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Ericsson to switch on 5G globally in 2019

Ericsson President and CEO, Börje Ekholm says the company will switch on 5G globally in 2019, backed by a strong, secure and available portfolio. Addressing media and analysts as he launched Ericsson’s Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Ekholm also stressed the role of 5G as a critical national infrastructure, and emphasized the advantages for early adopters.

Ekholm said that Ericsson has announced commercial 5G deals with 10 named service provider customers, as well as 42 memorandums of understanding. The company is already rolling out 5G networks across the globe: in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. 

Zain Group publishes its latest thought leadership report

Zain Group, has published its annual thought leadership report, this year entitled, Social Innovation: The Fusion of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and A New Generational Mindset.

The report, which launched during the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, provides a clear understanding of how the various forces of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the new generational mindset foster social innovation. The report identifies the significant benefits and opportunities social innovation brings to humanity, businesses, civil society and governments. Additionally, it examines how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can and does play a critical role in enabling a more inclusive approach to social, economic and environmental impacts, fostering positive change.  Lastly, the report provides a clear understanding of the relationship between social innovation and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of planetary boundaries and social thresholds.

The report is not printed physically, so as to reduce negative environmental impact, and instead may be viewed online or downloaded by visiting the link: https://zain.com/en/sustainability/thought-leadership-reports/

Positive developments in Saudi boost Zain’s full-year performance

Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announces its consolidated financial results for the full-year 2018, and fourth-quarter ended 31 December, 2018. Zain serves 49 million customers, reflecting a 5% increase year-on-year (Y-o-Y).

For the full-year 2018, Zain Group generated consolidated revenues of KD 1.3 billion (USD 4.4 billion), an impressive 28% Y-o-Y growth, while consolidated EBITDA for the period increased by 25% Y-o-Y to reach KD 519 million (USD 1.7 billion), reflecting an EBITDA margin of 39%. Consolidated net income reached KD 197 million (USD 649 million), up 23% and reflecting Earnings Per Share of 45 Fils (USD 0.15).  

For the full-year, foreign currency translation impact, predominantly due to the 47% currency devaluation in Sudan from an average of 16.9 to 31.9 (SDG / USD), deprived the company USD 216 million in revenue, USD 79 million in EBITDA and USD 27 million in net income.  

For the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, Zain Group recorded consolidated revenues of KD 411 million (USD 1.4 billion), up 57% when compared to Q4, 2017. EBITDA for the quarter amounted to KD 195 million (USD 642 million), reflecting an EBITDA margin of 47%. Net income for the period amounted to KD 59 million (USD 196 million), up 59% Y-o-Y, and representing Earnings Per Share of 13 fils (USD 0.05).  

Specifically, for Q4 2018, currency translation impact deprived the company USD 78 million in revenue, USD 25 million in EBITDA and USD 10 million in net income, again predominantly due to currency devaluation in Sudan from 18.3 to 46.2 (SDG / USD), a 60% decrease.  

AT&T joins the Global Telco Security Alliance

The Global Telco Security Alliance today announced the addition of global telecommunications leader AT&T as an equal partner in the grouping which was launched in April 2018 by Etisalat, Singtel, SoftBank and Telefónica. The Global Telco Security Alliance brings together leading telecommunications operators from around the world with the main objective of offering enterprises comprehensive cybersecurity insights to help enterprises address the growing threat of cyberattacks.

AT&T’s addition represents a significant step up in resources and insights offered by the Alliance as a whole. AT&T has long-established and extensive cybersecurity capabilities and technologies. These were recently reinforced with the acquisition of AlienVault, which has enabled AT&T to accelerate delivering on its vision of enabling organizations of all sizes with effective cybersecurity solutions.

The inclusion of AT&T clearly reinforces the Global Telco Security Alliance’s ability to share insights and best practices for customers globally. Combined, all the members cover more than 1.2 billion customers in over 60 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

The Global Telco Security Alliance plans to expand its scope of activities and global footprint over time and is open to bringing in new members in the future.

Airtel and Telkom Kenya agree to merger

Kenya’s second and third largest mobile phone operators are merging to create a stronger challenger to the market leader, Safaricom.

Indian-owned Bharti Airtel and Telkom Kenya announced their intention to operate under a joint venture company that will be named Airtel-Telkom. The two companies said the deal comprises their mobile, carrier, and enterprises services but would not include Telkom Kenya’s real estate portfolio and specific government services. Telkom Kenya is 60% owned by private equity firm Helios and 40% owned by the Kenyan government.

The two entities will continue to run independently but will combine efforts to enhance their range of products, marketing services, and offerings to customers. The closure of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

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