Arab regulators prepare for ITU conference

Delegates discussed changes to international telco regulation at Dubai meetings
Mohamed Al Ghanem stressed the importance of the ITU meeting in December.
Mohamed Al Ghanem stressed the importance of the ITU meeting in December.

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The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has completed hosting a meeting of delegates from Arab countries to discuss revisions to the international telecommunication regulations.

The meetings, which were held at the TRA’s headquarters in Dubai from September 8 -10, were in preparation for the World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT) which will be hosted from December 3-14 in Dubai.

The meetings were chaired by Tariq al-Awadi, executive director of the TRA’s spectrum department, and were attended by representatives from 12 Arab countries.

The first day of the meetings was dedicated to a regional coordination meeting between the Arab countries and other regional groups in the ITU, including the American Group (CITEL) and the African Group (ATU) in addition to regional and international organisations and regional companies such as the ICANN and the European Telecommunications Network Operators, as well as other private sector companies from the Arab region. The Telecommunications Technical Bureau of Bahrain and representatives of the ITU in Geneva also attended the meeting.

Mohammed Nasser al-Ghanim, director general of the UAE’s TRA opened the meeting by stressing the significance of the WCIT meeting in December, which will see regulators from across the world agree a new set of international telecoms regulations.
The last time that international telecom regulations were agreed and implemented was in Australia in 1988.

"The great importance of this conference lies in the fact that it is seen as a significant event of the telecommunications sector in the history of ITU, because through this important world conference, the international telecommunication regulations will be updated and revised, as these regulations constitute one of the fundamental international treaties that form the basis of ITU and the foundations of its functions,” Al-Ghanim said.

"The international telecommunication regulations are the most important international treaties relevant to the area of communications with 178 signatory countries. These regulations set the general principles relating to the provision and operation of international communications; facilitating international connectivity and interoperability; supporting coordinated development and effective operation of technical facilities and enhancing the efficiency, usefulness and availability of international telecommunications services," he added.

The amendments and additions proposed by members states concerning the revision of the international telecommunication regulations concern the following:

1 Convergence between telecommunications and information technology

2 The public's right of access to international telecommunications services

3 Interconnection and interoperability and quality of the services

4 Fees and accounting

5 Information security

6 Communications in cases of emergency, disaster and crisis

7 Protection of national resources, numbers and addresses, and combating misuse

8 Combating scam, fraud, deceptive messages and SPAM

The TRA said that the meeting was focused on understanding the proposals and views of other regional and international groups that took part in the meeting, and on identifying their views with regard to these regulations and also with regard to the conference, its structure and the proposed topics on its agenda.

The Arab proposals to revise the regulations aim to stimulate sustainability, growth, development and innovation in ICT by enhancing global cooperation among governments and private sectors to achieve the following important and key goals.

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