Category Archives: Learning

4 Telecom Developments and Trends You Need to Know about

4 Telecom Developments and Trends You Need to Know about

The world is continually adapting to advancements in technology, and nowhere is this more evident than in the telecom sector. Prominent service providers are growing in size and scope and implementing new technology to appease existing customers and attract new ones. The following are four recent developments that are shaping the telecom industry in the Middle East:

 

  1. Huawei and Etisalat at the Forefront of 5G

On May 3, the SAMENA Telecommunications Council hosted the annual Telecom Leaders’ Summit in Dubai. The event, which was themed “Building the Digital Economy of the Middle East,” was attended by business leaders in telecommunication as well as government bodies, regulators, and consultants, all of whom discussed the potential framework for beneficial Information and Communication Technology (ICT) strategies in a period of digital transformation. A strategic partner of the annual summit for the past five years, Huawei hosted three sub-forums focusing on industry trends and presented the Global Industry Vision 2025. However, perhaps the biggest development to come out of the summit was Huawei’s introduction of its 5G Ecosystem Program for the Middle East.

“With 5G and artificial intelligence just around the corner, the digital world—where all things will sense, all things are connected, and all things are intelligent—is within reach,” said President of Huawei Middle East Charles Yang. “We will continue our investment on intelligent devices, to enhance people’s work and entertainment experience. We will continue our investment on home broadband network, to enrich people’s lives at home.”

The Huawei-led “5G is Now” sub-forum focused on the wireless system’s capacity for supporting national transformation plans and expediting the Middle East’s digital transformation journey. The company expects its first 5G mobile devices to be available by the latter part of 2019.

Meanwhile, the UAE-based Etisalat recently announced the launch of its commercial 5G wireless network, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region. Etisalat demonstrated the network’s high-quality performance using a 5G-based drone, complete with a 360-degree virtual-reality camera and 4K streaming capabilities.

 

  1. Data Consumption to Double in the Middle East

data center

In addition to being at the forefront of 5G technology, Middle East telecom carriers can expect a significant increase in mobile data consumption over the next few years. According to a study published by GlobalData, the implementation of 5G technology will drive the average monthly data consumption per consumer in the Middle East and Africa to 4.6 gigabytes per month by 2022. The average user consumption in 2017 was 2.3 gigabytes per month.

“All AME countries will witness a double-digit data usage Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) through 2022, leading to a regional average of 15.1 percent,” said GlobalData Technology Analyst Houda Bostanji, adding that Kuwait is among the countries with the largest mobile data usage in the world at 23.8 gigabytes per month as of 2017.

 

  1. Bahrain’s Kalaam Telecom Acquires Kuwait-Based Company

Bahrain ranks second in the Middle East in regard to average mobile data consumption per month, and the country’s leading provider, Kalaam Telecom, is expanding its network presence both domestically and internationally with its recent acquisition of Tawasul Telecom. A Kuwait-based company, Tawasul has built a strong presence in the Middle East and the United Kingdom, and has offices in five countries. Tawasul was the third acquisition in the past four years for Kalaam, which has been able to significantly reduce costs and increase productivity for its business clients through its ever-growing reach as well as its product and service offerings.

“Most enterprises today are looking for a single solutions provider to meet all their communication needs,” said Kalaam CEO Veer Passi. “With this acquisition, we will be equipped to meet those demands and … offer our customers easy-to-procure, fast and pan-GCC solutions over a single agreement.”

 

  1. UAE Exploring Reversal of Skype and FaceTime Ban

In the UAE, the government prevents mobile users from using Skype or Apple’s FaceTime, but this could soon change due in part to further investment by Microsoft in the emirates. The tech giant plans to build two data centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2019. In May, Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, director general of the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) confirmed that TRA was in talks with both Microsoft and Apple to lift the ban, which has been in place for the past few years. While UAE residents can use messaging services offered through Skype, FaceTime, and other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services like Viber and Whatsapp, they are unable to use these entities’ free-calling-via-wireless connection feature due to laws that essentially allow for a monopoly of the sector by Etisalat and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications. Saudi Arabia lifted a similar ban in September 2017.

The reversal of the ban will generate cost-effective benefits not only for individuals, but also for small and medium-sized businesses that employ virtual private networks to access VoIP services. “We have been working closely with the local authorities towards gaining a better understanding of the local requirements in an effort to get Skype unblocked,” noted a Microsoft spokesperson in a prepared statement. Most industry watchers expect that the government will lift the ban on Skype upon the completion of the two data centers.

Attractive Business Ideas You Need to Know About for Underdeveloped Countries

Attractive Business Ideas You Need to Know About for Underdeveloped Countries

Starting a business or expanding an enterprise into underdeveloped countries can be difficult. However, there are several benefits to doing so. Language and cultural barriers may present challenges, but you’re more likely to grab a larger share of the market in an underdeveloped country than you are in developed countries like the United States, United… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About the Billion-Dollar CASA-1000 Project

What You Need to Know About the Billion-Dollar CASA-1000 Project

A sufficient source of electricity is a vital aspect of modern societies and instrumental in job creation and economic growth. Afghanistan and nearby countries have growing populations, but their potential for further development is inhibited by the shared problem of a lack of electricity. Because of this, many citizens are forced to endure scorching-hot summers… Continue Reading

The Rise of 5G: 7 Facts You Need to Know

The Rise of 5G: 7 Facts You Need to Know

Since the development of the first analog cellular devices, now known as 1G, each consecutive generation of mobile wireless technology has provided consumers with faster data transmission speeds. The progression from 1G to 2G, 3G, and now 4G accompanied shifts to new encoding methods known as air interfaces, which have set each generation apart from… Continue Reading

The Surprising Ways Education in Afghanistan Is on the Rise

The Surprising Ways Education in Afghanistan Is on the Rise

While Afghanistan has faced a great deal of political and social turmoil over the past few decades, it has still been able to achieve considerable progress in educating its citizens. In fact, some might even call Afghanistan an educational success story. Only 21 percent of children in the country were enrolled in primary school (grades… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Communications Satellites

What You Need to Know about Communications Satellites

Communications satellites orbiting around the Earth are designed to receive telephone, radio, and television signals. A station on Earth sends signals to a satellite, which then retransmits the signals to a receiver on the ground. Communication satellites can provide telecommunication across long distances and to remote locations, such as ships in the ocean. Before the… Continue Reading

A Look at 6 Incredible Mosques in the MENA Region

A Look at 6 Incredible Mosques in the MENA Region

Mosques are a prevalent form of religious architecture throughout the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. While many of these structures date back more than 1,000 years, there are also some newer mosques that demonstrate impressive craftsmanship. Here are a five of the most beautiful mosques in the MENA region: Great Mosque of Mecca, Saudi… Continue Reading

These 5 Museums Will Make You Want to Go to the UAE Right Now

These 5 Museums Will Make You Want to Go to the UAE Right Now

Museums are an integral part of any community’s cultural infrastructure. Not only do museums attract tourists and provide entertainment for the local public, but they also act as a medium for cultural exchange. Art and other items of historical and cultural significance can be borrowed and traded among museums for temporary exhibition. Museums also provide… Continue Reading