Securing “The World’s Greatest Show”

I was recently visiting London and came away surprised by just how far the awareness-raising campaign for Expo 2020 has broken through internationally. Billboards and prime-time television commercial spots communicated the virtues of the upcoming “world’s greatest show,” which at fewer than 50 weeks away, is fast becoming a reality.  

EY forecasts Expo will boost the UAE’s economy by AED 122.6 billion (US$ 33.4 billion) and support 905,200 job-years between 2013 and 2031

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Changing cyber security landscape in the ME points to maturity

The cyber security industry in the Middle East is showing signs of maturing, should the recent in-region developments be an indicator of the evolution and transformation of the way business is being conducted and by whom in this part of the world. In the latest indication of a changing landscape, media reports in the UAE point to Faisal Al Bannai, Founder and Managing Director of UAE-based cyber security firm DarkMatter Group, planning on divesting his entire stake in the company by the end of the year.

In September, Etisalat announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire full ownership of Help AG’s businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The telco said the acquisition is part of its plans to diversify operations

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Democratisation…of technology…under threat

The decision by the US to add Huawei and some of its affiliates to a trade blacklist back in May, which had additional Huawei-linked companies added to the list this week, is a concerning development in the rise of powerful forces grappling to deal with the effects of the democratisation of technology through digitisation.

The rise of geopolitics as a method of framing the course of technological advancement and influence is a worrying trend, and has the power to diminish the digital dazzle created by the Web over the last three decades

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5G windfalls are going to take hard graft for service providers to achieve

Disclosure by Samsung recently of weak sales momentum for its premium Galaxy S10 device and stagnant demand for other high-end mobiles in its product line in the quarter to end-June, compounds similar pronouncements from Apple that sales of its iconic, and not inexpensive, iPhone continue to decline. The waning appetite for devices priced above US$500 points to a shift in market sentiment that seems to suggest that features included in high-end devices no longer justify the premium charged over medium-range ones. Or at least points to – and service providers and device manufacturers will be keenly hoping as much – consumers holding off spending top dollar on current generation devices in anticipation of the mass introduction of 5G handsets in the quarters to follow.

Samsung recently disclosed weak sales momentum for its premium Galaxy S10 device and stagnant demand for other high-end mobiles, as have rival device manufacturers

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5G stakes rise as falling operator revenues seek a remedy

The current financial results reporting season is an opportunity to assess the strategies being implemented by operators in a bid to hit the 5G jackpot, and whether these are likely to succeed or prove to be a challenging investment to garner positive results from.

Flat or declining revenues is a trend facing many service providers around the world, and in the UAE both Etisalat and du have been among 5G’s most fervent early proponents

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News

Zain Bahrain signs up Ericsson for 5G

Zain Bahrain has selected Ericsson to build its 5G network in the kingdom, with the first commercial 5G services expected to go live before the end of 2019. Spanning Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and 5G Core products and solutions, the contract will see Zain Bahrain’s network modernized from LTE to 5G.

October marks a significant watershed for commercial 5G deployments

The month of October was a massive one for commercial 5G deployments globally, commencing with the 20-city network launched by Zain in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the month, and ending with China’s three main service providers – China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom – announcing the commercial availability of 5G services in […]

Faisal Al Bannai leads newly unveiled national defence entity, EDGE

Following media reports last month that Faisal Al Bannai, Founder and former Managing Director of UAE cyber security firm DarkMatter, was looking to exit the business altogether by year-end, last week he made his first public appearance as CEO and Managing Director of a newly created national defence technology-focused conglomerate called EDGE.

Zain Saudi Arabia launches region’s largest 5G network to date

In the most significant early bet on the long-term viability of 5G technology in the Middle East, Zain Saudi Arabia announced the launch of 5G in the Kingdom, with the first phase of the rollout being implemented through a network of 2,000 towers that cover an area of more than 20 cities.  This massive rollout […]

End of an era as Osman Sultan steps down as du CEO in 2020

UAE telco Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) has announced the departure of long-standing CEO, Osman Sultan, to be replaced by Johan Dennelind, who is set to assume the role early next year. Sultan has been the CEO of du since its launch in 2006.

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