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Zain makes strategic investment in Nexgen, smart city specialist

Zain Group announces a strategic investment in Nexgen Group, a leading smart city advisory and consulting services provider based in the UAE. The investment will lead to the establishment of a specialised business unit delivering smart city services to governments and mega real estate developers facilitating the deployment of smart city solutions and managed services across Zain’s regional footprint.

The agreement comes exactly twelve-months after a strategic cooperation partnership was announced between the two entities.

Both Zain and Nexgen hold strong opinions that the power of mobile Internet is a driving factor to unlocking the potential of how people live their lives and transforming how they conduct their businesses. The companies are in agreement that with the confluence of smart technologies and services, the Internet of Things and the power of data, smart city developments will enhance the lives of millions of people across the region.

The newly established business unit will focus on delivering smart city solutions and managed services and will include design and integration for applications including smart living in city districts, smart safety and security, smart education and health, and smart metering for the utility sector among others.

Zain records 8% rise in Q4 net income, but 21% slide for the full-year

Zain Group today reported that for the fourth quarter of 2015 to December 31, the operator recorded consolidated revenues of KD283 million (US$933 million), down three per cent year-on-year in local currency. EBITDA for the quarter amounted to KD127 million, up 7.6 per cent in KD terms for the quarter, reflecting an EBITDA margin of 45 per cent. Net income for the quarter amounted to KD36 million, up eight per cent year-on-year.

For the full-year 2015, Zain Group generated consolidated revenues of KD1.14 billion, down six per cent year-on-year, while consolidated EBITDA for the year reached KD499 million. Consolidated net income was down to KD 154 million, reflecting a 21% slide year-on-year.

Zain served 45.6 million customers at the end of the period, reflecting a three per cent increase year-on-year.

Bahrain TRA institutes prepaid SIM card registration guidelines

The Bahrain Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has issued strict guidelines on SIM card registration in bid to safeguard consumers from fraud and identity theft related crimes, it has announced.
On December 31, 2015 the TRA issued a regulation introducing a ceiling for the number of prepaid SIM cards consumers may acquire, which has been set at 10 per mobile network operator, meaning an individual may only have a total of 30 prepaid SIM cards registered in his/her name.

The TRA will also prevent the sale of SIM cards in retail shops, permitting them to be sold only through operators’ outlets and authorised resellers who obtain a formal approval from the TRA to conduct the registration and verification processes on behalf of mobile operators.

The new regulation will take effect within seven months from the date of issuance.

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent become combined group

Alcatel-Lucent today shared the news that Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have started operating as a combined company.

The company commented that the new Nokia Group is now uniquely positioned to meet evolving needs, both today and in the future, of a convergent, IP connected world. An end-to-end portfolio scope and scale player, the combined company is looking to have unparalleled R&D and innovation capabilities, which it will use to lead the creation of next-generation network technology and services, whilst maintaining its relentless focus on customer service and support.

DarkMatter appoints Governance, Risk, and Compliance expert

DarkMatter, a cyber security firm based in the UAE, announces the appointment of Harshul Joshi as its senior vice president, Cyber Governance, Risk and Compliance. The executive joins DarkMatter from San Francisco-headquartered cloud computing company,, where he was GM of the company’s Government Cloud platform, and its global head of cyber security regulations and standards. Harshul Joshi smaller

Joshi comes with over 17 years of experience in the fields of cloud-based technologies, regulatory compliance, governance, risk, and internal audit; which are all critical areas with respect to DarkMatter’s ongoing advisory services to government and commercial entities.

Prior to joining, Joshi led the Security practice for PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP) in the technology sector. He has also held various leadership roles with Sony Corporation of America, GTE Internetworking (currently Verizon) and KPMG LLP. He is a member of several boards of advisors to companies in Silicon Valley, is the Global Editor for ISO 27007, and is a regular contributor to various ISO and country-level cyber security standards.

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