Dr. Eng Amr Badawi, the executive president of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) inaugurated the 30th GSM Operators Conference in the Arab Region, on the 27th and 28th of March 2006 in Movenpick, Jolly Ville Sharm El Sheikh.
Dr. Eng Amr Badawi, the executive president of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) inaugurated the 30th GSM Operators Conference in the Arab Region, on the 27th and 28th of March 2006 in Movenpick, Jolly Ville Sharm El Sheikh. More than 43 GSM operators from 21 countries participated in the Conference in addition to the companies operating in ICT sector in Egypt and Arab countries.
The conference addressed the third generation (3G) technology and means of consolidating cooperation between GSM operators and telecom regulatory bodies and GSM Association (GSMA), which GSM Arab World (GSMAW) is affiliate to.
Dr. Amr Badawi highlighted the significant role NTRA has been playing in order to regulate the interaction and relations between companies and users in such a way that would ensure the welfare of all concerned parties and stakeholders. NTRA has been regarded as the fair judge that settled all their disputes. Moreover, he stressed the fact that NTRA has been encouraging and promoting free competition and deployment of telecom services in remote areas. The government, he added, has been pursuing the policy of market liberalization. Furthermore, NTRA has been liberalizing the International Telecom Gateways in order to liberalize the ICT sector.
NTRA’s executive president alluded to many significant issues; chief among them was the high rates of international roaming services among the Arab countries, as they amounted to eightfold the rate of local call. The conference was a good opportunity to discuss this issue. Dr. Eng Amr Badawi stated that the Arab Telecommunications and Information Council of Ministers (ATICM) assigned the task of studying the issue to the Arab Regulators Network (ARNET). The network is expected to submit a report on the conceivable and possible solutions to decrease the international roaming call rates among the Arab countries.
Within the framework of this Conference, Mr. Beshr Mahanna, the president of GSMAW, affiliate to GSMA, referred to the achievements of GSMAW with regards to spreading mobile technology internationally and on coordination of mobile operators efforts and attempts to bridge the Digital Divide between the West and the Arab region. Mr. Beshr Mahanna referred to mobile telephony density in the Arab world, which amounted to 30% in the present. GSMAW has been encouraging more mobile companies to enter the telecom market in order to increase this percentage.
Eng. Omar El Sheikh, the head of Governmental Relations in Vodafone, and Eng. Moatasem Osama, the manager of Marketing and Customers Service in Vodafone, were among the speakers of the Conference. Eng. Omar El Sheik mentioned the main factors that affect the spread of mobile in the Arab region.
Eng. Moatasem Osama stressed the prominent development the mobile companies have achieved in ICT sector and the features of 3G Technology that facilitated the user’s access to information. He alluded to the new services Vodafone provided.
Mrs. Isabella Moro, the GSM representative, discussed the concept of service access to underserved areas.
Mr. Mohammad Hany, the manager of Technical Consultations at Siemens Middle East, stressed the significance and necessity of the mobile companies’ awareness of the new technological systems related to customers’ service. Hatem Fouad, the director of Technical Solutions in Siemens said that technology suppliers have been providing services to the remote areas.
Mr. Muhammad Ibn Abd Al Aziz Al Oqael, the previous president of GSMAW, referred to the achievements of the associations.
It is worth mentioning, in this respect, that the GSM Conference in the Arab Region is held twice every year with the aim of developing GSM industry, and discuss the relevant significant issues and exchange expertise.