ABU DHABI, 22nd June, 2020 (WAM) — The Telecommunications Regulation Authority, TRA, is cooperating with operators in the telecommunications sector in supporting the UAE’s health, education and business sectors over the past three months, by launching some 19 incentives and initiatives that have helped maintain the activities of these sectors.
In response to the global pandemic of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), the government of the United Arab Emirates has been keen to issue a set of decisions that contribute to ensuring the safety of citizens, residents and visitors on the UAE territory.
According to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, the TRA’s support for the health sector enabled 800 health and education-related websites to provide services for free, in addition to several websites related to national quarantine and health participation campaigns from March until the start of June 2020.
The TRA’s initiatives aim to support the health sector by providing free internet access to data via mobile phone to health applications and platforms. In support of the health sector, the TRA extended the validity of all wireless permits to hospitals and medical centers regardless of the date of the end of the authorization as well as provided a package of wireless frequency as backup to support the health sector’s wireless communication systems.
In cooperation with Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, Yahsat, and Ministry of Education high-speed satellite broadband services were provided for students and teachers in multiple locations across the UAE, where terrestrial broadband alternatives are unavailable. Yahsat’s satellite links will provide remote users access to online libraries, educational applications and collaborative platforms, ensuring e-learning and knowledge sharing through this phase of home-based schooling. The company’s services will be available to users free of charge.
Parents of students of determination were exempted from paying applications fees.
The TRA has also cooperated with telecommunications operators to provide a package of data needed to access the distance learning feature for families without home internet, free of charge.
The TRA instructed the telecom licensees in the country to suspend deactivating the mobile services due to documents expiry. This is in line with the government initiative to enable work from home and distant learning.
TRA also increased the speed of fixed broadband to 100 Mbps, to secure high internet speeds that ensure smooth running of online work and distance learning, as well as ensuring the best quality of video and voice calls and sharing files online.
To facilitate a smooth experience of distant learning and remote working and due to the significant changes to the demand for telecommunications services and the usual telecommunications traffic flows, the TRA urged service providers to enhance its network capacity, perform network re-engineering when required, and to implement any necessary changes as soon as practicable in order to facilitate the success of distance learning and remote working.
In order to support federal government entities within the UAE to enable them to work from home, the TRA has assisted by: Provide suite of services to enable government entities to work from home including collaboration, video conferencing tools and cloud services; Increase the infrastructure capacities and Create and circulate guidelines and policies on how to securely deploy and use collaboration tools.
In its effort to encourage people to stay at home and practice social distancing, the TRA announced a list of purchasing apps used in the UAE for consumers to use instead of physically performing daily grocery shopping. The TRA updates the list on a regular basis based on market developments. The online stores included in the list include large shopping centers and cooperatives, in addition to grocery stores, meat and vegetable shops, and other services.