The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has organised the Telecom Business Continuity Forum, which will be held today at the St. Regis Hotel in Dubai, to discuss the risks and challenges facing governments, organisations and individuals in telecommunications services. Topics include sudden disconnection of services, the unprecedented growth of information technology worldwide, growth in smart services usage and applications, as well as the growing dependence on ICT for various public and private services.
The Business Continuity Forum, which is being held under the theme, ‘Global and National Competitiveness for Telecom Business Continuity,’ is hailed as a first-of-its-kind in the region, providing studies, thought leadership and the latest information about the telecommunications sector, delivered in both Arabic and English. Whether in the discussion meetings or through the website, the forum aims to increase awareness in the Arab region about the importance of the telecommunications sector and promote ICT to the next Arab generations as well as make it available for non-Arabic speakers.
The forum offers various clusters such as the portfolio of the future, sustainable smart cities, scientific researches and technological innovation presented through various working papers and provided by participating entities relevant to their clusters.
Some of the most notable working papers include the ‘Advancing the Telecommunications Sector and Integrated Infrastructure’ to be delivered by the TRA. Another paper themed ‘Flexibility and Continuity Framework and Implementation Approaches’ will be delivered by Etisalat Academy which is the only academy in the world that provides IT studies in Arabic. UAE telecoms operator Du will also present a paper titled ‘The Importance of Business Continuity in a Respond System’.
The Abu Dhabi Police will explore work paper titled ‘Responding to Disasters in the UAE through Early Alarm Systems’. Ernst & Young will participate with a working paper focused on flexibility in the smart city, while Essnet broadband company with present a working paper titled ‘Telecommunications Industry in promote the ability to face the disasters’.
H.E. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General of Telecommunication Sector, TRA, said: “Business continuity and sustainability is one of the most important global competitive standards within the telecommunications sector, which is highly essential for the continuity and sustainability for other businesses.”
H.E. Al Mesmar highlighted that the unprecedented growth of the business sector worldwide is because of economic globalization and the increasing demand on ICT poses new challenges and risks that could threaten the business continuity in various sectors, calling for the need to find innovative solutions to address the new challenges in nature and anticipate extreme scenarios.
“This forum aims to unify the efforts between the TRA and various entities related with telecommunication sector in the country to ensure high level of readiness and to keep pace with the rapid changes in the ICT sector and ensure services are provided under all circumstances,” he added.
Abdulrahman Al Naser, TRA’s Manager, Telecom Business Continuity and Crisis Management noted that fast pace of technological developments come with risks especially in building smarter and more flexible cities while also facing emergencies and unforeseen changes. He emphasized the need to build abilities to face disasters through proper preparations – both technical and people preparedness to reduce anticipated damages.
He cited the TRA’s policy on reliability to ensure continued telecommunication operations through the preparation, coordination, follow up and reduce damage in collaboration with all related entities including the technical and security operations. He stated the readiness of UAE’s telecommunication sector in facing disasters and crisis.
The forum will also showcase an interactive platform for scientific exchanges among the participants and discuss local and global best practices on how businesses can continue to operate and how the telecommunications sector can ensure continuity during emergencies, natural disasters and crisis.
The TRA has organized the forum to learn and benefit from best practices, as well as study real situations to ensure business continuity in the sector and drive growth for the country at par with international standards. It aims to build a highly effective digital society following a development approach in collaboration with international partners.
The forum is looking at special researches related with business continuity to promote telecommunication services, as well as systems and regulations related with business continuity, define controls and standards for licensees and apply it, as well as formulate excellence awards for operators. The Telecom Business Continuity Forum was established to clarify and set clear roles in the sector in case of emergencies. The first forum was held in 2011.