The workshop was facilitated by Mohamed Abbes, Public Policy Director, GSMA and included two panel discussions. The first panel was focused on discussing the challenges in infrastructure deployment and the policy enablers that will help to facilitate the rollout of 5G infrastructure as the success of 5G is dependent on the collaborative effort of operators, industry and policymakers. In the second panel, they discussed the key drivers of 5G, enablers to unlock its potential, national 5G plans, and policy actions to encourage required investment drawing on experiences from previous generations and early 5G deployments. Some of the issues that were explored included:

• Lessons learnt from 3G and 4G deployments in MENA that can be carried forward to the 5G era;
• 5G deployments in leading markets and implications for other regions;
• Key policy levers to accelerate infrastructure deployment – i.e. additional spectrum, access to sites / small cells, backhaul as a key element, infrastructure sharing; and,
• Policy actions and insights.

The panellists included:
• Dr Andrew Arowojolu, CRO Zain Group
• Mr Robert Middlehurst, VP, Regulatory Affairs at Etisalat International
• Dr Ahmed A. AlSohaily, Chief Technologist at CITC, Saudi Arabia
• Dr Mani Manimohan, Head of Digital Infrastructure Policy & Regulation, Government and Regulatory Affairs, GSMA