The Arab Regulators Network (ARNET) held a meeting in the period from 8 to 9 April 2008 in Bahrain. The first day of the meeting witnessed a high level meeting for ARNET representatives, ICT operators and the World Association for ICT providers. The second day was a workshop on Communications and the Environment. The Roaming Prices Working Group met on the 7th April where they discussed the latest developments in this regard and the best means of its regulation.
The meeting brought about recommendations on the regulatory measures related to the Roaming prices and to put forth these recommendations to Arab ministerial Council as a prelude for its ratifications in the coming ministerial meeting scheduled in June 2008 in Jordan. The Arab ministerial council had submitted a request to the ARNET to study the prices of the mobile roaming services between Arab countries in an attempt to reach appropriate solutions for reducing these prices. The NTRA took the initiative to invite Executive presidents of the different Arab regulatory authorities and operators in January 2006 for a meeting with the aim of formulating a general idea on the extent of the problem and means of solving it. It presided a working group for studying this issue and coordinated efforts with all concerned parties such as the GSMA and the Arab operators. Bahrain also hosted a workshop to discuss the same issue in November 2007where it discussed a number of studies and proposals and exchanges different views in this regard.
The Bahrain meeting addressed a number of papers that address the unification of the licenses measures, consumer protection and regional comparisons in this regard.
The meeting also tackled the opportunities that the ICT sector can provide for supporting the different environmental programs.
Dr. Amr Badawi the NTRA executive president headed the Egyptian delegation, it is worth mentioning in this regard that this meeting was the last one in the Bahrain presidency to the ARNET. The ARNET presidency rotates between members in alphabetical order with the exception of Egypt which took over the presidency in 2005/2006.
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