On November 14 and 15, 2005 the Instance Nationale des Télécommunications, Tunisia’s telecommunications regulatory authority, hosted the 6th Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR), immediately prior to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The annual GSR brings together heads of national regulatory authorities from both developed and developing countries, and has earned a reputation as the global venue for regulators to share their views and expertise.
This year NTRA aimed at presenting the Egyptian experience at the different GSR panels focusing upon current challenges, namely broadband, spectrum management, combating spam and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Six workshops were held in order to discuss the following topics:
- Harnessing broadband technologies
- VoIP: an opportunity for consumers and service providers
- Spectrum management to promote wireless broadband access
- International efforts to combat spam
- Broadband: What role for regulators: intervention, forbearance, promotion
- VoIP to regulate or not to regulate
Sessions were fruitful and informative, especially the workshop on the pros and cons of regulating Voice over IP. Eng. Alaa Fahmy, executive president of NTRA, participated in this workshop where he shared Egypt’s perspective on how VOIP can best be utilized to achieve Universal service goals while at the same time offering an alternative technology that can meet consumer demands and enhance competition and qulaity of service associated with voice services in general.
The first day of the GSR (November 14) was open to regulators, policy makers, ITU-D sector members, and other invited guests, whereas as the second day, November 15, was limited to regulators and policy makers only.
It is worth mentioning in this regard that this is the first time where the GSR is held in a country other than Switzerland.