Event Overview

The 5th MENA Spectrum Management Conference will take place in Dubai, UAE  12 – 13Feburary 2020.

Organised by Forum Global, hosted by The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority UAE and coordinated in partnership with The Arab Spectrum Management Group. The conference will take place alongside a number of other important events in the same week. More information on the full schedule will be available shortly. 

The Conference will provide a meeting point for spectrum stakeholders to come together and discuss topical issues relating to the management and coordination of spectrum policy across the region.

This event is free to attend for all delegates and registration is now open! 

The conference is part of The Global Spectrum SeriesThe world’s largest collection of regional spectrum policy conferences. 

Organisers & Partners

Event Host
The Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG)
The Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG) was established in 1997 to cooperate in the field of Spectrum Management by sharing and exchanging views on the emerging radio communication aspects as well as to manage and coordinate all issues related to Spectrum Management, World Radiocommunications Conferences and other spectrum matters between Arab States. The ASMG proffers its 22 members the opportunity of: Harmonizing spectrum use between Arab countries Negotiating and developing common Arab proposals for the agenda items of World Radio Conference (WRC) held every four years at the ITU. Assessing the progress of the studies pertaining to the agenda items of World Radio Conferences Coordinating among member states on all issues related to the Spectrum Management.
Event Organiser
Forum Global
Forum Global specializes in policy focused conferences and events, providing a platform for discussion and debate on topical issues across a variety of different sectors. These events are organized with clients and partners and aim to progress ideas and actions on important issues, all within a balanced and neutral setting. Forum Global is the international arm of Forum Europe, which was founded by Giles Merritt, columnist for the International Herald Tribune, and is widely recognized as the leading EU dedicated event provider. Headed by a team of events specialists with over 19 years of experience, Forum Global works successfully with businesses, institutions and governments alike. Its strategic services can maintain and develop your key policy networks, and also deliver forums where key issues can be aired and debated.
Diamond Host
Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end advantages in telecom networks, devices and cloud computing. We are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services. Our products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world’s population.
Platinum Sponsor
Coleago Consulting
Coleago Consulting is a specialist telecoms strategy consulting firm advising operators and regulators around the globe. Coleago is recognised within the industry as one of the leading specialists in spectrum strategy, valuation and auction support. Coleago’s team of spectrum specialists has delivered more than 40 spectrum valuation and auction bid strategy projects around the world. Our regulatory and spectrum related projects include spectrum and technology strategy, advice on Administered Incentive Pricing options as well as reports for regulators and NGOs such as “Best Practice in Spectrum Renewal and Pricing” for the World Ban.
Platinum Sponsor
ESOA is a non-profit organisation established with the objective of serving and promoting the common interests of satellite operators from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the CIS. The Association today represents the interests of 21 satellite operators who deliver information communication services across the globe. Together ESOA Members provide invaluable communications services to the whole world including emergency communications, live broadcasting, maritime and aero communications, secure services for governments, 24-7 monitoring of industrial processes such as energy plants and a whole range of other communications capabilities that society has come to rely on.
Platinum Sponsor
OneWeb is building a global constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will provide low latency, high speed broadband to even the most remote locations on Earth. Our satellites will deliver high-speed Internet to small user terminals that can be used for residential or business purposes. Terminals can be mounted on schools or buildings or on cell towers for backhaul; they can also provide full mobile connectivity for maritime, aero, or connected cars. OneWeb's mission is to connect all the unconnected schools of the world, and to fully bridge the digital divide by 2027, bringing affordable access to more than 4 billion unconnected people around the world. OneWeb already has over USD1billion from investors such as Grupo Salinas, SoftBank, Hughes, Coca Cola, Intelsat and Virgin. We expect to launch our first satellites in the near future; to begin customer trials in 2019; and to have full global coverage by 2023.
Event Partner
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.
Gold Sponsor
LS telecom
LS telcom specialises in software and hardware solutions as well as consulting services for spectrum management, radio monitoring and radio network planning for every type of wireless technology. Our comprehensive portfolio includes market and technology developments regarding future spectrum management challenges and solutions. We are at the forefront of Spectrum Auctioning, E-Licensing, GSM Refarming, Cognitive Radio and Digital Dividend worldwide. Our customer portfolio includes most of the spectrum regulators worldwide, major network operators and commercial customers in more than 90 countries.
Gold Sponsor
Analysys Mason
Analysys Mason is a global specialist in telecoms, media and technology (TMT). Since its formation, Analysys Mason has been instrumental in shaping spectrum policy around the world through our wide-ranging studies helping regulators and operators to develop spectrum strategy, efficiently manage spectrum, formulate spectrum licence conditions, value spectrum and prepare for spectrum awards. With offices in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Americas, the Middle East and Africa we are respected worldwide for our exceptional quality of work, independence and flexibility in responding to client needs. For over 25 years we have been helping clients in more than 100 countries to maximise their opportunities.

Speakers include:

Mario 118x148


Director, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU

Tariq AlAwadhi EMS_1_1_1

Tariq Al

Chairman, Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG)



Radio Communication Engineer, Spectrum Management Department, CITC, Saudi Arabia



Provost and Chief Academic Officer,
American University in Dubai

Ross Bateson11


Special Adviser, Government Affairs, GSMA


Day 1
Day 2
08:30 - 09:00
Morning Coffee and Registration

Information about event here.

09:00 - 09:15
Welcome & Conference Opening
09:15 - 09:55
Session 1: Setting the global spectrum regulatory framework – a focus on WRC

WRC-19 took place in Egypt at the end of 2019, with a number of key decisions taken with the aim of delivering a global harmonised plan for the delivery of the required spectrum for fixed, mobile, satellite and broadcasting industries. And then immediately following the conclusion of the conference, the first preparation meeting for WRC-23 was held, which identified the key candidate bands to be considered in 2023 for the next wave of 5G frequencies. This session will first offer the opportunity to look back at the outcomes of WRC-19 with keynote presentation from ASMG Chairman Tariq Al Awadhi and ITU Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau – Mario Maniewicz. It will then move on to look forward to look at WRC-23, and at the initial candidate bands that have been identified as the next wave of bands for 5G and beyond. It will more broadly look ahead at the next steps and timetable ahead and the issues that are likely going to be s the build up to WRC-23 already begins.

09:15 - 09:55
Session 1i: Looking Back – A focus on the key outcomes of WRC-19
Session 1i: Looking Back – A focus on the key outcomes of WRC-19 image
Tariq Al Awadhi, Chairman, ASMG
Session 1i: Looking Back – A focus on the key outcomes of WRC-19 image
Mario Maniewicz, Director, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU
09:55 - 11:05
Session 1ii: Looking Forward – WRC 23 ‘State your case’ with Industry Stakeholders
11:05 - 11:25
Morning Coffee
11:25 - 12:10
Session 2: The changing shape of global spectrum policy thinking

The emergence of 5G, IoT and future connected technologies means that all over the world, the digital landscape is evolving quicker than we have ever seen before. Underpinning all this exciting development however is spectrum – the fuel for connectivity. The challenge for spectrum managers is to ensure that a strategy is in place to keep up with this fast evolving environment, and to ensure that the required spectrum is made available in a timely fashion, and that it is allocated and utilised in the most efficient way possible. This session will set the scene by looking at how spectrum and regulatory frameworks both in the MENA region and around the world are developing in preparation for the networked societies of today and tomorrow.


  • How are regulators around the world preparing for 5G and the future networked society, and how are regulatory frameworks evolving?
  • What work is being done to co-ordinate this on a global level and to what extent have the decisions at WRC-19 affected regional spectrum strategies?
  • How do strategies and new emerging telecoms regulatory framework in the MENA compare to those that are seen elsewhere in the world (particularly North America and Europe)?
12:10 - 13:25
Session 3: Bringing the required spectrum to market – best practice in spectrum pricing and licencing

One of the biggest ongoing challenges for regulators in the MENA region and elsewhere in the world is to design a process for assigning spectrum licences that ensures an efficient allocation of the available bandwidth at a fair price; and ultimately delivers a competitive market and encourages innovation. This session will look at the approaches taken by regulators in the MENA region to awards spectrum, and to set prices and licence conditions. It will look at examples of best practice in all these areas, and discuss the best way forward for regulators to ensure that the available spectrum is brought to market as quickly, efficiently and as fairly as possible.


• What awards have been seen in the MENA region over the past 12 months, and which countries will be allocating bands in the near future?
• What methods have been seen and how has this impacted outcomes?
• What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of auctions, beauty contests and direct awards, and under what circumstances should each be considered the best option?
• In which circumstances may each of these be appropriate and how important is it that regulators consider national differences and the specific situation in their own country when both setting a method for allocation and designing the award process?
• For regulators who are expected to realize reasonable revenues, what is the appropriate approach for setting reserve prices?
• What role do licence conditions and award rules play in determining spectrum prices?
• What role do spectrum prices play in influencing the level of investment and incentives to compete in next generation mobile services?

14:25 - 15:35
Session 4: Meeting the future connectivity requirements of vertical industries

From smart manufacturing to connected vehicles; and smart health to utilities and cities, vertical industries everywhere are starting to realise the potential of the new connected digital society. The challenge for regulators is to develop a spectrum regime that meets the (sometimes complex) requirements of all these cases, and of all existing and new users. This session will look at the extent to which current 4G licencing models will still be valid in a 5G world, or whether different approaches to licencing and assignment may be necessary. Exploring the requirements that are likely to be seen and some of the models that are being put forward to meet these, it will examine the different technologies and solutions that are being put forward to provide the connectivity to ensure that countries in the MENA region stays at the forefront of this fast evolving and disruptive technology.

• What new and emerging use cases are going to be enabled by 5G and IoT, and what spectrum requirements are likely to be seen?
• What frequencies and solutions provide the best options to power the next generation of IoT connectivity across different vertical industries and ensure that the MENA region continues to lead the way in this key area?
• What mix of licenced, unlicensed and shared spectrum will be required?
• Can a similar licensing model as has been used for 4G still be relevant in the emerging 5G world, or is there a need for a rethink?
• Can traditional mobile operators provide all the connectivity requirements for 5G and IoT or is there an argument to allow industry stakeholders to build/own/operate their own locally self-controlled wireless networks?

15:35 - 15:55
Afternoon Refreshments
15:55 - 16:35
Session 5: Tools and techniques to make more efficient use of spectrum

With the demand for spectrum continuing to increase, it is becoming even more important than ever to ensure that the available spectrum is being used as efficiently as possible. This session will look at different options that are being put forward to increase the efficiency of spectrum. It will start with 2 presentations focussing on different technologies and policy tools, before a panel discusses the potential for spectrum sharing – a tool that many feel can play a big part in increasing efficiency

16:35 - 17:40
Session 5ii: The role of spectrum sharing in increasing spectrum efficiency

Spectrum sharing is seen as a key regulatory tool for regulators and stakeholders around the world to increase spectrum efficiency across a wide range of different bands. This session will look at some of the latest proposals, techniques and technologies that are being put forward to facilitate spectrum sharing in different bands and at the best way forward to deliver a regulatory framework that encourages spectrum sharing and incentivises incumbents to release or share their spectrum. With the emergence of more sophisticated technology and innovative new authorisation approaches, it will look at the scope for spectrum sharing going forward, and the most appropriate models to deliver this.

– How can both stakeholders be incentivised to share or even give up their spectrum?
– To what extent should spectrum sharing be ‘bidirectional’, with federal entities granted access to non-Federal spectrum on a shared basis as well as the other way around?
– What examples of spectrum sharing are being seen across the MENA region and which models offer the greatest potential?
– What new technologies and solutions offer the best opportunity to help increase the take up of spectrum sharing, and its potential to deliver more efficient sharing models?
– Which bands offer the best options for making additional spectrum available and for sharing?
– How will 5G change the overall environment for spectrum sharing? Can advances in technology and systems help to create more sharing opportunities?
– To what extent can network slicing be a tool to help deliver spectrum sharing?

09:00 - 10:10
Session 6: Meeting future connectivity requirements in the low and mid range frequencies (below 6Ghz)

Spectrum below 6GHz has always formed the back-bone of spectrum portfolios for mobile operators and other connectivity providers. And today, whilst the emergence of new bands in the mmWave frequencies can help to deliver some of the high capacity coverage required for 5G, access to sufficient spectrum in these ‘traditional’ bands is still as important as ever in order to deliver widespread coverage and support all use cases. This session will look at some of the key bands and emerging bandplans in both the low (under 1GHz) and mid (1Ghz – 6Ghz) ranges. It will look at the future shape of bands, and how the emergence of 5G may affect the ways in which they are allocated and awarded, and crucially explore the at the best approaches to ensure that the needs of all users can be met.


– What is the optimal mix of low and mid range spectrum that operators need to deploy traditional base stations?
– Where are we across the region with the allocation of the digital dividend spectrum? For those countries in which the process is still ongoing, should the 700MHz and 800MHz bands be considered together or is a better approach to take them separately?
– Is there need for additional low-range spectrum to be made available for mobile broadband beyond the 700MHz and 800MHa bands (for example 600MHz band), or can these provide sufficient bandwidth?
– Which bands in the 1Ghz – 6Ghz range offer realistic options to help meet these requirements in countries across the Arab region?
– To what extent can bands such as the 3.4Ghz – 3.8Ghz ‘C-Band’, 2.3GHz and 2.6Ghz bands provide an option?
– As we enter the era of 5G, is there any benefit in moving from a paired to an unpaired band plan in any bands (for example 2.6GHz), and what would be the practical and technical considerations associated with this change in approach?
– What measures are required to protect and preserve satellite, PPDR and other key users in low and mid-range bands, and how can it be ensured that the needs of all users are balanced?

10:10 - 11:20
Session 7: Mapping the shape of the future mmWave ecosystem

The mmWave frequencies are seen as providing some of the most important spectrum for 5G, and particularly for delivering the high capacity coverage that is required in urban areas. This session will look in more detail at the importance of mmWave spectrum for 5G in both the short term and the long term, and at the options that regulators have to provide the spectrum that is required. It will look at what needs to be done to balance the needs of both existing and new users in these frequencies, and assess the optimal timing of award for different bands to help deliver the full benefits of 5G.


– What impact will the outcomes of WRC-19 and decisions made on candidate bands for WRC-23 have on the future mmWave landscape in MENA and around the world?
– What are likely to be the most important mmWave bands for 5G in the short term and in the long term?
– Which bands should be prioritised for release across the region – 26GHz, 39GHz, 66GHz or others?
– What is the best timing for release and how can it be ensured that sufficient spectrum is made available in a timely manner and efficiently as possible?
– To what extent could spectrum above 100Ghz become more important in the longer term?
– How can the needs of mobile and satellite services in the mmWave bands best be met, and to what extent is co-existence a viable option?
– Where are we in terms of the adoption and installation of the massive MIMO technologies that will be crucial for commercial roll-out of 5G in the mmWave frequencies, and how is this likely to affect the requirements for mmWave spectrum in the short term?

11:20 - 11:40
Morning Coffee
11:40 - 12:50
Session 8: Connecting the unconnected – Working together to tackle the digital divide

Despite a huge amount of money and effort being spent on connecting the unconnected in the Arab world, a considerable Digital Divide still exists both within and between countries in the region. And some say that with the emergence of 5G, the gap between the digital haves and the digital have-nots is widening rather than narrowing. Tackling this issue is a hugely important challenge for regulators and other stakeholders in the region. This session will look at the work that is being done, at the specific challenges of delivering connectivity in sometime very challenging terrains, and at the mix of technologies and solutions that will be required to ensure that the required connectivity infrastructure is in place.


– What tangible progress to narrowing the digital divide in Arab countries has been seen over the past few years?
– How can Governments, regulators ensure that they are truly understanding the connectivity requirements of unconnected areas, and then work with the private sector to meet these?
– What role can fixed wireless access play in delivering connectivity to rural areas, and what mix of other technologies and solutions will also be required?
– How are technology companies, connectivity providers and other key stakeholders collaborating to help connect the unconnected?
– How can it then be ensured that the required resources and investment are available? What incentives can be used to help with this?
– What are the spectrum requirements, and how can it be ensured that access to the necessary bands is available?

12:50 - 13:50
13:50 - 15:00
Session 9: Connecting the smart cities of the future – delivering the required densification and indoor connectivity

A major challenge when rolling out 5G in urban areas is how to achieve the densification of networks that is necessary to deliver the required high system capacity and per-user data rates. And with approximately 70% of 5G use cases expected to occur indoors, connectivity providers & tower companies also need to ensure that a network is in place that delivers these capabilities in an indoor environment. Focussing on these challenges and more, this session will look at best-practice in delivering the urban 5G eco-system.


– What are the major design challenges that are faced when building a 5G network in urban areas and how can these be overcome?
– What will be the best way to deliver the densification of networks that will be necessary to provide the required network connectivity in urban areas and inside large buildings?
– How important will Small Cells be in providing this densification and what other technologies and bandwidths will also play a part?
– With an estimated 70% of all mobile usage happening indoors, how can it be ensured that the required connectivity is delivered inside building as well as on the streets in urban areas?
– What network architecture can be used to meet the requirements and what challenges will the transition to this likely raise and how can it be ensured that the 5G indoor user experience is consistent with that received outdoors?

Select date to see events.

History of the Event

Launched in 2014, and now in its fifth year, The MENA Spectrum Management Conference is established as the leading platform for spectrum policy discussion within the region. 

Event partners ASMG and Forum Global work with national Governments and regulators and industry stakeholders from mobile, satellite, broadcast, public safety, high altitude platforms and more to create a platform for debate that adds real value to the spectrum discussions taking place in the region.  

Previous Event

Taking place in Marrakech, Morocco, in April of 2018, The 4th MENA Spectrum Management Conference welcomed over 150 delegates from across the region and beyond for high-level discussions on preparation for WRC-19, 5G, Spectrum auctions awards and pricing, the rollout of the 700MHz band and much, much more. 

You can view more details of the 2018 edition of this event here

Get Involved

  • Want to ensure that your voice is heard, as the region reflects on the outcomes of WRC-19, and begins preparation for WRC-23?
  • Looking to showcase your key ideas and thinking, in front of leading Spectrum Policy and Industry representatives?
  • Or, to generate exciting new business relationships or leads?

Our team is ready to work with you to build a strategic package at this event, that ensure your objectives are met. 

This event is taking place as part of the Global Spectrum Series, for further information on speaking, sponsorship or visibility opportunities, and to discuss how you can maximize the value of involvement, please contact Dan Craft on dan.craft@forum-global.com or on +44 (0) 2920 783 020.


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Venue to be announced soon.
Please check back regularly for updates.


For more information on any aspect of this event, please contact James Curtin using any of the details below.

James Curtin
Event Manager
Forum Europe


Tel: +44 (0) 2920 783 020