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Fouad Halawi appointed CEO of Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia

Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa (VMMEA) has appointed Fouad Halawi as CEO of its operation in Saudi Arabia.

Halawi brings with him over 15 years of executive management experience in the telecommunications industry in Europe, Australia and the USA, where he launched several new MVNO brands.

He joins from Lycamobile Australia where he was group managing director.Fouad4

VMMEA recently announced serving over one million subscribers in Saudi Arabia, which was achieved within a year of commercial launch of the operations in October 2014.

Halawi replaces former CEO Karim Benkirane, who assumed the position 2013.

DarkMatter appoints ex Google Nest head as SVP of Secure Communications Engineering

DarkMatter, a cyber security firm with global aspirations, announces the appointment of the former head of Security and Privacy Engineering at Google Nest and VP of Security R&D for Samsung Electronics, Michael Pak, to its senior management team. The executive is a 20-year security technology expert and assumes the position of senior VP– Secure Communications Engineering at DarkMatter.

Pak holds 18 security patents and has international security experience spanning the US, South Korea, Japan and other regions of the world. His most recent position was as Head of Security and Privacy Engineering, Google Nest Labs in the US. He has also held leadership positions with leading technology innovators including Samsung Mobile Communications in South Korea; Wind River (an Intel company) in the US; and was co-founder of McAfee Mobile Security Group, also based in the US.Michael Pak2

DarkMatter, which is led by UAE businessman and founder of Axiom Telecom, Faisal Al Bannai is staffed by tier one international cyber experts who develop, manage and deploy the most innovative technologies.

Already a strategic partner of the UAE government, DarkMatter is leveraging this experience in the wider market as it looks to serve regional and international clients.

Myanmar extends deadline to telecom licence tender to January 8

The joint venture formation and tender selection work committee that was appointed by the government of Myanmar to oversee the award of the country’s fourth telecom licence has communicated the extension of the deadline to submit an expression of interest to no later than January 8, 2016. The deadline had initially been set at December 18, 2015.

MTN joins Telefónica’s Partners Programme

MTN Group and Telefónica Group jointly announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement, which enables both telecommunications operators to work together to benefit from their joint scale, combined expertise and market access. The partnership is supported by the Telefónica Partners Programme, an initiative launched by Telefónica in 2011, which includes other leading telcos covering a total of 35 markets in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Middle East.

Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will work together to capture synergies in a number of strategic areas. Many of the initial areas are aiming to improve both companies’ stand in regards to enterprise customers, including services to multinational companies in each other’s footprint, collaboration in M2M and new digital products, and services targeting the B2B segment.

Additionally, the groups will also cooperate in various strategic initiatives and exchange best practices to capture new industry opportunities. Both companies will also enter into discussions on how to engage effectively in international wholesale, devices and network/IT procurement.

MTN Group and Telefónica teams may also engage in other business areas under the scope of the strategic agreement, such as alignment in key technology projects in network and IT, new initiatives (such as mobile money or big data projects), and collaborate on commercial and marketing strategies. The companies will collaborate bilaterally on these and other selected areas.

The mutual collaboration is expected to provide a stronger basis to compete globally in the changing telecommunications industry.

Myanmar government announces opening of tender for fourth telecom licence

The government of Myanmar has announced it will award a fourth nationwide telecommunications service licence by the first half of 2016. The joint venture formation and tender selection work committee has been set up by the government to oversee the process of awarding the licence to the final awardee.

The tender committee is forming the joint venture corporation in the step-by-step process as follows:

Phase 1: Selecting the domestic public companies

Phase 2: Shortlisting a limited number of suitable foreign telecom operators

Phase 3: Finalising the selection of the preferred foreign telecom operator and applying for the licence to be granted by Posts and Telecommunications Department.

As the next step, interested entities are required to submit an expression of interest on December 18, 2015 to the tender committee.

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