Telecommunications Regulatory Authority: UAE telecoms sector ready to manage crises

Monday 06 June 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has reiterated during an awareness workshop that the sector is capable of proactively responding to crises and emergencies. The workshop aims to raise the readiness of licensed telecoms firms in the country and develop the staff’s skills in responding to crises and disasters.

The workshop is part of the Technology Development Affairs Department’s ongoing campaign in partnership with the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NECDMA) to ensure telecoms sector are capable of providing services and their staff skilled to face disasters and raise their level of awareness to prepare for such occurrences. The workshop was attended by staff from Etisalat, Du, Thuraya, yahsat and Nedaa as well as TRA employees. The workshop aims to provide a comprehensive awareness among the staff and identify the appropriate approach when dealing with emergencies, crises and disasters, as well as give due importance to the role the telecoms sector as the ‘major artery’ for all other sectors during such conditions.

H.E Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General, TRA said: “The telecoms sector is a vital sector to achieve the country’s sustainable development goals. We would like to ensure the sector continues to uphold its role in providing services with integrity and efficiency in the technical as well as human skills in emergency response situations. We also hope to raise awareness among the community about the proper behavior and safe responses on emergency conditions. This is line with the TRA’s strategic goal to regulate the sector and enforce a framework that stimulates competition and elevate the level of quality of telecoms services in the country.”

H.E added: "The work on the continuity of the business in light of disaster is part of the culture of sustainability that we seek to consolidate during the next phase in the ICT sector, which requires a high level of acquired skills and coordination between the various relevant parties - - whether in the public sector or among the providers of this services, this is what the workshop aimed mainly.

Abdulrahman Al Naser, Manager, Telecom Business Continuity and Crisis Management, noted that the TRA has previously organized various technical workshops in line with the initiative to ensure there is a continuing effort to prepare their staff with the ability to confront stress in the event of catastrophes. He added that the new workshop seeks to strengthen the awareness among responders and establish a culture of preparedness when it comes to dealing with crisis situations.

“This initiative is part of the Authority’s corporate social responsibility commitment to spread social awareness of the proper and safe methods in responding to emergencies, as well as for the telecoms sector to be ready in times of crises and disasters and continue to provide quality services and promote the sector’s efficiency and competitiveness,” Al Naser added.

Based on NECDMA’s emergency guide, the country’s procedures are compatible with the highest level of responses in recent global experiences of ensuring continued telecommunications services. The country allocates 70 per cent of the telecoms sector resources and work to be available for emergencies and 30 per cent for daily tasks, following global standards.

Through the workshop, TRA has confirmed the readiness of the telecoms sector to deal with stressful conditions and continue to provide services despite calamities such as storms, earthquakes, fire and other conditions that may destroy telecom infrastructures and affect the ability to provide services and keep communication channels open during disasters.
The workshop also focused on the importance of ensuring staff are technically qualified and experienced in using advanced technologies.

TRA previously organized various workshops and training sessions focused on best practices in managing emergencies and disasters, following the national emergency telecommunications plan and the importance of licensed firms’ readiness to face unexpected environmental events.

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