Service operators search for revenue boost to match geographic expansion of 5G

Ericsson expects the global number of 5G subscriptions to top 2.6 billion within the next six years, according to its November 2019 edition of the Ericson Mobility Report.

Operators such as Zain Group are hard at work trying to drive 5G economies of scale, having recently announced that its flagship operation in Kuwait had introduced commercial 5G roaming with its counterpart in Saudi Arabia

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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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News

Batelco introduces 5G roaming with du in the UAE

Following Zain Group’s regional milestone announcement in November 2019 that its operations in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had successfully launched the first 5G roaming service across the MENA region, Bahrain telco Batelco has announced partnering with the UAE’s du to deliver 5G international roaming services in the UAE.

Vodacom pledges 5G launch in South Africa in 2020

South Africa’s Vodacom Group has unveiled plans to launch 5G in its home market in 2020 despite issues acquiring spectrum from the country’s regulator.

Saudi Arabia to double the number of MVNOs with the offer of two new licenses

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has tendered two new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses, which “will likely boost investment opportunities in the telecom industry, support entrepreneurship and enhance the content industry as well as service diversification,” CITC Governor, Mohammed Altamimi is quoted as saying.

Orange inaugurates regional head office in Casablanca

Orange has officially inaugurated its new Middle East and Africa (MEA) operational head office in Casablanca, Morocco from where it will direct activities across its 18 countries of presence in the region. The operator counted a total of 125 million customers in the MEA as of October 30, 2019.

DIFC receives cyber threat intelligence platform

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has announced plans to launch a cyber threat intelligence platform to help firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) implement appropriate safeguards to mitigate cyber risks. The platform is the result of cooperation and collaboration with the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), the National Computer Emergency Response Team […]

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