There was need for more connectivity to overcome the digital divide in meaningful ways, said Bocar BA, CEO of Samena Council.

“Our desired outcomes of the Leaders’ Summit 2022 are really to foster new drive in making beneficial utilisation of 5G, cloud, and related technologies for improving the human condition and prosperity for people and businesses,” he said.

“Thriving in the ‘New Opportunity Realm with Resilience’ is really the overarching imperative for us all. With increased dependencies of our economic and social systems on digital communications infrastructure and services, it is pertinent to address both persisting and emerging challenges associated with new network trends, approaches, policies, regulation, technologies, methodologies, fibre deployment, stakeholder obligations and collective responsibility toward sustainability across all fronts, ranging from investment sustainability to sustainability of the climate,” he said at the Samena Telecommunications Council’s annual congregation of Telecoms and multi-industry leaders, ‘Leaders' Summit 2022’ on May 9.

ICT sustainability

“Our decisions should be attentive to ICT sustainability and to the protection of climate, and we must address Telecom Operators’ issues, ranging from cross-border data flow enablement to overcoming signal interference especially on coastal areas, which impact 5G planning and the region’s aspirations for becoming the IoT hub. And we must rethink taxation in the Industry, and financing and funding of ICT infrastructure development in new light,” he said.

Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Guest of Honour, delivered an encouraging message to industry leaders at the Summit, continuing the years-long legacy of inspiring the Industry with his messages and drawing focus on imperatives for future planning for creating the new digital life.

Digital evolution

Secretary-General ITU, Houlin Zhao in his message drew attention of the Industry to the evolution of the digital infrastructure and commendable efforts by the region’s governments and private sector leaders. “When we started measuring Internet use in 2005, it stood at 16%. In 2022, global Internet use by individuals stands at 63%. The numbers speak for themselves and show the tremendous progress we have made in connecting the unconnected. Among all stakeholders who have contributed to this success, you, the leaders of Samena, should be commended,” Zhao remarked.

The Huawei-hosted Samena Council Leaders’ Summit 2022, held in Dubai under the patronage of TDRA – UAE, covered key policy and planning areas relating to Connectivity and the New Digital Life, Full Optical Networking, NBN, OpenRAN, Universal Service Obligation, Infrastructure Funding & Financing Models, Broadband Commission Agenda for Action, ITU’s Take on Re-thinking ICT Policy, Cloud & Network Synergies, FinTech, New Human Experiences & Challenges, Sustainability & Net-Zero Transition, Space-based Platforms & 5G Tech Innovations, ICT Talent & Expectations of Younger Generation, among other important subject matters.

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