After having convened successfully earlier the PITA CEO Forum and a Webinar to discuss Proposal for a Roaming Exchange for the Pacific, PITA then held for the first time, online, its business technical meeting on 10-11 June, 2020.
This technical meeting in normal times would have been held only as physical meeting but convened online in the light of the COVID situation.
"Its a sign of times that we may think to be at someplace else, but actually in a different place, said the PITA Vice President Mr Phillip Henderson at the formal welcome and opening remarks session of the forum. The PITA Vice President, who is also the CEO and Managing Director for the Vodafone Cook Islands, added that organizing of the online forum would be something that PITA will continue to do, and that online forums such as this enables a lot more people to participate, in the forum to exchange and discuss on important and relevant topics'.
The forum went on to hear keynotes from the Heads of ITU and GSMA in the Asia Pacific region, followed by 2 day technical and business session from 10-11 June, 2020
Click here to hear/view the full excerpts of the Key notes provided by Dr Ismail Shah of the ITU, and Mr Julian Gorman of the GSMA.
80 participants registered to attend this online forum from 30+ different organisations in over 20 countries. In addition to this, over 20 speakers presented at the online business technical meeting in a seamless tag-on manner adding more depth and scope of the discussions and exchange.
On topics, while focusing on the impact of the COVID, the sessions covered various topics from key operational areas in driving new responses, enabling continuity and development while complying to new practices required with the virus situation, such as requirement to provide for touch-less technologies, etc., in fact the forum also heard on technologies that could support the management and control of pandemics, such as with smart application of IoTs and AIs, for example for thermal scanning, monitoring, etc.
In addition to connectivity, access and security, the sessions also highlighted the need for enablers in light of the crisis situation not only in the operational and development space, but also for regulatory and policy, as summed appropriately by the ITU keynote speaker, Dr Ismail Shah, in sharing the underlying factors with ITU work and current theme that no one should be left behind, no one should remain unconnected". Dr Shah highlighted that the current crisis has also presented the ICT sector with new challenges, with the need for regulatory initiatives to support operators and ecosystem players. He added that with the nature of the virus, no one is safe unless everyone is safe, thus the requirement for greater collaborations as those who are not connected will be less informed.
The GSMA in the key notes by Mr Julian Gorman also reiterated on the needs and actions as highlighted by ITU, and shared the areas that GSMA would be targeting, to engage more with members in raising the need for greater expansion of the mobile broadband connectivity. He also emphasised the role of members to employ technologies to make the change, needed in situation such as in this current pandemic crisis, and in going into the future. He added that members therefore need to help build the ecosystem and related frameworks to drive the changes, now inevitable with the onslaught of the COVID pandemic, also warning on the need to develop strategies to avoid negative impacts that will arise with new expansions and enabling technologies, such as the issue of cyber security, online safety and false/fake news, an area that GMSA is keen to support the regions with.
Click here for the link to view the Program
Building Trust for online sessions
PITA hosted all its online sessions using the GoToMeeting platform.
The online hosting experience has gained us many ideas of improving for the next sessions and in building the trust of the online platform, not only as host, but also with participants as an alternative effective method to hold meetings and training. It was good to note participants learning to mute the mics when not speaking.
While participants may discuss internally in their organisation on interests and plans, this online session will also be followed up by PITA internal process for collective action plans that may ne needed and apply accordingly follow up sessions, with a number of areas having been identified
For any queries, contact the PITA Manager