Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (UAE)
United Arab Emirates
|H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri TRA Director General
H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (May 2011)|
The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was established in 2003 to regulate the Information Communications and Telecommunications (ICT) sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to ensure sustainability, competitiveness and transparency among the service providers , customers and shareholders. The TRA is a regulatory body that oversees the telecom sector and the licensees in the UAE in accordance with the Federal Law by Decree No. 3 of 2003 and its Executive Order, and implements the directives of the Board of Directors. The TRA is an independent body and its duties include ensuring telecom services are available to all provinces of the country, assuring that the licensed operators fully follow established rules and regulations, protecting the interests of subscribers, developing telecom sector and helping to implement the best and most advanced technologies.
The TRA has three offices, the headquarters, Al Khalidiyah office in Abu Dhabi, and a Dubai office. Through these offices, the TRA tries to ensure adequacy in the ICT service across the UAE, guaranteeing that all the service providers are committed to their license obligations. The TRA is responsible for representing the country in regional and international forums and conferences, particularly at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Developing the regulatory ICT framework, issuing the required regulations and resolving any disputes that may arise among the participants in the UAE ICT market are central tenants for the TRA. Currently the TRA includes 200 employees working in eight departments; Regulatory Affairs, Legal Affairs, Spectrum and International Affairs, Support Service Affairs, Finance Affairs, Corporate Communications Affairs, Technology Development Affairs and Licensing and E-commerce Affairs, the TRA is managing all the aspects of the ICT sector in the United Arab Emirates.
Changes in UAE telecommunications
Since the inception of the TRA, the United Arab Emirates telecoimmunications infrasture has become more sophisticated. The first footprint was enabling competition in the market by licensing the second telecom operator “Du” besides Etisalat, the first UAE telecom operator. This step resulted to enhance communications services and offer users with more options and choices.
The TRA has registered another significant milestone with the approval of the string (DotEmarat) as the official Arabic top level domain for the UAE by the international organization, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN). With the approval of ICANN, the (DotEmarat) was endorsed by the UAE Ministerial Council for Services as the definitive and representative domain name of the United Arab Emirates on the World Wide Web for its native language script.
The eighteenth Plenipotentiary Conference (Guadalajara 2010) witnessed the second consecutive UAE election to membership in the ITU Council.
The Global Technology Report issued by the World Economic Forum, ranked the UAE first in the Middle East and North Africa, moving ahead in the ranking by four positions to 23rd globally, and is a clear indication of the success of the UAE Government's efforts aimed at building a knowledge-based economy that is flexible and varied with a focus on innovation and excellence.
In January 2010, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, in keeping with one of its core missions as manifested in safeguarding consumer rights and monitoring competition within the local telecommunications market, announced telecommunications' "Competition Framework". The "Framework", the first to be developed by TRA, provides a detailed outline benefiting telecommunications consumers by promoting and protecting competition through deterring Licensees from engaging in activities that may impede competition in the UAE telecommunications sector.
The Authority is eager to apply the latest ICT technologies within its operations; a new spectrum management  system was launched by the TRA in the UAE; the new system is the first of its kind in the Middle East and the second most up-to-date and powerful in the world in the area of spectrum management. The system includes 13 stations, which are capable to cover the UAE spectrum efficiently.
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- "second telecom operator "Du"". AMEinfo. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- "DotEmarat Launch". Zawya. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- "Competition Framework". TRA. Retrieved 2 May 2011.