On 8 March 2020, Bangladesh saw its first case of Covid-19. From the very first day, Bangladesh stepped up and has been fighting this predicament with solid unity. The country formed a joint task force led by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, and telecommunications have been announced as an emergency service provider to tackle the pandemic with maximum efficacy. It is certain, Connectivity has become a lifeline for the continuation of economic and social activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will remain so even in our post-pandemic world.

During the session, Yasir Azman mentioned how the Bangladesh government and private sector worked relentlessly together since COVID-19 hit the country, saying, "Connectivity has become not only essential but critical in these challenging times amid confinement measures put in place to curb the spread of the disease. As a collective force telecom industry stepped up with affordable connectivity managing additional capacity, facilitated online education & LMS platforms, equipped health sector and best utilize big data for fighting corona virus. To make it happen innovation and sheer commitment helped industry sustain this rapid surge.”

With a paradigm shift in people's lifestyle where they opt for digital solutions, it is essential to create a future-ready ecosystem that addresses digitalization needs as we move towards a cashless society, doing online classes, working from home, shopping, staying connected to what matters the most. Therefore, a country like Bangladesh needs to harness digital advancements, build a cohesive ecosystem, and leverage high-speed Connectivity to sustain this digital lifestyle and welcome 4IR. This is possible by best utilizing the power of 4G, resolving the pertaining industry challenges and eventually co-creating a 5G friendly policy framework for implementation.

Azman believes that it is essential to upskill and equip ourselves, especially our youth, with relevant skillsets to get them future-ready to accelerate digitalization. Leveraging the youth dividend can help us build advanced capabilities to drive and sustain the technological revolution.

All in all, he stressed creating a future-ready ecosystem, addressing citizens' digital needs, including online safety, acquisition of next-gen skills to enable and accelerate digitalization, upskill the existing resource pool and utilization of 4G and high-speed internet.

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