Home
In order to support federal government entities within the UAE to enable them to work from home, The TRA has assisted by:
- Provide suite of services to enable government entities to work from home including collaboration, video conferencing tools and cloud services.
- Increase the infrastructure capacities
- Create and circulate guidelines and policies on how to securely deploy and use collaboration tools.
Security Advisories on securing systems and infrastructure
TRA, through aeCERT, published a guideline to IT admins on how to secure VPN connections, and is releasing security advisories to all IT and information security professionals on the latest COVID-19-related cyber incidents and attacks. For more information, click here.
Security Awareness campaigns for the public
TRA is leading the efforts of raising awareness on the cybersecurity implications of COVID-19 and the safe ways of using work-from-home for the public, through online sessions and videos presented to students in schools and to their families, as well as the employees. For more information, click here.
Digital Identity & Signing Platform (UAEPASS)
In order to ensure that individuals & entities are able to offer services digitally, TRA developed UAEPASS, which is the first National Digital Identity, was put to real practice. UAEPASS enables individuals to verify who they are digitally hence enables seamless digital services without the need for physical visit. Furthermore, another key service offered includes the ability to sign documents digitally as well as get digitally signed document verified. For more information, click here.
Free Internet Data via Mobile phone to Health applications and platforms
In coordination between the Ministry of Health in the UAE and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), service providers in the UAE were instructed to allow access to these platforms and websites freely without counting against their usage quotas and packages.
Issuing TRA wireless authorization through TRA App
Customers can apply for wireless authorization services through TRA App from the comfort of their home. For more, click here.
Supporting the provision of remote healthcare services
As part of its efforts to support hospitals and clinics and enable them to provide remote healthcare services, TRA announced in coordination with telecom operators (etisalat and du) the availability of additional communication Apps on an exceptional basis on all networks until further notice, For more, click here.
Increase of fixed broadband speed to 100 Mbps
TRA announced increasing the speed of fixed broadband to 100 Mbps, as a result of the measures taken by the telecom sector. This aims to secure high internet speeds that ensure smooth running of online work and distance learning, as well as ensuring the best quality of video and voice calls and sharing files online. For more, click here.
TRA invited the customers to send their Eid greetings and Eidiya, digitally, through online banking Apps. For more, click here.
Steps to sterilize the mobile phone
TRA called on the customers to sterilize their mobile phones in the correct way to avoid contamination. For more, click here.
TRA Employees back-to-work precautionaty plan
TRA developed a precautionary plan for its employees back to work in TRA premises. For more, click here.
Working from home enablement plan for TRA employees
TRA developed a comprehensive plan to enable its employees to work from home. click here.