Egypt, represented by NTRA's IR Department, attended 2017 Session of ITU Council that took place at ITU Headquarters in the period from 17 to 25 May 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. It is worth mentioning that Egypt was re-elected for ITU Council membership for the period 2014-2018 by the African continent during the Plenipotentiary Conference 2014. This year's Council's annual meeting had significant outcomes as it addressed a number of agenda items that are closely related to NTRA's functions and mandates.
Egypt had previously requested to host the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) and the Radio Assembly (RA-19) through the re-consideration and modification of Council Resolution 1380 that details the WRC-19 agenda, as well as the dates and venue for the said events as the Administration of Egypt has indicated its commitment to meet ITU’s minimum requirements to organize RA-19 and WRC-19 in Sharm El-Sheikh, on the dates set forth in the Resolution. In this year's meeting, ITU officials considered the letter of HE Eng. Yasser El-Kady, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology that was addressed to ITU Secretary- General as an emphasis of Egypt's request to host the event. During the works and discussions of 2016 Council, it was decided to hold (WRC-19) event in Geneva till another country declares its desire to host it.
Accordingly, the Council decided in this year's meeting to announce the initial approval of Egypt's request to host the event until the consultations between the Member States come to a decision and ITU staff visit of the event's venue before signing the hosting agreement at the next Council meeting in 2018.
Moreover, the works of the Expert Group-ITRs was discussed in the meetings. The Egyptian Administration proposed that the number of meetings of the Expert Group should be increased to four instead of three, in order to allow Member States to study the matter in a timely manner in view of the importance of the subject of the International Telecommunication Regulations that deal with several significant regulatory and operational issues in the field of international telecommunications, particularly for developing countries. Eventually, the Council decided to increase the number of expert group meetings to four.
In addition, the issue of collection of fees from telecom network operators for obtaining international numbering resources by ITU was discussed, and the impact of this proposal on the Egyptian telecom market was also taken into consideration.
NTRA exerted great efforts to mitigate the impact of this issue on the Egyptian operators. In fact, the Council has decided that annual fees will be paid directly to Instituto Nacional de Normalización (INN) and International Free Number (UIFN ) by the operators and then would be remitted to the ITU to cover the registration costs incurred by the ITU.
On the other hand, the topic of open-ended consultations of the Council's Group on Internet Policy was chosen, where there was disagreement over the issue of open-ended consultations for the Council's Internet Policy Group. There was a suggestion that the topic on OTT services or the bridging of the gender gap Internet, we have coordinated with the Arab and African Group to choose the subject of policies for Internet services metadata OTTs for his part,
The Council decided, in response to many requests including the Egyptian and African administrations' requests, that open consultations of ITU Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet) would deal with OTT services policies as for the subject of bridging the digital gender divide, it was postponed and will be discussed later on.