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In the months since the COVID-19 outbreak, communications providers have found themselves at the heart of a fast-changing world. Communications and connectivity are in great demand as entire populations are staying at home and digital infrastructure is becoming increasingly essential for human interaction. Supporting this dramatic change has not been easy, but operators have shown themselves to be agile and resilient.

Read more: Elias Saab highlights importance of telcos’ social responsibility

Sofrecom has been up to the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with Telecom Review, Guillaume Boudin, CEO, Sofrecom, outlines the measures the company has taken to protect its employees and guarantee business continuity at the same time. He emphasizes the role that operators and infrastructures are currently playing and stresses that this role will be amplified once the crisis is over.

Read more: Sofrecom pursues operations despite all challenges

Data traffic made headlines in the telecoms industry in light of the exceptional measures businesses and individuals had to abide by due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, data traffic increases were registered all over the world and telcos had to be up to the challenge of catering to data-related needs.

Read more: MTN GlobalConnect CEO lauds the operator’s network resilience

The impact of the COVID-19 has been significant on all industries, but the telecommunications industry has been considered an important pillar to overcome this crisis. Femi Oshiga, vice president of service providers for MEA, CommScope explained to Telecom Review how the company is helping its customers and highlighted the importance of connectivity in these difficult times.

Read more: CommScope addressing the challenges of COVID-19

With both Africa and Asia on the cusp of a digital renaissance, Telecom Review Asia Pacific secured an exclusive interview with ZTE’s SVP, President of International Sales Mr. Xiao Ming to discuss the evolution of 5G within these two very distinct regions as well as the significance of investing its global revenue into R&D in a post-pandemic world.

Read more: Looking to Asia and Africa as future hubs for digital economic development

The Somali operator, Hormuud Telecom was established in 2002, in Mogadishu, Somalia. The company started with 250 shareholders, ten customer service centers, and a few thousand customers. At that time, the company only offered voice and SMS services. Seventeen years later, Hormuud Telecom has attracted well over 4 million subscribers, 12,000 shareholders, and over 800 customer service centers in both urban and rural Somalia. Today, its mobile networks cover more than 80% of the land area in South and Central Somalia and it offers a diversified portfolio that answers corporate, personal, and business needs.

Read more: Hormuud Telecom: Expanding mobile money capabilities in Somalia

The ICT industry has long suffered from fraudulent activities and has aimed to permanently fight them. In order to know more about his opinion on fraud in the industry and how to manage it, Telecom Review conducted an interview with Finn Kornbo, director of strategic product management for digital wholesale, CSG.

Read more: CSG takes fraud prevention to the next level

Working towards implementing digital transformation in all Arab countries, the AICTO has prepared a thorough agenda on top of which are strategies aiming to promote innovation in the region. Telecom Review spoke to Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor, Secretary-General of the Arab ICT Organization (AICTO), who further explained the role of the AICTO in achieving digital economy, detailed the technology trends that have a great impact on the region such as IoT, AI/data analysis and 5G and whether Arab countries are ready to adopt 5G.

Read more: The AICTO willing to play the role of “regional coordinator” at the fullest

The pandemic has changed the very nature of the global business ecosystem and has left us with an economic future that has never been more ambiguous. Telcos have learned a great deal from the challenges that were brought about by the pandemic and have placed an even greater emphasis on digital transpormation and innovation.

Read more: Mondia Group’s Simon Rahmann discusses global pandemic, innovation and industry trends

The Telecommunications Standardization Bureau (TSB) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) works on developing international telecom standards. It currently includes 11 study groups which are dedicated to developing standards which range from fiber optics, all the way to the application layer. Some of their study groups are technical in nature, while others are more regulatory in nature such as managing telephone numbers internationally, managing the secure use of IoT-powered devices on 5G networks, managing economic and policy issues, tariffs, international roaming and internet connectivity charges.

Read more: ITU’s Bilel Jamoussi discusses region-specific challenges faced by MENA region’s telcos