DUBAI, Etisalat called on operators to step up as governments ramp the pressure for countries across the MENA region to lead on digital transformation, during the GSMA Mobile 360 Series � MENA in Dubai today.

GSMA Mobile 360 Series � MENA convenes visionary leaders across the Middle East and North Africa region for two days to examine how transformative technologies � 5G, AI, the Blockchain, and more � are enabling operators and governments to realise their high ambitions for the region as well as deliver socioeconomic impact.

In his keynote address, Etisalat's Chief Corporate Strategy and Governance Officer Khalifa Al Shamsi said operators are "the backbone for digital transformation", hailing the maturity of the industry's infrastructure and services, which he said should dictate the path of ICT transformation for countries and corporations.

"Our role is extremely vital to increase the global competitiveness productivity and innovation of countries."

However, he believes governments, particularly in the MENA region, continue to push the boundaries with their technology agendas and are "now shifting their priorities to put their nations at an advantageous stage within the grand scheme of digital transformation". The shift represents an evolution from traditional governments' former priorities and shows a commitment to the digital agenda, he said.

"Operators should be the driving force behind the maturity of the digital ecosystem, capitalising on investments and playing an active role in shaping a favourable regulatory regulatory landscape, forming relevant partnerships and the offering foresight for use cases."

Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Etisalat International, said 5G network will be of most benefit to ultra-low latency applications such as remote surgery and autonomous cars: "but these will come with time when the technology is available."Dowidar noted "the important element for 5G is big chunks of contiguous spectrum It's very important for 5G to succeed."

Source: Emirates News Agency