Zain KSA has been labelled as the Kingdom’s preferred digital services provider following the great achievements the operator has made throughout its journey. In an exclusive interview with Eng. Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Aldeghaither, CEO, Zain KSA, Telecom Review delved into the operator’s main accomplishments that encompass most importantly having the fourth largest 5G network in the world and the largest in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Read more: Zain KSA empowering the Kingdom’s digital journey

It is no surprise that the industry was dealt an immense blow as soon as COVID-19 hit. Operators and vendors alike, across the world, have had to deal with (or are currently dealing with) an immense burden due to widespread lockdowns and the rise in remote working and learning. This has caused a great deal of pressure on networks everywhere. However, companies have been quick to realize that this may just be the right time to leverage emerging technologies to ensure business continuity and minimize the disruption of business operations.

Read more: Nokia MEA’s CTO talks about AI, ML and post-pandemic digital transformation

With more than 20 years of experience in business development in telecommunications, Florence Sebastien, CEO, FSE Consulting spoke to Telecom Review about her journey and the role that FSE Consulting is playing today in the industry.

Read more: “Once the crisis is over, a deeper understanding of digitization will appear”, says Florence...

COVID-19 updates
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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has issued guidelines for countries to develop emergency plans to maintain access to telecom networks and services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

These guidelines will assist national authorities and policymakers in developing policies and regulations that can ensure the continued use of telecom networks before, during and after a disaster.

In a statement, ITU secretary general Houlin Zhao said the outbreak showed how “vital information and communication technology networks and services” are to pandemic and disaster management.

Zhao added that “the implementation of comprehensive national emergency telecommunication plans can ensure there is effective and timely sharing of information across all levels of government, within affected communities and among humanitarian agencies to prioritize response efforts and to save lives.”

This plan sets out a strategy to enable and ensure communication availability during the phases of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery by promoting coordination and engagement across all levels of government, humanitarian agencies, service providers and communities at risk.

The ITU explained guidelines highlight major areas of risk during a disaster, justify funding for vital gear and staff in an emergency, and advocates the need for day-to-day resources and procedures to keep national authorities prepared, “especially in relation to maintaining vital communications, the essential lifeline during emergencies”.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, director of the ITU telecommunication development bureau, said it was “crucial” stakeholders are ready to take action when an emergency situation arises.

She recommended “mock exercises including tabletop, talk-through and walk-through exercises to full-scale drills, help to ensure smooth emergency response among those involved in disaster management and communications”.

The ITU added it had already worked with “several” countries to create national emergency telecommunication plans, set up early warning and monitoring systems, and on provision of equipment.

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