Yousef Abu Mutawe, CTO, Zain, is delivering the opening keynote on Day Two of the Broadband MEA 2013 conference, taking place on the 19th-20th March 2013 at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show we learn about Zain’s activities in the past year, why wifi offload is crucial for it and of which technologies it is making use.
Saudi Arabian operator Mobily has inked a partnership with enterprise cloud software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider Virtustream to offer cloud services to enterprises and small-to-medium businesses. Under the terms of the deal, Mobily will use Virtustream’s xStream cloud management software to run its public and hybrid clouds.
UAE telco du has tapped Alcatel-Lucent for IP-routing technology to consolidate all its telecoms services onto a single network, with big gains in speed and performance expected, along with simplified network operation.
UAE based operator group Etisalat has confirmed that it has submitted a preliminary expression of interest to acquire French conglomerate Vivendi’s 53 per cent shareholding in Maroc Telecom, as it looks to expand its geographic footprint. Maroc Telecom, a publicly listed company on both the Casablanca and Euronext Paris Stock Exchanges, is Morocco’s market leading operator with over 17.4 million subscribers in Morocco, according to Informa’s WCIS.
As mobile operators expand their geographical horizons, they are increasingly finding themselves setting up shop in emerging markets; markets that are dynamic and undergoing major economic and social transition. However, as many have recently found out, such markets are not without their challenges and can often play home to political unrest. Providing the lines of communication to the general public during times of intense political turmoil can be a gruelling task for operators.
Saudi Arabia’s telecoms regulator the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has confirmed it will invite applications from companies for MVNO licences. The regulator said that it would allow up to three new MVNOs to enter the market to increase the range and variety of mobile telecommunications services for consumers and encourage fairness and transparency.
Global operator group Orange has launched a subsidiary that aims to increase its brand awareness in countries where it is not already present as a mass-market telecommunications provider.
Russian operator MTS has announced that Uzdunrobita, the operator’s wholly-owned subsidiary in Uzbekistan, has filed a petition to declare bankruptcy in the Tashkent Commercial Court. The subsidiary has made all of its 300 to 400 staff remaining staff redundant, according to local reports, following a criminal case against its employees.
France-based mobile operator Orange has signed an exclusive partnership with China’s premier search provider Baidu to bring a mobile web browser to customers in the Middle East and Africa.
With its sights set on capitalising on the growth across the Middle East, Orange Business Services, has announced the launch of an enterprise-focused joint venture in Qatar.
Qatari incumbent operator Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has announced that it is to acquire a further 15 per cent stake in its Tunisian counterpart, Tunisiana, from the North African country’s government. Q-Tel already holds a direct 75 per cent stake in Tunisiana through its subsidiary Wataniya and this latest 15 per cent, for which Q-Tel is paying US$360m, will take its holding to 90 per cent.
UAE-based operator group Etisalat has teamed up with app developer Ogle Middle East to roll out the Ogle application to its 100 million-plus mobile subscribers across the Middle East and Africa regions. The app uses augmented reality (AR) technology from platform developer Aurasma.
The Libyan revolution destroyed an estimated $1bn in telecoms infrastructure, the new administration has yet to prove itself, and the country’s security has still not completely stabilised. Nonetheless, Etisalat, France Telecom, Vodafone, VimpelCom, Orascom, Q-Tel and Bharti Airtel, among others, have all expressed strong interest in either acquiring a new license in Libya or buying into an existing operator.
Middle Eastern developer and publisher Nazara Technologies has struck a partnership with gaming giant EA to bring high end games to over 770 million mobile users across 49 countries in Africa.
There are now 45 per cent more operators investing in LTE than a year ago, according to the latest report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). The GSA report highlights the continued growth in the technology and the surrounding eco-system since its inception in late 2009. A total of 113 operators have now launched LTE across 51 countries, 77 of which were launched in the past 12 months. Some 195 further networks are in the development stages and 209 networks are forecast to have launched by the end of 2013.
Wolfgang Wemhoff is CTO of Nawras, Oman, part of the Qtel Group. He is speaking at the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 13th-14th May 2013 at the JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai. Ahead of the show we speak to him on where Nawras is with this LTE deployment and learn more about the technical challenges it is facing.
The winners of this year’s Broadband InfoVision Awards were announced last night at a gala dinner ceremony in Amsterdam, with UK public-private partnership Superfast Cornwall scooping the Changing Lives award and Alcatel-Lucent leaving with two trophies.
With just one week to go until this year’s Broadband InfoVision Awards ceremony in Amsterdam, we deliver our final category preview, ending on a suitably upbeat note with the Changing Lives Award.
More than one-third of the world’s households will have a fixed broadband connection by the end of this year, according to US firm ABI Research, which is forecasting there will be 618.7mn subscribers to fixed broadband services by the end of 2012, up 7.3% from one year previously.
Turkish operator Turkcell has launched a SIM-based mobile wallet that works on smartphones, using a native application, as well as feature phones. It also supports contactless payment on NFC-enabled phones.