GCC Committee for Undersecretaries of Post and Telecommunications successfully concludes 27th meeting in Riyadh
A high-level delegation from the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has discussed during its participation at the recently concluded 27th meeting of the GCC Committee for Undersecretaries of Post and Telecommunications, which was held recently in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), topics covering partnerships in the telecommunications sector especially the recommendations issued by the Secretariat General regarding Post Office Agents Association and Telecommunication Regulation and Legislation Committee, Mobile Roaming Team, recommendations from the GCC Technical Committee for Telecommunications Bureau and the legislation and regulation teams of application services provided through the Internet. The TRA delegates also presented key points in the methods of developing joint collaboration initiatives between the GCC region and Jordan.
The TRA delegation was led by H.E. Majed Al Mesmar, TRA Deputy Director General for the Telecommunications Sector, and accompanied by Engineer Tariq Al Awadhi, Executive Director Spectrum Management, Eng. Saleh Al Masabi. Director Spectrum Services and Mr. Sultan Al Madfaa from Emirates Post Group. Attendees during the meeting acknowledged the importance of having representatives from big companies in the region, pointing that representatives from social media companies and internet service providers in the UAE, clearly contributed in facilitating the smooth responses of requests coming from the GCC region.
H.E. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General for Telecommunications Sector in the TRA, said, “The UAE has placed great importance on key partnerships within the region's telecommunications segment, mainly due to its shared goals, challenges and motivations. What the telecommunications segment needs is to further integrate the values of integrity and compatibility into its laws, legislations and regulations, in order to achieve the envisioned positive results, which includes the attainment of easy, sustainable and safe communications.”
H.E. Al Mesmar, stressed on the great importance of the meeting as an interactive GCC platform to discuss the status and decisions of one of the most important sectors in the country. He also noted that recommendations and suggestions made during the meeting should immediately be implemented in an ideal, safe and secure way, as well as aiming to achieve the set goals through the proper evaluation of proposed action plans, address challenges and facilitate a smooth exchange of knowledge and experience among countries. Emphasizing that the discussions were fruitful and promising.
“The meeting is a strategic way to monitor the status of decisions that have been recently implemented and review the various committees’ reports within all communication works, while also making unified decisions on timely issues depending on these reports. The continuous collaboration between UAE and GCC and the many achievements gained within the telecommunications and information technology sector, which has paved the way for healthy industry competition worldwide,” Al Mesmar added.
The participants proposed to develop postal services to support e-government services and e-commerce, also agreed on common procurement of supplies and equipment in the GCC, and decided to run a ' Gulf Express ' project through a trading company. Also agreed to include a number of innovative services project mainly Parcel and delivery Service at customers points, marketing to provide a basket of services, adopting price segments, as well as the adoption of ' Gulf Express ' as a formal product for correspondences.
The participants discussed numerous key provisions of the Secretariat General’s memorandum based on the recommendations made by the Telecommunication Regulation and Legislation Committee. The provisions include consumer protection in the GCC, important developments issued by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), participation of the GCC countries in ITU meetings, preparations for the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), and expansion of discussions among countries and regional groups in the telecommunication sector.
As for recommendations of the Mobile Roaming Team, the participants studied the ministerial decree on putting a ceiling on roaming prices. They also approved the recommendations to closely monitor the evolving roaming service market and review the existing procedures being implemented by network operators to protect their consumers. Further, they agreed to establish a mechanism reducing the costs of services in the GCC region.
Regarding the recommendation of internet provided services application, legislation and regulation team, the participants reviewed the reports submitted by member countries regarding the response of internet providers to GCC’s requests. There was a wide range of discussions on e-extortion, impersonation, and internet begging. The participants agreed to intensify public awareness campaigns to stop e-extortion as well as closely coordinate with the media in this regard. They also tackled several challenges facing the global and regional telecommunication sectors.
The committee will submit the recommendations to the Ministerial Committee for Post and Telecommunications on January 2, 2016 at the GCC General Secretariat headquarters.