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Keynotes on diverse topics including 5G, cloud computing, cybersecurity, innovation in network infrastructure were delivered by the UAE's cybersecurity department, du, MYCOM-OSI, AWS, GSMA, Ogero

H.E. Dr. Mohamed Al-Kuwaiti, head of cybersecurity for the UAE Government

H.E. Dr. Mohamed Al-Kuwaiti, head of cybersecurity for the UAE Government, delivered a keynote virtually during the 16th Edition of the Telecom Review Summit 2022 at the Intercontinental Dubai.

He said that the UAE has maintained a robust cybersecurity ecosystem. “The future of the country depends on how we can obtain absolute security in the race of digital excellence,” he said.

“We have to be first to enter the metaverse and make a safe passage through the cyberverse. We have to manage the cyber-tsunami one wave after another,” he stressed.

He also said that companies are opening their business headquarters in the UAE and “trust us for their security.” The necessary cybersecurity system must “work like clockwork.”

“We need to work double hard for cybersecurity to ensure that highest standards are in place so that we can become a lighthouse of metaverse in a chaos of data.”

He said that the acceleration of digital transformation will incorporate the adoption of 5G and cloud in a holistic and systematic way, and that self-healing telecom network and multilayer framework guidelines have to be effectively implemented.

He stressed the importance of development in IT and cybersecurity standards from the international standardization bodies such as ISO and GSMA among others.

He also highlighted the work of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Computer Emergency Response Team (OIC-CERT), an international cybersecurity platform on accelerating the adoption of cloud in the UAE. He said that platforms such as OIC-CERT were necessary for the cybersecurity of not only the UAE but for the entire Arab world.

“UAE will do the best to contribute in whatever way possible to make cybersecurity a priority. Cybersecurity is a team sport that demands collaboration among the stakeholders,” he concluded.

Karim Benkirane, CCO, du

In his presentation, Karim talked about the telcos in the metaverse. He said that all big tech companies have already planned investments in the metaverse space.

He shared statistics that showed by 2030, the metaverse industry will hold trillion dollars worth of global opportunity. He cited several figures: $13 billion in VC and PE funding in 2021; $69 billion in Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard; and Meta’s $10 billion investment in virtual reality.

He touched upon UAE’s clear strategy for the development of the metaverse with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy.

He pointed out key roles that telcos could play in the metaverse, including access, computing, platform, content and apps, devices as connectivity providers and edge computing providers as their own metaverse.

He said that use cases are being developed across industries, including education, retail, finance, gaming, healthcare, construction and finance, among others.

He also highlighted how du was laying the foundations to engage in the following metaverse through connectivity (fiber, 5G, computing, data centers, edge computing and cloud); use-case development (health and education, digital twins, new businesses and one-stop-shops; and internal digital transformation (culture, platforms, work ethics, etc)

In conclusion, he pointed out that the metaverse value chain cannot move forward without regulatory frameworks and strategic collaborative partnerships.

Mats Granryd, director general, GSMA

Presenting his keynote remotely, Mats said that for the GSMA, the year 2022 was “a pivotal one for 5G.”

He stressed three key areas for the advance of 5G in the digital transformation era: investment, innovation and partnership.

Recognizing the importance of customer satisfaction, he said, “meeting our customers' demands requires increasingly complex solutions.”

He noted that huge opportunities lay ahead for mobile technology and that “responsible leadership is going to be absolutely crucial.”

Mark Birch, Global Startup Advocate, AWS

“I help startups to scale faster,” said Mark in his opening lines.

Taking the audience through Mathew Ball’s depiction of what the metaverse really is, he said that it would be a “3D version of creating space that is interactive” where services of cloud players such as AWS would be critical in leveraging the benefits of emerging technologies such as blockchain, IoT and machine learning and the physical gateways to get there.

He presented the state of the metaverse with the following stats:  total metaverse market at $100.27 billion in 2022; $54 billion spent on virtual goods in 2021; NFT market swelling to over $40 billion; and 60 billion messages sent daily on Roblox — an online game platform and game creation system developed by Roblox Corporation.

He highlighted three key challenges of the 3D environment: creating and managing spatial data, building and operating spatial solutions, and delivering and interacting with spatial experiences.

He said that AWS provides the innovation to drive the metaverse by helping enterprises develop and orchestrate in the cloud, optimize and package for the edge and initiate anywhere-deployment models via cloud computing.

Mark concluded with the three key strengths of AWS which include, expertise that comes with closely working with metaverse leaders, broad compute strategies to support 3D modeling and a large partner ecosystem.

Mounir Ladki, co-founder, president & CTO, MYCOM OSI

Mounir presented his keynote titled “5G Network Slicing: Roadmap for Success.”  He highlighted the advantages of network slicing in value, efficiency and scale. He said telcos can monetize from network slicing through innovative pricing models (on-demand premium connectivity, selling QoS and SLA, packaging digital services) and innovative business models (MSP for enterprise and industry, NaaS, data monetization)

He also highlighted the success of 5G through hyperautomation of operations via the automation of business and IT processes, AIOps at the core and agile teams.

In conclusion, he pointed out the key parameters for 5G network slicing, which included: repeatable use cases, new business models, evolved business systems and hyperautomation.

Imad Kreidieh, chairman and director general, Ogero

Imad delivered a passionate message in his presentation titled “Maintaining Telecom Services Despite All Obstacles.”

“I'm here to talk about courage, commitment and dedication,” he said.

Highlighting the civilian crisis in Lebanon, he said that the country has “faced unprecedented challenges over the last several years.”

Defining the role of telecommunication in the volatile economy, he said, “We are part of the last line of defense to keep Lebanon from collapsing.”

Ogero has been instrumental in providing internet access across the country despite frequent disruptions in recent months.

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