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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5G stakes rise as falling operator revenues seek a remedy

The current financial results reporting season is an opportunity to assess the strategies being implemented by operators in a bid to hit the 5G jackpot, and whether these are likely to succeed or prove to be a challenging investment to garner positive results from.

Flat or declining revenues is a trend facing many service providers around the world, and in the UAE both Etisalat and du have been among 5G’s most fervent early proponents

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News

Batelco provides nationwide 5G coverage in Bahrain

Batelco has successfully activated 5G coverage across Bahrain, which is available in all four governorates, covering 95% of the nation’s population. The telco’s launch of the network makes Batelco the first operator to provide national 5G coverage in Bahrain.

Omantel extends managed services deal with Ericsson

Omantel has renewed and expanded its managed services agreement with Ericsson for a further five years, with the renewed agreement being more outcome-based and customer-centric.

MTN Group CEO opts to depart after expiry of fixed contract

South Africa-headquartered MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter will step down from his role at the end of his fixed four-year contract in March 2021, having given no explanation why he would not seek to stay on beyond that date.

Nokia CEO, Rajeev Suri to step down as vendor considers its options

Nokia CEO and president, Rajeev Suri, is set to step down from his position later this year, to be replaced by Pekka Lundmark, currently CEO and president of energy company Fortum. The move comes as Nokia struggles to keep pace with the global shift to 5G.

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.

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