SAMENA (South Asia Middle East North Africa) Telecommunications Council held its SAMENA ACCELERATOR on 10 Gigabit digital infrastructure on October 13th in Dubai, conducted in collaboration with its member and main technology partner, Huawei Technologies.
Building on the 2021 edition of SAMENA ACCELERATOR, which focused on improving fiberization policies, addressing regulatory and procedural challenges, as well as creating momentum on the shift toward IPv6 transition, the 2023 SAMENA ACCELERATOR on ultra-broadband or “10Giga” networks built a strong case for benefitting from advancements in Fiber and IPv6 innovations.
SAMENA Council believes that advanced Fiber technologies and IPv6, when packaged as critical enablers of Gigabit networks in the SA-ME-NA region, can dramatically help accelerate digital economic development, fulfil ambitious national ICT visions, and pave a path for true industrial and societal transformation in the region and in neighbouring regions, such as Central Asia.
In his opening remarks during the SAMENA ACCELERATOR, Bocar BA, CEO & Board Member of SAMENA Council, stated:
“Over the next few years, as we strive to achieve the “Giga” milestone, our objective is to create impact beyond just simple Internet. Fixed-line networks, which literally are the backbone of national digital transformation, and are key to sustainable digital development, are the most important infrastructure for communities and businesses, for resilient communication, and for fulfilling national digital visions. Moreover, our technological capabilities, which now extend to 5G-Advanced in mobile systems and to Net5.5G in IP bearer and data center network for the intelligent world, will be playing important role to support the end-to-end network quality for 10 Giga Society. Therefore, SAMENA Council is proposing a move toward 10 Giga, and would like to reiterate the importance of timely policy, regulatory, and business decisions in this regard."
BA also highlighted that next-generation networks, IPv6, and cloud communications are the new enablers for sectors and industries, which have a critical role to play in the fulfilment of new transformational national visions, such as “We the UAE 2031”.
BA further stated that “We are learning to readjust our priorities to fill key gaps -- whether such gaps are at the policy or regulatory level, investment level, cooperation level, or at the level of incubating new ideas…”
The SAMENA ACCELERATOR also helped underpin the critical role of fixed networks, which are at the foundation of ICT and digital transformation visions. Regional markets are, in fact, readying for 10Giga technology, which is already here, along with advancements in computing and cloudification. As more choices become available, network and innovations in Fiber emerge, better network quality would require IPv6 – adoption of which is, currently, unbalanced in the region. Speakers drew attention to the need to avoid a new type of digital divide, which could be caused by varying network quality and experience. SAMENA ACCELERATOR also emphasized on the need for agile regulation, and for winning together by working together as regional markets transform toward “10Giga Society”.
SAMENA Council observes that the region, particularly, and neighbouring regions, generally, need to come at par with economies with more experience in digital transformation. To do that, drastic steps are needed to further broadband development and IPv6 transformation, of which moving toward “10 Gigabit” would be a leap forward.
During the SAMENA ACCELERATOR, a short ceremony, which included government representatives from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as private-sector representatives from broadband, Fiber, and IPv6 focused entities, marked the beginning of SAMENA Council’s infrastructure focus on 10Giga.
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