Safaricom has it all to do to succeed as Ethiopia’s second telco

A consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom continues to celebrate the award of the second telco license in Ethiopia in May for a reported bid price of US$850 million. Given all that is taking place in Ethiopia at this time, it shall require a amount of skill and determination to make this greenfield operation profitable in a reasonable time-frame, with the investment case seemingly under significant pressure.

Ethiopia is currently estimated to have a mobile penetration rate of approximately 50% of its 100 million plus population

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Lessons for companies in the Middle East from the Colonial Pipeline hack

The recent ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline in the US offers a sharp reminder how critical national infrastructure remains a highly prized and targeted sector for hackers, despite there having been a lull in such attacks in the Middle East in recent years.

While victims are often advised by cyber security experts not to settle ransoms, it is believed Colonial Pipeline did pay Russia-linked DarkSide criminal hacking group up to US$ 5 million to gain back control of its digital network and systems

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Zain hands over management of touch in Lebanon

Zain Group is reported to have handed over the management of touch, the leading mobile operator in Lebanon, to a new management and board, appointed by Lebanon’s telecoms ministry on October 30, 2020. Zain, which has managed touch since June 2004, said it would reapply, if permitted, to manage one of Lebanon’s two state-owned mobile operators. A statement by Zain mentioned that a strategy to re-enter the mobile sector in Lebanon would require a clear business plan within an agreement with the ministry.  

Zain has had to say goodbye to its management of touch in Lebanon

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Batelco provides nationwide 5G coverage in Bahrain

Batelco has successfully activated 5G coverage across Bahrain, which is available in all four governorates, covering 95% of the nation’s population. The telco’s launch of the network makes Batelco the first operator to provide national 5G coverage in Bahrain.

A successful 5G business case depends on network deployment supported by reasonably priced devices in sufficient numbers, with virtually all smartphone manufacturers now having launched 5G-compatible devices

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NZ attacks again highlight that cyber defence benefits surely outweigh costs

A series of recent cyber attacks reported to have targeted and disrupted the usual operation of the stock exchange in New Zealand (NZX) again highlight the case for proactive investment in cyber defences ahead of cyber incidences occurring or being attempted.

Companies trading on the stock exchange ought to be required to undertake similar cyber security assessment testing and vetting as is currently being undertaken by the NZX itself

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