The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced the conclusion of the 8th edition of ‘Sada Al Barq’ exercise for the National Emergency Telecommunication Plan, organized virtually by the TRA with participation of telecom service providers in the UAE: Emirates Telecommunication Group Company (etisalat), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) and Al Yah Satellite Communication Company (Yahsat). This exercise comes under the framework of the initiative “Telecom business continuity in emergency, crisis and disaster”, which serves TRA’s strategic goal in the UAE and helps implement a regulatory framework that stimulates competition and develops the quality of services provided.
The exercise, organized by TRA as the driving force of the UAE telecom sector, was attended by trained teams from etisalat, du and Yahsat. The exercise was conducted in a hypothetical scenario to gauge the sector’s readiness to deal with unexpected, unusual and concurrent events.
Commenting on this exercise, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, said: “For the 8th consecutive year, we conduct this key exercise with our strategic partners, reflecting our joint work as a national team to ensure continued effectiveness of the telecom infrastructure and access to services by customers in every part of our beloved country. This year, as with every year, we see the importance of this harmony in the distribution of roles to ensure a coordinated response among stakeholders, whether in anticipating risks or in responding to them to achieve a rapid recovery and mitigate potential impacts.”
His Excellency stressed that the UAE demonstrated this year that it is highly capable of addressing risks, adding: "We have demonstrated with undisputed proof that our efforts over the past years have paid off in a way placing the UAE among the most advanced nations in terms of resilience and continuity of different aspects of life, despite the ferocity of the pandemic and mounting concerns. Thanks to the vital infrastructure of the telecom sector, more than a million students were able to continue their education remotely, while hundreds of thousands of employees were able to work from home, and people could do their shopping from e-commerce platforms.”
TRA noted that ‘Sada Al Barq’ has gauged the sector’s readiness to handle unexpected, unusual and concurrent events, in order to show efficiency of procedures and viability of operations with emergencies and crises, and demonstrate the ability to deal with unusual and concurrent circumstances.
The exercise comes in the context of TRA's concern to take all necessary measures for a resilient critical telecommunication infrastructure by preparing for emergencies and mitigating their impact, and through a coordinated response between affected entities to quickly recover. To that end, it is imperative to make sure that relevant means, at both the strategic and executive levels, are incorporated into the plans of telecom sector players.