Page 10 - SAMENA Trends - June-August 2021
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               Flexibility of policies and regulations to allow for accelerated and
               sustainable innovation

               The sector and industry members were keen on emphasizing the need for flexible regulations that would
               allow telecommunication service providers to answer to the needs of local and global communities.
               Mr. John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer at GSMA, stressed the need for governments to provide flexibility
               for network traffic management and quality service parameters.
               An example that underscored the value of flexibility was shared by Mr. Khaled Hegazy, Chief Corporate
               Affairs Officer at Etisalat. Etisalat Egypt was able to get approvals from the relevant bodies to deploy
               network in quarantine hotels in 24 hours rather than usual protocol of 45 days to three months, which
               enabled connection to students and other individuals in need.
               Besides flexibility, agility could be an essential aspect of regulatory interventions. The regulators can give
               due space and control to telecommunication companies for them to be the first point of contact during
               the pandemic, which notably could support successful outcomes.

               In light of crisis responses, such as relief and spectrum assignment, there was an argument for the need to
               customize regulations that benefit the citizens. Regulatory bodies have the authority and the latent power
               to mobilize polices to allow for quick and efficient solutions. This goes beyond the flexibility concept;
               showcasing the innovative disposal of regulation and implementation when the situation calls for it.

               Welcoming financial policies for sustainable investment
               The COVID-19 crisis has led to higher demand for internet access. Whether it was teleworking, schooling
               at home, or the transmission of disease control information, the telecommunication industry is faced with
               the responsibility to provide reliable services. This has led to issues such as spectrum allocation and
               investments for connectivity.
               Mr. Maxim Naidoo, Executive Head of Technical Regulation at Vodacom, called for enabling policies supporting
               long-term investments in telecommunication infrastructure. These long-term investments would ensure future
               resilience of the network infrastructure against short-term shocks, producing more durable outcomes.
               In this era, the private sector would appreciate long-term incentives for sustainable investment in networks,
               which offers stability and predictability for long-term business strategies. Mr. Rahul Vatts, Chief Regulatory
               Officer at Bharti Airtel India, underlined the urgent need for adoption of a holistic view by regulators and
               governments to not only promote but also protect investments in high-speed broadband networks.
               Mr. Gil Santaliz,  Founder and CEO of New Jersey Fiber Exchange, spoke of the need for support to
               infrastructure investments. He mentioned the fair marketplace, where private enterprises could predict
               and have expectations for their invested capital, without facing regulatory “guardrails”.

               During the meeting, a polling was conducted to engage all the participants and learn from their opinions.
               1. EXPECTATIONS FOR  2. WHY JOIN ITU-D AS                       3. INNOVATION DRIVEN
               THE UPCOMING WTDC A MEMBER                                      AREAS BY INDUSTRY
                                                                               AND PRIVATE SECTOR
               More emphasis on partnerships   Opportunity to participate in events   FOR BUSINESS
               and resource mobilization      and get networked [Most Voted]
               Having a strong resolution on the   IAGDI-CRO provides a voice for industry
               role of private sector in ITU-D  and private sector [Most Voted]  Education [Most Voted]

               Declaration which is pro industry   Opportunity to participate in BDT   E-commerce
               engagement                     win-win projects
               All of the above [Most Voted]  IAGDI-CRO as a dynamic, forward-
                                              looking group
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