The 5th MENA Spectrum Conference, hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), was launched today in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi (Feb 12-13), in the presence of H.E. Majed Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General of The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), representatives of telecommunications organizations in relevant countries, and decision makers in the spectrum sector from all over the Middle East and North Africa, to discuss key issues related to spectrum management and coordination in the region.
The MENA Spectrum Conference aims through discussion sessions and presentations to foster cooperation and coordination between Arab countries and countries in the region in the field of frequency spectrum. Participants will address all developments in this sector based on the results, decisions and recommendations of the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), which took place from October 28 to November 22 in Sharm el-Sheikh.
In a speech delivered at the beginning of the Conference, H.E. Majed Al Mesmar welcomed the guests, expressing his gratitude to all those who worked for the success of the event, which comes at a time when 5G and spectrum have become the talk of the hour. H.E. added: “Through this important Conference, we hope we can reach solutions that are not only sustainable, but also beneficial to all parties, through the diverse range of topics the Conference aims to cover. Today we stand before a wide range of potential challenges related to the implementation of 5G and other aspects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), but the major challenge facing decision-makers in the spectrum sector is to ensure there is a strategy to keep up with this rapidly evolving environment, and to ensure that the required spectrum resources are available when needed, while taking into account matters of efficiency and effectiveness.”
His Excellency emphasized that the UAE was keen to dedicate the time and effort, and work directly to pave the way for the future, adding: “Upon the conclusion of WRC-19, we adopted a motivational approach to encourage our operators to implement 5G technologies as quickly as possible, and the UAE has updated the National Frequency Plan to accommodate WRC decisions. Furthermore, we held in December 2019 the UAE 5G Conference with wide participation of experts and decision-makers from all over the world, and we have developed the first 5G strategy, drawing a clear roadmap towards the application of this revolutionary technology in the next 5-10 years.”
The two-day Conference agenda includes many discussion sessions, presentations, and open dialogue sessions which highlighted the importance of spectrum in achieving sustainable development in the world and strengthening the efforts of cooperation and coordination among the Arab countries and North Africa in this field on one hand, and between them and the rest of the regional groups falling under the ITU umbrella on the other.
This Conference comes shortly after the conclusion of the 26th ASMG Meeting, hosted earlier this month (February 9-11) by the TRA. The Meeting aimed to review WRC results, identify new working groups and distribute all WRC-approved agenda items to mini groups, in addition to distributing ASMG roles and tasks to ITU study committees and working groups.
Arab countries attained five leading positions during WRC-19 as follows: Dr. Omar Badawi (Egypt) appointed as president of the WRC, Eng. Tariq Al-Awadi appointed as vice chairman of the WRC and leader of the ASMG, Eng. Sultan al-Baloushi (UAE) as head of Working Group 4A on the discussion of IMT-related matters, Eng. Ahmed Amin (UAE) as chairman of Working Group 5A on satellite service topics, and Eng. Mohamed Suleiman (Egypt) as chairman of Working Group 5B dealing with items related to satellite services.