Ericsson, a leading provider of telecom equipment and services, called upon governments in the region for initiatives in order to benefit from wireless technology advances at the recently held GILF forum in Lebanon.
The Net Neutrality debate revolved around policies that allow operators to employ reasonable network management practices that ensure openness and fairness and will support the growth of networks for the benefit of all.
Another focus was how to address the protection of consumers when their idea of privacy is changing compared to only a few years ago. The surge in consumers triggers a need for network optimisation, which was the core point in the Net Neutrality debate.
"There is no question that broadband brings enormous benefits to society, however recent dramatic growth in 'consumption' of data has left many operators concerned that they are shouldering a lot of the cost of deployment while earning less and less marginal revenue," said Jeremy Foster, marketing director, Ericsson Middle East.
In order to meet the demand for ever-increasing suite of services and continuously expanding subscriber's base, industry players must address the network management as an essential tool for allocating resources and maintaining quality of service, he said.
"One thing that is changing dramatically and much faster than technology is consumers' values," he added.
"Whereas 10 years ago, privacy was so important, we actually felt that blocking our Caller ID to someone we called was a good thing. Now we are happy to let them know who we are as it shortens down the call set up.
"Further to this, we now see both youth and older people rushing home to update their Facebook page, with all manner of spurious details of their life. They are essentially valuing connecting with their friends over privacy."
Such wave of value change that governments create laws to protect, will mean that lawmakers attitudes to what constitutes the right amount of privacy will change forever, Foster argued.
Finally harmonization of radio spectrum globally which delivers cheaper equipment and handsets for consumers as well as enables roaming featured in the discussion.
Recently 14 European countries agreed on a common framework to dividing the (2500 – 2690 MHz) range ensuring that those countries will be amongst the earliest to benefit from "long term evolution" (LTE), the future of mobile technology.
"We hope that governments in the MEA region will also align with these initiatives so that they can continue to benefit from wireless technology advances and compete freely on the world market," Foster stated.
"Without this alignment it will be very expensive to deploy broadband technologies to consumers where ever they go and we know that this is vital for economic growth and societal development," he concluded.