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Delivering on the digital lifestyle

Last year Zain Group established the Zain Digital Frontier and Innovation (ZDFI) business unit, which is charged with expanding the reach of the group into the digital space, and developing new innovative businesses and income streams.  Emre Gurkan, the company chief strategy and business development officer, addresses the opportunities that the advent of smart cities, IoT and M2M will present and Zain’s role in the emerging ecosystem

Pic 1 - Emre Gurkan Smart City pic web

Emre Gurkan is Zain Group’s chief strategy and business development officer

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MENA smart cities

Where citizen needs meet governance and socio-economic service delivery, all powered by technological prowessGuy High Res 1

Guy Zibi is managing director, of Xalam Analytics, analytics on AME digital infrastructure markets

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Telecom operators could become the town squares of smart cities

There are deep misconceptions about smart cities that we find within the industry. One of the most common is the idea that a smart city is a ‘finalised product’ rather than the process of harmonising infrastructure with technology. While it is possible to build a smart city ‘from scratch’, it is also possible (and necessary) to upgrade existing cities to become smarter. This perspective underscores two critical points about smart cities – their primary purpose is to improve the lives of citizens, and they are an inevitable part of our futurePic 3 - Town square

Telcos could become the future ‘town square’ – a meeting place for people to co-create and innovate

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Tumbling profits

The reporting of second quarter financials at the end of July offered a poignant and timely insight into the state of the telco industry in the Middle East. Etisalat, Ooredoo, and Zain reported a 40 per cent, 39 per cent, and 38 per cent slump respectively in their second quarter 2015 net profits to end June, prompting Comm. to review the reasons for these drastic declines in profitability and check whether they reflect wider factors currently dogging the regional sector

A number of operators in the Middle East reported declining profitability for the second quarter of 2015

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Game changer

Having announced that he would depart the merged company once the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia is completed, in the interim period CEO Michel Combes continues to exhibit the energy and pragmatic positivity that has seen the under-pressure Alcatel-Lucent claw back business and revenues in the just over two years he has headed the company. On a recent whistle-stop tour to the Middle East, Combes reiterated his belief that the tie-up with Nokia was the right combination at the right time, set to create a “new technology champion”Pic 1

Michel Combes believes the coming together of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia offers a unique opportunity to create a vendor that will have the strength to commercialise new technological opportunities

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Another change at the top at Vodafone Qatar

Vodafone Qatar has announced the appointment of Ian Gray as Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 December 2015. Gray takes over from Kyle Whitehill who will be leaving Vodafone to pursue other opportunities. Gray joins Vodafone Qatar from Vodafone Egypt where he is chairman, having served on the board of Vodafone Egypt for over […]

Amr El-Leithy to become head of MEA in planned Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent combination

Nokia today announces that Amr El-Leithy would become the head of Middle East and Africa as part of the planned combination of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, after and subject to the successful closing of the public exchange offer for Alcatel-Lucent securities announced on April 15, 2015. El-Leithy would oversee the combined company’s customer operations across Middle […]

Orange confirms sale of Telkom Kenya stake to Helios Investment Partners

Orange confirmed an agreement to sell its 70 per cent stake in Telkom Kenya to Helios Investment Partners for an undisclosed sum. In a statement, Orange said the move “reflects its constant focus on optimising its portfolio of assets”, adding “Africa and the Middle East region is a strategic priority for the group”. Helios emerged […]

Ericsson and Cisco announce global business and technology partnership

Ericsson and Cisco today announced a global business and technology partnership to create the networks of the future. The multi-faceted relationship will offer customers the best of both companies: routing, data centre, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control, and global services capabilities. Together the companies plan to deliver customer value by: · Offering service provider […]

Dabengwa steps down as MTN CEO as operator group comes under pressure

Sifiso Dabengwa will leave MTN with immediate effect, MTN said in a statement to shareholders today. His exit — which MTN is describing as a resignation — comes amid the record-setting US$5.2 billion fine imposed by a Nigerian regulator after the group’s Nigerian operation allegedly failed to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards by a […]

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