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Telecom operators could become the town squares of smart cities

There are deep misconceptions about smart cities that we find within the industry. One of the most common is the idea that a smart city is a ‘finalised product’ rather than the process of harmonising infrastructure with technology. While it is possible to build a smart city ‘from scratch’, it is also possible (and necessary) to upgrade existing cities to become smarter. This perspective underscores two critical points about smart cities – their primary purpose is to improve the lives of citizens, and they are an inevitable part of our futurePic 3 - Town square

Telcos could become the future ‘town square’ – a meeting place for people to co-create and innovate

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Tumbling profits

The reporting of second quarter financials at the end of July offered a poignant and timely insight into the state of the telco industry in the Middle East. Etisalat, Ooredoo, and Zain reported a 40 per cent, 39 per cent, and 38 per cent slump respectively in their second quarter 2015 net profits to end June, prompting Comm. to review the reasons for these drastic declines in profitability and check whether they reflect wider factors currently dogging the regional sector

A number of operators in the Middle East reported declining profitability for the second quarter of 2015

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Game changer

Having announced that he would depart the merged company once the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia is completed, in the interim period CEO Michel Combes continues to exhibit the energy and pragmatic positivity that has seen the under-pressure Alcatel-Lucent claw back business and revenues in the just over two years he has headed the company. On a recent whistle-stop tour to the Middle East, Combes reiterated his belief that the tie-up with Nokia was the right combination at the right time, set to create a “new technology champion”Pic 1

Michel Combes believes the coming together of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia offers a unique opportunity to create a vendor that will have the strength to commercialise new technological opportunities

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Decisive dozen

This, the fifth instalment of Comm.’s Decisive dozen list of operator CEOs in the Middle East and Africa, has altered remarkably compared to last year’s, and previous years in fact. Aside from the typical attrition that occurs in senior postings, dramatic events in the 12 months of 2014 also led to personalities slipping down the list, or falling off altogether, as the pressure to continue producing positive results in a challenging environment persisted

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New leader, new brand, new zest

Greg Young was appointed CEO of Ooredoo Oman (then Nawras) in October 2013, replacing founding CEO, Ross Cormack. In recent times the operator has stalled operationally as well as financially having reported shrinking revenues and net profit, wreaking havoc with its share price. Since taking the reins Young has stabilised the telco’s performance and believes he can breathe new life into the operator and watch it fulfil its potentialGreg Young

Prior to his appointment as CEO of Ooredoo Oman in October 2013, Greg Young acknowledges there was a period of under-investment at the company that may have given rise to some under-performance

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News

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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