Thought leadership

Etisalat participates in the Information Society Forum 2020

26 Aug 2020

Special invite to join the global virtual session on UAE’s readiness to counter pandemics

Dubai 26 August 2020: Etisalat today participated in World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum’s special session on UAE focusing on the country’s readiness and resilience for pandemics with its advanced telecom network and infrastructure ready to serve the ‘New Normal’ supporting all consumers and businesses to continue studying and working from home.

Rayyan Alhashmi, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Strategy and Governance, Etisalat joined this global virtual session of the WSIS Forum that represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. This forum being held since 22 June 2020 will continue until 10 September 2020 is co-organised by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS action line facilitators.

The focus of the forum is to foster digital transformation and global partnerships with WSIS action lines to achieve sustainable development goals. The event brought together multi-stakeholders, share best practices and develop public/private partnerships to advance these goals. The global event will provide structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementations.

Two special sessions focused on UAE highlighting projects from various eGovernment projects of various government entities in the country and its readiness to counter pandemics.

Alhashmi shared insights on how the country and the telecom infrastructure are ready to face the ‘New Normal’ with one of the most advanced networks in the world. “During the pandemic, UAE’s government’s leadership and vision showcased the country’s resilience and readiness in dealing with this global crisis. Etisalat supported the government by enabling solutions and services that allowed consumers and businesses to study and work from home in the most efficient manner. This was possible due to our continuous focus on innovation as part of the strategy ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’ embedded within our DNA manifested across the business.”

During the pandemic, Etisalat’s main focus was to support the entire community including business and individuals ensuring its network and services enable business and learning continuity. During the period May-Feb 2020, Etisalat’s network witnessed an increase in traffic of more than 300 percent in communication and collaboration solutions where as in Internet gaming it touched 500 percent. With work and study from home becoming a norm there was a surge in traffic of more than 90 percent in video streaming and social media.

Etisalat worked closely with the Ministry of Education to provide zero rate access to educational URLs and free mobile data for students. There was also free access to the Madrasa platform on eLife and remote learning apps. For the healthcare sector there was a telemedicine platform made available to support hospitals and clinics in providing remote healthcare services. IoT/AI platforms were used for disease containment, AI video analytics including thermal cameras and wearable IoT solutions were among the other advance solutions used for the sector.