Zain sells and leases back passive infrastructure from IHS

Zain Kuwait has completed the sale and leaseback of the passive physical infrastructure of its 1,620 mobile tower portfolio for US$130 million (KD 40 million) to IHS Holding Limited (IHS). The transaction is the first sale and leaseback of telecom towers in the Middle East region by a licensed mobile operator.  

Under the terms of the transaction, Zain is selling only its passive, physical infrastructure to a new purposely created entity

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STC buys into Egypt with acquisition of Vodafone stake

Vodafone Group has agreed a deal to sell its 55 per cent stake in Vodafone Egypt to Saudi operator STC for US$2.4 billion, as part of plans to reduce debt and refocus on core markets.

STC is yet to complete due diligence on the acquisition, which will also require regulatory approval

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Bad to worse for Travelex as it faces aggressive ransomware attack

The cyber hacking saga at Travelex continues as media reports now suggest the international foreign currency dealer has fallen prey to a ransomware attack with a group called Sodinokibi claiming responsibility for the incident and demanding a US$6 million payment to restore systems.

It is not clear whether Travelex is considering paying any amount of ransom in order to gain back control of its data and systems. Security experts typically advise that victims not pay ransoms to threat actors

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Travelex hit by New Year’s Eve cyber attack

Travelex, the international foreign currency seller suffered a software virus attack on New Year’s Eve and has been forced to take down its website as a result of the incident. The company has resorted to carrying out transactions manually, providing foreign exchange services over the counter in its branches.

Significant fines can be levied by regulators in Europe on companies viewed as not having sufficient cyber security postures in place in line with the General Data Protection Regulation

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Nhleko steps back as MTN Group chairman

Phuthuma Nhleko, the MTN Group CEO who led the company on an acquisition trail that turned it into an emerging markets powerhouse, has stepped down from its board of directors. Nhleko, who has served as MTN’s chairman since 2015 after relinquishing the CEO role in 2011, resigned this week as non-executive chairman.

Nhleko briefly returned to executive leadership of the group following the exit of former CEO Sifiso Dabengwa, to deal with the fallout from a US$5.2 billion regulatory fine in Nigeria

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News

Batelco introduces 5G roaming with du in the UAE

Following Zain Group’s regional milestone announcement in November 2019 that its operations in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had successfully launched the first 5G roaming service across the MENA region, Bahrain telco Batelco has announced partnering with the UAE’s du to deliver 5G international roaming services in the UAE.

Vodacom pledges 5G launch in South Africa in 2020

South Africa’s Vodacom Group has unveiled plans to launch 5G in its home market in 2020 despite issues acquiring spectrum from the country’s regulator.

Saudi Arabia to double the number of MVNOs with the offer of two new licenses

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has tendered two new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses, which “will likely boost investment opportunities in the telecom industry, support entrepreneurship and enhance the content industry as well as service diversification,” CITC Governor, Mohammed Altamimi is quoted as saying.

Orange inaugurates regional head office in Casablanca

Orange has officially inaugurated its new Middle East and Africa (MEA) operational head office in Casablanca, Morocco from where it will direct activities across its 18 countries of presence in the region. The operator counted a total of 125 million customers in the MEA as of October 30, 2019.

DIFC receives cyber threat intelligence platform

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has announced plans to launch a cyber threat intelligence platform to help firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) implement appropriate safeguards to mitigate cyber risks. The platform is the result of cooperation and collaboration with the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), the National Computer Emergency Response Team […]

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