The 6th edition of the RoamsysNext Connectivity Innovation Forum saw an all-time-high in the number of participants, which is no surprise, as two hot topics had been added to the agenda. In the first part, Julia Gullstrand explained the various events and options for participation during the next GSMA WAS #12 event, which this time will be fully virtual. In the second part of the forum, Nadir Patel of Omantel discussed Telco’s challenges and efforts during Covid-19.

Connectivity Innovation Forum #6

With the upcoming WAS #12 24-hour Virtual Event the GSMA takes one of its biggest working group events into the virtual world. From 20–22 October covering three different time-zones, the event offers sessions about 2G/3G Closures & VoLTE as well as 5G & New Services Impact. Also included are open and closed roundtables, panels about WI-FI & Aeronautical, Diversity, IPX, IoT, Quality, Messaging and eSIM, GSMA group updates and hints for GSMA tools. Julia Gullstrand, GSMA’s Head of Roaming and Interconnect, explained the basic concepts behind this new form of conference. Events can be chosen from the agenda and added to a private schedule, during the events active participation is possible via chat. To keep the character of the WAS event, bilateral meetings can be scheduled and executed via the platform. Many exhibition pages are already live, meetings and product demos can also be arranged via the platform.

Events like this and new and improved workflows clearly show one thing: The industry is able to adapt and overcome critical situations, but there’s still a lot of work to do in a fast-changing world. Omantel’s Nadir Patel started his discussion about Digital Inclusion during Covid-19 with China’s report of several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan at the end of 2019, an incident, that very soon became a global game-changer. Millions of jobs got lost, nearly the whole world went into a temporary lockdown, a global recession is on its way and, most important, the death toll already crossed one million people. After a short moment of shock, the industry reacted fast to keep businesses alive under completely changed circumstances. Roaming agreements got renegotiated in a world without extensive travelling. Networks got upgrades and expansions when people started to work mostly from home. COVID tracking apps got developed with the need of constant connectivity. And many things more.

But the world needs to change, too. Device accessibility not only in developing countries is key to enable working from home, home schooling and teaching. Online meetings and virtual classrooms can be a challenge as connectivity issues are still real. And apart from this, the social impact related to more screen time and less physical connections cannot be underestimated as well as the important role of social media. So even for MNO’s providing the best possible infrastructure is just one side of the medal, society and politics need to adapt, too. Collaboration and positivity will lead our industry through this phase, a conclusion, that perfectly summarizes the idea behind the Connectivity Innovation Forum.

If you would like to be a part of shaping new stands and want to belong to an innovation-driven think tank, too, we are always looking forward to meeting new members: Join an exciting community that challenges processes with state-of-the-art knowledge about the right technologies, get ahead! You are welcome to contact CIF-host Mihai Luca ( or register directly at