During the 15th Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Telecom Review welcomed Francisco Irala, telco solutions architect senior manager, EMEA, Infoblox, in person. In an exclusive interview, Irala shared the company’s position in helping telecom operators move towards being agile and digital as well as his views on the most relevant drivers that affect telcos’ in launching new services and improving customer experiences.

Read more: Automation is the foundation of telco cloud, says Infoblox’s Francisco Irala

The last two years can be touted as the period where digital revolution was at its peak. The internet reached close to 5 billion people across the world. In Middle East and Africa, internet coverage also increased dramatically. However, the period also exposed and worse, expanded, the wide digital divide that already existed. While the internet coverage was close to 100% in some GCC countries, some nations such as Sudan had the internet coverage of just over 30%.

Read more: It’s time to bridge MEA’s digital divide

In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, May Li, VP of solution marketing, Huawei, shared four significant changes that influence current technological trends, her views on the importance of ICT for future generations, and Huawei’s sustainability strategies as well as its current solution marketing presence in the region.

Read more: To have a better future, continuous technology innovation is needed, says May Li

COVID-19 updates
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The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have announced their intention to work with telecommunication companies to urgently introduce a coronavirus text messaging service for the billions of people worldwide who aren’t able to connect to the internet for information.

In a joint statement, the global bodies, backed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said the goal is to send vital health messages to everyone, but above all the estimated 3.6 billion people who remain offline, especially those living in low-income countries, where an average of just two out of every ten people are online. “Now more than ever, technology must ensure that everyone can access the information they need,” the statement said.

The collaboration will begin across the Asia-Pacific region before being rolled out to the rest of the world, said the partners, adding that the initiative builds on current efforts to disseminate health messages through the joint WHO-ITU BeHealthy BeMobile campaign. 

In a statement, the WHO and ITU described Covid-19 as the first pandemic where technology and social media can be used on a massive scale to keep people safe. "Resilient and trustworthy telecommunication networks and services are essential, as more countries, companies and individuals turn to digital technologies to respond to and cope with the impact of Covid-19," they said.

Building on their longstanding collaboration, ITU and WHO are committed to identifying and scaling best evidence-based digital health solutions and to leveraging frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data to diagnose, contain and predict outbreaks better and faster. 

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