During the sixth annual meeting of the Arab Regulators Network (AREGNET) that was held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 19 to 20 May, 2009, the presidency of AREGNET was transferred from the National Telecommunications Authority in Tunis to the National Regulatory Authority in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Seventeen Regulators participated in the meeting. Dr. Amr Badawi, NTRA's Executive President, headed the Egyptian delegation.
During the meetings, discussions tackled the issue of developing frameworks on the establishment and administration of Arab regulatory authorities for Arab countries that are still in their early stages of developing regulators. This will emphasize joint collaboration and harmonization between Arab countries. As well, this harmonization will facilitate investment in Arab countries for telecommunication companies.
The meeting also discussed the issue of number portability and the successful experiences in the Arab region in this area, highlighting the challenges and advantages of the application of this system. Moreover, the issue of Arab domain names was discussed in the meeting, which allows non-English-speaking Arab users to benefit from the Internet and use it in their daily lives.
As for AREGNET's upcoming projects, the member states entrusted NTRA to chair a working group that studies Internet Broadband in terms of how to increase its spread between fellow citizens with total consideration to the gradual evolution in modern technologies; WIFI, WIMAX and UMTS, along with the pricing of these services. Regulators of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Jordan, Tunisia, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, Syria, Sudan and Libya joined this working group.
AREGNET also established a working group that will be in charge of the preparation of the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR), which will take place in Beirut, Lebanon in November of this year.