The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) celebrated the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which falls on May 17 of each year, the International Telecommunication Union’s founding day. The celebration took place through a digital session on Microsoft Teams attended by H.E. Eng. Majed Al Mesmar, TRA deputy director general for the telecom sector, department directors and employees of TRA. The session discussed the role of the telecom sector in enabling all sectors in the country to ensure business continuity and to overcome the current challenges.

Commenting on this session, H.E. Al Mesmar said, “The UAE has pursued advanced strategies for innovation and future foresight, based on advanced technology, foremost of which are ICTs. TRA, in line with the wise leadership directives, has been developing the sector in terms of strong infrastructure and the structure of digital transformation, which contributed significantly to containing the negative effects that resulted from COVID-19, as the telecom sector has enabled all government and private entities to continue their work and to provide services in a distinct and effective way.

“Today, as we celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, we are grateful to all behind-the-scenes workers in this sector, particularly Etisalat, du, and Yahsat for their great efforts over the past years in upgrading the infrastructure and ensuring business continuity of government and private sectors. We also thank our strategic partners who have always been supportive, foremost of which is our first line of defense, health, police and civil defense workers, for their tremendous efforts to maintain the safety of all members of the UAE society.”

H.E. Al Mesmar highlighted that today’s distinguished use of ICT technology in various sectors is not a recent achievement, but the product of work that began many years ago. He added, “The application of distance learning is not a response to the special circumstances that we live in today, but rather it is a project that started years ago. In 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme that covered all UAE schools. It aims to create a new educational environment that includes smart classes in all schools, distributing tablets to all students and providing all UAE schools with high-speed 4G networks, in addition to specialized training programs for teachers and new science curricula in support of the original curriculum.”

The session discussed the results of the implementation of TRA future foresight plan, which included the implementation of more than 270 projects at TRA level. The session also discussed the readiness of the telecommunications sector during crises and disasters, and the role that the sector has played in enabling various UAE sectors at the current situation.

Moreover, speakers at the session highlighted the most important initiatives launched by TRA during the current situation in support of distance work and learning, empowering the health sector, and initiatives to strengthen cybersecurity that aims to preserve the security and safety of people while they adhere to government procedures and decisions, and the use of various available applications for work, learning and shopping remotely. The session also reviewed the contributions of ICT Fund to the application of distance learning through its support to the Ministry of Education with more than 14 thousand devices distributed to students in addition to supporting Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme.