Category Archives: Energy

5 Middle East Telecom Developments You Need to Know

5 Middle East Telecom Developments You Need to Know

The telecommunications sector is forever in a state of flux as companies fight to seek supremacy in their respective markets—and that is especially true in the Middle East, where telecom operators are fighting to be the first to establish a commercially available 5G network. Ultimately, the goal is to increase revenue and overall business performance by catering to consumers’ rising demand for web-based content.

Here are five exciting developments in the Middle East:

 

Saudi Telecom Sector’s Impressive Q3 Performance

STClogoImpressive financial results for Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Zain Saudi Arabia (Zain KSA) boosted the performance of the country’s entire telecom sector in the third quarter of 2018, scoring an 11 percent rise in overall profits from the year prior. For the three-month period ending in September, STC, Zain, and Etihad Etisalat Co. recorded profits of SAR 2.66 billion, which was up from SAR 2.4 billion during the same time in 2017. Those three companies managed a combined 6 percent year-over-year growth in profit during the first nine months of this year. The other Saudi telecom services company, Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications, concludes its fiscal year in March.

While STC maintained the highest overall profit during the third quarter and 2018 as a whole, Zain KSA’s growth during the same time was the most impressive. The company’s third-quarter net profits increased a whopping 1,500 percent, from SAR 3 million in 2017 to SAR 48 million. This was Zain KSA’s highest-ever quarterly profit and it was driven by customer service and acquisition strategies, data monetization initiatives, and investment in fiber expansion and network upgrades.

 

Iran’s Ambitious Telecom Investment Plan

Over the next four years, the Iranian government intends to invest more than USD 18 billion in its information and communications technology (ICT) sector, while Telecommunication Company of Iran has promised to invest USD 306 million in telecom infrastructure over the next two years. The ambitious investment plan began in March 2017.  As a result of early investments, mobile Internet speed increased by an average of 36 percent that year. Such drastic improvement led the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to name Iran the world’s most dynamic country in regard to ICT development.

“Currently, around 700 towns and cities have access to third-generation and around 350 cities have access to fourth-generation mobile Internet,” said Iranian minister of ICT Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi. “At the moment, many ministries are using the National Broadband Network. The ministry of ICT emphasizes that the development of the National Broadband Network has created more than 100,000 jobs and therefore the electronic government is being pushed further.”

The Ministry of ICT outlined its recent performance and vision for the future at the 19th International Trade Show on Innovative CIT Solutions, held at the Tehran International Fairgrounds October 3-6, 2018.

 

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Etisalat and Abu Dhabi Ports Agree to Partnership

In mid-October, Etisalat and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a memorandum of understanding to advance business opportunities and technological capabilities in support of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital’s Economic Vision 2030. Signed at GITEX Technology Week, the partnership primarily involves building shared networks and electronic projects as well as simplifying procedures, exchanging knowledge, and securing wireless and fixed telecommunications coverage.

The agreement will significantly benefit Abu Dhabi Ports as Etisalat will help the company adapt to new telecommunications technologies, customer behaviors, and business models. The CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, expressed his excitement about the partnership, which he noted will support Abu Dhabi’s strategic plans in the long run. Meanwhile, Etisalat Abu Dhabi general manager Sultan Al Dhaheri said that the agreement is part of the company’s prime objective of “driving a digital future to empower societies.”

 

PP-18 Opens in Dubai

The ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18) opened on October 29 in Dubai with a call to world leaders in the telecom sector to “act as one” in connecting the nearly 4 billion people who do not have Internet access. Held every four years, the conference is the ITU’s highest decision-making body and is attended by representatives from each of the union’s 193 member-states. Together, they elect leaders for the union’s top five posts and create a blueprint of financial and strategic plans for the following four years.

In his opening address, ITU secretary-general Houlin Zhao spoke to the importance of adapting to new technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence: “The challenge before us today is to ensure that these technologies and ICTs, in general, continue to be a source for good for everyone across the world.”

 

Lebanese Telecom Entrepreneurs Launch Mobile App

Lebanese entrepreneurs and engineers Dany Moghniee and Wissam Tamer recently launched a new mobile application designed to highlight the trendiest videos and pictures in a particular location. The app is named WaynYo (after a Lebanese expression that loosely translates to “What’s happening?”) and allows users to vote for the best images and videos in their region by utilizing geo-location capabilities. It was officially launched during the GITEX exhibition in Dubai this past October.

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Proposed Mega-City

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Proposed Mega-City

As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to shift its economic reliance away from crude oil due to a drastic decline in prices, it has placed an emphasis on developing tourism and mega-city projects. Its ambitious Red Sea Project aims to transform 50 untouched islands into a world-renowned resort and hospitality destination, while another 10,230-square-mile… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Entertainment City

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Entertainment City

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative was established by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs under the guidance of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As part of this initiative, Saudi Arabia is working toward diversifying its economy and creating a vibrant society with a wealth of cultural and entertainment options. Earlier in 2018, the… Continue Reading

4 Infrastructure Developments in Saudi Arabia You Should Know About

4 Infrastructure Developments in Saudi Arabia You Should Know About

Despite being the second-largest oil producer in the world behind the United States, Saudi Arabia is working to reduce its economic reliance on the oil and gas sector. So while oil revenue increased by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from the same period a year prior, non-oil revenue climbed a whopping 63… Continue Reading

All You Need to Know about the Latest GCC Railway Project Developments

All You Need to Know about the Latest GCC Railway Project Developments

Road congestion is a major issue in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai, where, according to a study by Inrix, motorists spent nearly 29 hours stuck in traffic in 2017. As a result, the demand for transport by other means, such as railway, has grown considerably.@dan Similar problems exist across the other five Gulf Cooperation… Continue Reading

Everything You Need to Know about Oman’s Airport Expansions

Everything You Need to Know about Oman’s Airport Expansions

Like several other Middle East countries, Oman is dedicated to improving its economy through increased investment in non-oil exports. In particular, aligned with expectations set out in Vision 2040 and the National 2040 Tourism Strategy, the country has placed emphasis on tourism growth and, in that regard, has registered record numbers of visitors over the… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about MENA Infrastructure and Climate Change

What You Need to Know about MENA Infrastructure and Climate Change

Worldwide temperatures in summer 2018 have highlighted the impact of climate change and stressed the urgency for global leaders and organizations to expedite and improve their carbon-reduction solutions. Sweden, for instance, is in the middle of its hottest-recorded summer in more than 100 years, while Japan is experiencing dangerously high temperatures up to 41 degrees… Continue Reading

Spotlight on the Development of 5G in the Middle East

Spotlight on the Development of 5G in the Middle East

Smartphones and other mobile devices have become increasingly ubiquitous in today’s society. Thus, it is important that network providers adapt to the changing telecommunications landscape by offering technology that will improve download speeds and allow for greater connectivity between devices. In recent years, 3G and 4G networks have proven capable of connecting people who are… Continue Reading

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

Five Middle East Telecom Developments You Need to Know About

Five Middle East Telecom Developments You Need to Know About

The telecom sector in the Middle East had been growing at a steady rate until 2017, when mobile penetration reached 120 percent and, as a result of a reduction in expatriate population and the economy losing momentum, mobile subscriber growth reached its lowest-ever rate. The market grew only 1 percent year over year in 2016… Continue Reading