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T HE T E L E CO M S I ND U S T RY ME D I A P L ATFORM

Korek:

Providing global services with an Iraqi twist Mr. Sirwan Mustafa, chairman, Korek

Enlarging the scope of business models with the advent of 5G

How will the implementation of 5G affect the MENA region?

MWC 2019 participants put the spotlight on 5G


CONTENTS

APRIL 2019

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TH E TE L E CO M S INDUST RY MEDI A P L AT FO R M

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Korek: Providing global services with an Iraqi twist

Huawei at MWC: 5G is ON

22 56 Ericsson CEO says its technology leadership has made it a global leader in 5G

MWC 2019 participants put the spotlight on 5G

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Vanrise Solutions driving telcos’ business growth

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5G will enable enterprises to build their own private networks - Femi Oshiga, CommScope

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Enlarging the scope of business models with the advent of 5G

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Huawei proves its remarkable 5G leadership at MWC 2019

YahClick solutions are unlocking human potential in education and healthcare

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Monty Mobile offers an opportunity to mobile operators to become advertising mediums

Ericsson solidifies its position as a global leader in 5G at MWC 19

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Es’hailSat aspiring to become a global satellite operator

How will the implementation of 5G affect the MENA region?

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Ja-Square’s smart water meters make ‘waves’ at MWC

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CABSAT 2019 explores how broadcasters can cope with growing demand for content


EDITORIAL

APRIL 2019

Editor in Chief & Senior ICT Analyst Toni Eid toni.eid@tracemedia.info Senior Journalists Mark Forker mark@tracemedia.info

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Toni Eid, founder editor in chief Telecom Review International

Christine Ziadeh christine@tracemedia.info Editorial Team Christine Ziadeh (Lebanon), Jeff Seal (USA), Jennifer Saade (Lebanon), Lacinan Ouattara (Ivory Coast), Mark Forker (UAE), Martha Kassouf (Lebanon), Shelley Beyak (Canada), Tala Issa (UAE), Toni Eid (UAE) Copy Editor Shelley Beyak Advertising Enquiries Mohammed Ershad ershad@tracemedia.info Graphic Designer Tatiana Issa Responsible Manager Joseph Bou Daher News Provided in cooperation with AFP, the global news agency Published by

Trace Media Ltd. Zouk Mikael, Lebanon Kaslik Sea Side Road, Badawi Group Building, 4th Floor, P.O. Box 90-2113, Jdeidet el Metn Tel. +961 9 211741 M. +961 70 519 666 Trace Media International Dubai Media City, UAE Building 7, 3rd Floor, Office 341 P.O. Box 502498, Dubai, UAE Tel. +971 4 4474890 M. +971 55 639 7080 Printing Arab Printing Press (Beirut, Lebanon) © All rights reserved Publication of any of the contents is prohibited - Year 14 - Issue 148 -

IoT: From mere technology to life! A few years ago, IoT was a technology like any other, but the interest in it is rising rapidly due to its fast adoption and smart solutions. Telecom operators - around 34 percent of them to be accurate - have already started providing IoT whether through their networks or via third parties. The rise of smart meters in utilities opens an opportunity for telcos to increase revenues and make better use of their network capacity. Governments are also looking for deployment of IoT services especially when it comes to smart cities solutions or smart government services at a large scale. Of course, the increase in IoT adoption has put more pressure on the networks and stressed the need for security to protect the data generated by using the IoT in daily life. 5G will boost IoT deployment There is no doubt that the 5G network will boost IoT’s deployment with its huge capacity and extremely low latency, making the network more eligible and ready to receive millions of devices connected at a time: smart sensors in health, water, education, agriculture, traffic control, security control, or any industry such as oil and gas. The smart sensors in pipelines, for instance, discover 99 percent of possible leaks and can save a lot of cost in lost resources as well as prevent environmental issues. IoT is no more just a technology, it’ll soon be a part of our daily lives.


APRIL 2019

China and Japan take the lead in tech spending China’s spending on 5G is expected to account for the majority of the country’s technology spending in 2019, Forrester Research reports. China has been heavily investing in technology as it tries to keep up in the global race to implement the latest and greatest mobile technology. The nation is in a favorable position in this race as it has invested a great deal more than several nations to implement 5G. China outspent the US by around $24 billion since 2015. In the Asia Pacific region, China and Japan have been dominating the market in technology spending. Collectively, their spending accounts for 60 percent of the total market. Meanwhile, India comes in third with anticipated amount of $70 million which will go towards technology investments. India, China and the US are expected to experience the strongest growth rate in the midst of a slowing global market for technology. Their spending is expected to slow down to about 4.5 percent in 2019 and down to 3.8 percent in 2020. The report also found that AsiaPacific still lags the US and Europe in terms of cloud adoption because the infrastructure in most AsiaPacific markets is not mature enough to support cloud solutions. The Forrester Research report predicted that the Asia Pacific region is falling behind slightly compared to the US and Europe with regards to cloud adoption which is allegedly due to the infrastructure in most Asia-Pacific markets that have not yet matured enough in order to support cloud solutions.

GLOBAL NEWS

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Australia’s 5G ban on Huawei will hurt consumers as costs expected to rise The decision by the Australian government to prevent Huawei from participating in the rollout of 5G networks in the country will significantly increase costs for the country’s telecommunication operators - which in turn will end up hurting end users. Australia’s decision to ban Huawei shocked many in the global ICT industry. Huawei is a global leader in 5G and is seen a key enabler globally for operators seeking to commercially deploy 5G networks. However, following pressure from the United States, the Australian government confirmed that Huawei would be prohibited from the buildout of 5G networks Down Under. Following a comprehensive study by a leading global management consulting firm, the decision looks like one that is

going to hit operators and consumers in the pocket. Management consultancy Arthur D. Little has confirmed that Australian mobile network operators will end up paying significantly higher prices for networking equipment because of the reduced competition due to the Huawei ban. ADL released its 5G Country Leadership Index, which benchmarked more than 40 countries with regard to the performance of their 5G implementations. ADL said that the Index identified Australia as one of the leaders in the advancement of its rollout. However, Australia’s ban on the use of Huawei technology threatens to make the technology needlessly more expensive for network operators’ and as a consequence end users.

Huawei acquitted from charges in Iran sanctions case Huawei pleaded not guilty to violations of US sanctions against Iran before a federal judge in Brooklyn at a hearing from which CFO Meng Wanzhou was absent for being in Canada. Huawei and its subsidiary, Huawei Device USA, which also pleaded not guilty, were represented by their lawyers. Another subsidiary of the Chinese group, Skycom Tech, was not represented and was therefore unable to communicate its intentions to Judge Ramon Reyes. The three entities were indicted at the end of January, with Huawei facing 13 charges of alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran. World’s No. 2 smartphone founder’s daughter, Meng Wanzhou, has been charged with only four of these charges. According to the indictment, Huawei allegedly used Skycom to conceal its business activities with Iran.

In a separate proceeding, two of its subsidiaries - Huawei Device USA and Huawei Device Ltd - were also charged in late January with criminal conspiracy to steal trade secrets. They pleaded not guilty in late February before a federal judge in Seattle (northwest). Their trial is scheduled to begin on March 2, 2020. Not represented at the hearing, Ms. Meng is currently under house arrest in Canada and subject to an extradition request by the United States. The Chinese leader’s next hearing is scheduled for May 8th in Vancouver, but the substantive examination of the case will only begin at an indeterminate date. Her arrest on December 1st, her house arrest and extradition proceedings are presented by Beijing as an attempt to undermine Huawei’s position in the telecoms market.


APRIL 2019

PTCL boosts world class network experience with 100G optical network Nokia has deployed 100G in Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited’s (PTCL) network to enhance the capacity and speed of its optical network for both domestic and international traffic. The new transport network supports PTCL in providing faster and more reliable services to its subscribers, while reducing capital and operating costs. PTCL is able to flexibly increase network capacity and efficiency with the software defined network (SDN) capabilities of the Nokia optical solution. This allows the operator to meet surging traffic demands caused by the increasing use of high bandwidth services and applications such as HD and 4K video by individuals, and cloud by webscale companies. Nokia 500G DWDM line card and flexgrid technology provides investment protection for PTCL with an instant upgrade to 200G and 400G per wavelength for flexibly meeting growing bandwidth demand. By using PTCL’s extensive fiber footprint, Nokia DWDM network provides multipath redundancy against multiple fiber cust and, hence, ensuring higher network availability SLAs. The Set-Partition Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (SP QPSK) modulation is utilized to efficiently cover very long distance links which not only offers excellent optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) tolerance but also 30% improvement in latency over PTCL network due to less regenerations. Furthermore, the new optical network makes it easier to launch new services based on the ROADM (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers) technology, which adds flexibility and agility to the network.

GLOBAL NEWS

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Study shows data consumption in India to reach 73% by 2022 According to a study, India’s data consumption is expected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 72.6% to 10,96,58,793 million MB by 2022.

increased from Rs 173 (USD $2.47) in 2013 to Rs 225 (USD $3.21) in 2016. Video streaming accounts for around 6575% of the traffic according to the Nokia Mobile Broadband Index 2018.

The Assocham-PwC study stated: “With lower than ever data tariffs and an increasing number of smartphone penetration in the country, which is around 40% as of 2017, it is safe to assume that the video on demand (VoD) market will be a significant beneficiary of these developments. Internet consumption is clearly on the rise in India.”

Internet penetration is steadily increasing in India. Mobile internet penetration is expected to rise from 30.2% (2017) and reach 56.7% in 2022. The study titled ‘Video on Demand: Entertainment reimagined’ stated that connectivity and speed issues need to be addressed consistently.

The country’s data consumption is expected to grow from 71,67,103 million MB in 2017 to 10,96,58,793 million MB in 2022, which is a CAGR of 72.6%. According to the report, the average monthly spend on voice services has been consistently decreasing as the spend on data increases. In 2013, the average monthly spend on voice services was Rs 214 (USD $3.06) which decreased to Rs 124 (USD $1.77), while the average monthly spend on data

The study mentioned that internet connectivity and speed issues are pressing issues in India’s rural areas which constitutes of 65-70% of the population. It is therefore important for OTT (over-the-top) players to consider the rural market if they wish to remain relevant. “Social media and technology platforms, instead of content creators and packagers, have emerged as the primary beneficiaries of the increase in user time and spending,” the report said.

Ooredoo technology connecting millions of people in Myanmar and Maldives Ooredoo, one of the world’s leading ICT providers, is bringing the immense benefits of digital technology to millions of previously unconnected people in Myanmar and Maldives through its cutting-edge Supernet, innovative apps, and partnerships with public and private organisations, in line with the GSMA’s commitment to deliver digital inclusion for all. As 65 percent of Myanmar’s population is rural, Ooredoo Myanmar has launched the “rural IVR” service, especially designed to provide farmers and the rural population with a digital solution that can help them on a daily basis. Ooredoo is creating a sustainable partner model with women entrepreneurs and rural digital experts to help spread the

benefits of digital inclusion throughout Myanmar. Ooredoo has rolled out 450 rural kiosks in remote villages nationwide, opening up a world of digital experiences while also boosting employment and entrepreneurship at the local level. Ooredoo Maldives has launched Evee (“snap of a finger” in Maldivian), Ooredoo’s digital care assistant, which uses AI and deep learning to personalise the multiple digital channels that customers use. Ooredoo Maldives is also using digital technology to benefit business and e-commerce. Ooredoo launched Moolee (“make a connection and strong growth” in Maldivian), an innovative e-commerce market which integrates into Ooredoo’s mobile app with loyalty programmes, paying for goods and services, and ordering deliveries.


APRIL 2019

COVER STORY

Korek:

Providing global services with an Iraqi twist Since 2000, Korek has been able to keep pace with the technological evolution and has managed to overcome all the challenges, which has made it achieve unprecedented progress throughout the years. In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, Mr. Sirwan Mustafa, Korek chairman, explained more about the company’s strategy that allowed it to achieve continuous success.

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n the interview, Mr. Mustafa highlighted the journey of the telecom operator and how it became the fastest growing company in Iraq. He also announced that it will launch the eSIM very soon and will be the first in the region to announce such a service. 5G was also one of the topics that the Korek chairman tackled during the interview. He said that the company is looking to invest in this service as soon as all required criteria are met. Korek started operating in Iraq in the year 2000. The telecommunications sector has tremendously changed since then. How did you adapt to this change? Korek is one of the oldest telecommunications companies in


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COVER STORY

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Iraq. It was established in 2000 as a telco specialized in offering telecom services in Kurdistan, Iraq. In 2007, Korek received a national operating license for mobile networks throughout Iraq. Since then, Korek has been providing its services across the whole country. There is no doubt that the telecommunications sector has significantly evolved since then. Korek has been able to keep pace with this evolution in a significant and effective way that serves the interest of the Iraqi people in particular, and the telecommunications sector in Iraq in general. Korek’s mission was to focus on providing the most sophisticated and distinctive services to the Iraqi people at the best prices. This was achieved through the approach Korek adopted to continuously develop the company’s network on different levels, such as executing network improvements by partnering with the world’s best network providers, Ericsson and Nokia, in order to improve coverage and deliver services to all subscribers in all populated areas. This is in addition, to providing a variety of value added services and solutions to subscribers that cater to their needs. In 2011, Korek decided to strengthen its market position and become global by establishing a strategic partnership with Orange Telecom (France Telecom). Through this partnership, Korek has been able to upgrade its service quality and provide global requirements of telecommunications services with an Iraqi twist that goes hand in hand with the requirements of the Iraqi people, while benefiting from the experience and best practice of its partners that provide telecommunications services in 23 countries. Korek has been, and is, the fastest growing company in Iraq in terms of expansion, presence, type of services and number of subscribers. In 2015, Korek obtained a 3G license and developed the network. The company also invested in developing this service and delivering it to all subscribers according to international standards

while providing offers and packages at the most appropriate prices.

latest technologies and services to subscribers.

Korek has announced that it is launching the eSIM technology soon. When should we expect the launch and why are you keen to be a leader in eSIM in Iraq? The eSIM service is a part of the roadmap and the services that the company is developing and launching to stay at the front of the technological development in the field of telecommunications and provide practical solutions to subscribers.

Korek has been developing this service for more than a year in partnership with strategic SIM providers, G&D and IDEMIA, which are some of the global leaders in this field. The testing phase was successfully launched about 6 months ago and there has been serious preparations to launch the service commercially, noting that we were the first in the region to announce our readiness and did a soft launch to this service. Currently, we are at the final stage of coordination with the telecommunications regulatory authority CMC to fix the date of the official launching.

The company is proud to be the first to announce this service in the region, which reflects the company’s strategic vision to distinguish itself as the leading company in Iraq to provide the

All of the operators and telecom companies are gearing up for 5G.


APRIL 2019

Is Korek getting ready for this new technology? What are the company’s plans in this regard? The whole world is now focused on 5G and the digital revolution it has triggered in addition to all the other relevant technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc. We believe that those services introduce a new era in the world of telecommunications that can pave the way for a plethora of unlimited services capable of positively affecting the economic system and lifestyle. At the recent Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, all service providers expressed their keenness to elaborate implementation mechanisms and presented many use cases in order to develop and deploy this technology. There is no doubt that it will take some time before 5G becomes economically feasible given the need to establish solutions and regulations and provide the necessary infrastructure to deploy it. The other

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sectors should be ready as well to contain this technology because it is not only targeting subscribers but also all types of enterprises. In fact, 5G digital transformation strategies will increase efficiency and productivity.

Therefore, one of the most important factors that led to Korek’s success was the adoption of effective strategies that enabled the company to achieve its expansion goals and that were based on a comprehensive understanding of market needs.

Just like several companies, Korek is looking to invest in this service as soon as all criteria are met to guarantee its success, and when all the regulations are clearly stated to be able to have full control over it. Korek is now building and rehabilitating the network while taking into account the 5G technology; 50 percent of the modernized network is now technically ready for hosting 5G and we are also ready to conduct trials with the technology providers.

Another important factor was the team. Korek is always striving to train and empower its employees who are expats and locals (99percent are Iraqi). The company is proud of its team’s expertise which allows the efficient implementation of the company’s strategy and its transformation into an action plan which provides subscribers with unique services. In fact, Korek’s vision revolves around customer satisfaction and offering them the best services, which is materializing through the administrative team who has a large international and local experience in the field of telecommunications.

What is behind the success of Korek that made it succeed in its expansion strategy? Korek is the first national operator in Iraq since 2000 and we take pride in our ability to understand the needs of the Iraqi people, which differ according to the diverse social fabric that exists in Iraq.

Furthermore, one of the differentiators of Korek is its continuous investment in network development whereas it has highly invested in building and renovating the network. The company


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has been able as well to choose the best equipment and technologies through the partnerships it forged with global vendors. Korek has invested also in technological solutions and customer service applications which reinforce the relationship with subscribers and offer them better service through full network coverage and points of sale. What is Korek’s main strategy in order to keep up with the competition from other operators in Iraq? And what are the elements that differentiate you from the other operators in Iraq? Korek sees competition as one of the success elements, considering the fact that it motivates the company to excel and requires tireless efforts to evolve and improve performance in order to stand out from competitors. Korek adopts the principle of fair competition which maintains the market value of the telecommunications sector and protects the interests of companies and subscribers alike. Korek always aims to create a positive competitive environment that serves the interests of both the subscribers and the company. We believe that standing out is equivalent to providing a good service quality. Has the political unrest in Iraq affected Korek’s performance? What other challenges do you face? It is hard to tackle the economic situation without considering the politics. The security unrest that Iraq has endured in the past caused high rates of internal and external immigration in addition to the destruction of the infrastructure, of which the telecommunications sector has had its fair share. We cannot ignore the security instability that ISIS has caused in Iraq and which has negatively impacted the economy at all levels. This had direct consequences on all stakeholders in the country. In addition, the instability of oil prices in 2014 and 2015 was another major

challenge for us and had affected the whole economy in Iraq. In your opinion, how can the telecommunications sector boost the economy in Iraq? The telecommunications sector in Iraq plays an essential role in the creation of an efficient infrastructure that boosts the national economy by providing technological solutions that serve all private and public business sectors. Moreover, the telecommunications sector creates direct and indirect job opportunities and is always working on developing the skills of local talents in parallel with the local market’s needs. For example, Korek provides more

than 50,000 direct and indirect job opportunities including the employees of the company and of companies we deal with – clients, distributors, points of sale, contractors and service providers. In addition, the telecommunications sector is one of the most important contributors in the Treasury given the revenues it generates that the country needs to invest and grow. Korek pays great attention to customers’ feedback and works on improving their experience. How do you measure customer satisfaction now as the company tries to constantly enhance customer relationship management?


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Telecommunications have significantly developed. Globally, social media platforms have facilitated communication and led to more openness; thus, increasing the awareness of subscribers and expanding the horizons of their aspirations. Satisfying customers has therefore become one of the main challenges and strategic goals that Korek set and invested in. Korek’s ultimate goal was and still is achieving customer satisfaction and providing the best service at all mes. This is even if it means investing more in means to increase our reach and in solutions that reinforce the relationship with the subscriber, and allowing Korek to better understand their behavior and needs in order to better fulfill them. Korek was able to lead the way for the great relationship with customers

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that it guarantees through two 24/7 call centers in different geographical locations, where around 500 qualified employees are available to answer customers’ calls in several languages and provide them with the necessary need care.

the network to be able to offer the latest technologies such as LTE, 5G, IoT, advanced financial services, e-commerce, and cybersecurity through specialized programs that offer enterprise solutions capable of serving both consumer and enterprise.

On top of that, 114 main customer service centers, that have around 400 employees in total, are spread across Iraq including the borders and hot spots. Moreover, 9000 points of sale are located across the country to offer Korek products.

One of the goals that the company is always striving to achieve is the empowerment of the company’s local team which is one of the main pillars of the company’s success and progress.

What are the companies’ major plans and projects for the future? Development and improvements are always on top of Korek Telecom’s agenda with the aim of keeping abreast of the fast technological evolution in the telecommunications field. Therefore, the company is continuously developing and reinforcing

Moreover, Korek is planning on forging a joint collaboration with the government to provide advanced services capable of improving citizens’ lives such as e-government, and the improvement of facilities and other utility services that are directly related to citizens’ domestic lifestyle. We are also continuing to support and develop corporate social responsibility


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projects that aim to preserve citizens’ wellbeing and strengthen the society.

We take pride in our ability to understand the needs of the Iraqi people, which differ according to the diverse social fabric

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REGIONAL NEWS

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“STC will be a key player in building a digital base economy in KSA” – Saudi Minister the ambitious objectives outlined in Mohammed Bin Salman’s Saudi Vision 2030 project. In addition to this, it was also confirmed by the Global System Mobile Association (GSMA) that STC is now an official member of its dynamic NB-IoT working group.

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has been tipped by a prominent and influential Saudi minister to play a key role in helping the country transform into a digitally-based economy. The comments were made by HE minister of CIT Abdullah Alswaha during a visit to STC’s stand at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Abdullah Alswaha visited STC’s interactive booth which demonstrated

the operators’ latest cutting-edge innovations and solutions, and he expressed his belief that STC will be one of the most important partners in building a digitally-based economy in the KSA. He referenced the major agreements STC had signed with ICT technology leaders such as Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei and Korea Telecom as further evidence of the importance the operator is going to play in meeting

In a GSMA Barcelona meeting, STC was welcomed as an official member in this global forum and standardization body. NB-IoT forum leads the industry and ecosystem to build end-to-end solutions based on NB-IOT. As part of its objectives, the NB-IoT forum works to facilitate the commercial launches of services based on NB-IoT and drives the introduction of related applications. As part of its continued activities, this forum will ensure the interoperability of future solutions across many industry verticals. This announcement places STC at the forefront of technology, and recognizes its pioneering and leading role across the globe.

Bahrain to rollout 5G using Huawei, despite US accusations Chinese technology, stating that the Chinese vendor could potentially be used by Beijing to spy on the West. China has rejected these accusations. Just last month, VIVA Bahrain signed a contract which stated that it would have access to using Huawei products in its 5G rollout.

Despite Bahrain being the headquarters of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and the US’s growing concerns against Huawei, Bahrain plans to rollout a 5G mobile network by June which will comprise of some Huawei technology. The US has been very vocal about its accusations against Huawei and has warned countries about using the

Bahrain’s Telecommunications Minister Kamal Bin Ahmad Mohammad stated that the 5G network deployment will be an “important milestone” for Bahrain, and hopes that this investment in the technology will help the economy grow as it is yet to recover from the decline in oil prices. Mohammad commented on the matter and said to Reuters, “We have no concern at this stage, as long as this technology is meeting our standards.”

The American embassy in Bahrain is yet to make a comment. As a western-allied island, Bahrain is used as a base for the Fifth US Navy Fleet which is in an ideal location off the coast of Saudi and close to Iran, which enables them to patrol many important shipping lanes. Mohammad said that he expects Bahrain to be one of the first few countries to make 5G available but he cautioned that this would highly depend on handset and equipment availability. The first 5G phones are expected to be released later on in the year while the US, China, South Korea and Japan have started working on rolling out their 5G networks. Europe is still lagging in the race and it is expected that it is a couple of years away from rolling out the technology.


APRIL 2019

OPINIONS

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Huawei at MWC: 5G is ON

With the first quarter of 2019 almost behind us, I can confidently say that Huawei has carried plenty of momentum from 2018, as we saw at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona.

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ur presence there highlighted three key development areas: our 5G acceleration and leadership, our innovations for operators and consumers, and our AIenabling intelligent operations. As I reflect on what has already been achieved and what lies ahead, I am proud to see that we are unlocking a new era in 5G. This marks great progress towards one of our main goals: to build a fully connected, intelligent world. With this ambition in sight, Huawei is leading the way with our deployment strategy and forming important partnerships with key operators and ministries across the region. Targeting operators and carriers at MWC, we showcased how Huawei’s intelligent services and innovations can help partners identify new business opportunities and thereby achieve growth. AI, for example, is enabling the autonomous driving network to emerge and fueling evolution for the industry. From a consumer perspective, as 5G becomes more and more prevalent, we will also feel the technology’s transformative impact on our everyday lives. 5G is helping society’s vision of living in interconnected, efficient, smart cities by fundamentally reshaping the transport, retail and infrastructure we rely on almost daily. With our attention and efforts devoted to greater 5G development,

deployment and infrastructure, we are using the year ahead to nurture the telco organization ecosystem. We recognize the mutual benefits gained by Huawei and its operators when working together, customizing infrastructure and building to specific requirements so a city may wield 5G in its own way towards any desired outcome. Huawei’s consultation in the process ensures we are setting a global 5G standard and creating opportunities for cities to achieve digital transformation - be it through the exchange of large data volumes or secure, real-time transactions and fraud detection. Towards this end, the extent of Huawei’s ambition was made clear in MWC. There we revealed several key projects that signal our commitment to scaling-up 5G in the Middle East and shared new insight into our AI operations. Notably, we shared our plans to work alongside operators in the Middle East to rollout 5G networks in the region and signed an agreement in Pakistan to connect rural areas with fiber and wireless. Our announcements at MWC point to the fact that we are the preferred long-term partner for digital conversion – itself indicative of our expertise, customer support and the trust placed in our services as a dependable provider of world-class ICT. Having won over 30 commercial contracts and shipped over 40,000 5G basestations globally, we are proud to be able to offer the world’s fastest wireless connections for smartphones, homes and offices.

Our value to our customers reflects Huawei’s unwavering commitment to social responsibility as we connect the unconnected through secure and stable networks. Our MWC announcements demonstrate that we prioritize network stability over our commercial interests while helping business growth on the operator side. Trust in our capabilities is supported by the fact that we are the ICT solutions provider of choice in 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world’s population. At Huawei, we believe that forging strategic partnerships is the driving force behind our unwavering growth. These relationships help us ensure that no city or rural area is left behind and no operator or consumer is left out during a time of magnificent, global digital transformation. By Charles Yang, president of Huawei Middle East


APRIL 2019

INTERVIEW

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Borje Ekholm, CEO, Ericsson

Ericsson CEO says its technology leadership has made it a global leader in 5G Ericsson has enjoyed a meteoric resurgence and renaissance since the appointment of Borje Ekholm as its CEO. The Swedish telecommunications behemoth was a company in distress when he was tasked with the responsibility of restoring the pioneering force in the ICT industry back to the top.

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he implementation of Ericsson’s Focused Business Strategy has not only helped to turn around its fortunes but it has ultimately enabled the company to become the go-to player for

operators seeking to commercially deploy 5G networks. Ericsson has signed major commercial 5G contracts with AT&T and Verizon in the United States and announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona further 5G contracts with Saudi Telecom Company,

Etisalat and Ooredoo Qatar, which solidified its positon as market leader. Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with Ericsson’s CEO at Mobile World Congress in an effort to find out how Ekholm has transformed the Swedish vendor into a global leader for 5G technologies. In what was a detailed and fascinating insight into Ericsson, we discussed its 5G platform, its cellular IoT portfolio, the decision to restructure its BSS strategy, why Europe is at risk of being left behind in terms of deploying 5G technology because of extortionate spectrum fees and heavy regulation, and his projections for the future. Ericsson has enjoyed a sharp turnaround in its fortunes since your appointment as CEO and has enjoyed continued profitability for the first time in a number of years. How much of a key role has the implementation of the ‘Focused Business Strategy’ played in Ericsson’s revival? It was critical as a starting point to


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get the strategy right. I often say that it is 90 percent execution and 10 percent strategy. However, if you get the strategy wrong then it doesn’t help you with the execution. Our Focused Business Strategy was the foundation for turning the company around. We made commitment to increase our R&D in an effort to reach technology leadership. We also focused on rebuilding our market position and we needed to take out costs in order to become more efficient. Ericsson has really positioned itself as a go-to player for operators seeking to commercially deploy 5G networks. This is evidenced by Ericsson signing major 5G deals with AT&T, Verizon, STC and Etisalat. In your opinion, why are operators selecting Ericsson as their vendor for 5G? Our key competitive advantage, I believe, is technology leadership and our commitment to lead our customers from 4G into 5G. You can see that mindset, for example, in how from very early on we made our hardware 5G-capable. The hardware we developed in 2015 came with a software upgrade run by 5G NR traffic and now we’re launching our unique spectrum sharing which allows the operator to dynamically allocate spectrum between 4G and 5G – and this allows for a very rapid buildout of 5G. With this type of thought leadership, it’s really important for us to work with lead customers, but that’s also why lead customers work with us. During your keynote at Mobile World Congress, you highlighted that European operators had access to 5G technology, but that their biggest challenge in terms of deployment was a combination of high spectrum and heavy regulation. Can you elaborate more on this issue? What’s key to acknowledge first and foremost is that the technology is available. So for example, we have commercial networks in North America since Q4 last year and we have networks up and running on mid-band in Europe, and we also have that in Australia. We have networks already available, so the operators can access that. However, the big

INTERVIEW problem in Europe is in the investment climate. You can see that 4G coverage in Europe is much lower than in North America or North East Asia, and it goes back to the whole investment climate and that shows up in high spectrum fees. If you look at some of the auctions in Europe, they’re designed to maximize the fee paid for spectrum but are not necessarily maximizing the best for the economy of driving a mobile network. In addition to high spectrum fees, you’ve got heavy regulation, but you’ve also got a very, very fragmented market. If you look at China and India, they’ve both got three operators. In the United States, they’re on their way to three operators if the merger deal between T-Mobile US and Sprint gets approved. However, in Europe, every market has at least four operators, so in total on the continent you’ve got around 220 operators. I don’t think we get the scale necessary to really drive new technology and that’s the big risk for Europe. We need to create an environment where the operators can actually make a return on their investment. Ericsson has unveiled its vision for the evolution of cellular IoT by launching a number of new solutions at Mobile World Congress. Ericsson divided the evolution of cellular IoT into four market segments. However, can you outline to us in more detail what new industry use cases they can create? We categorized the evolution of cellular IoT into four market segments which are industrial IoT, massive IoT, critical IoT and broadband IoT. I think it is going to be different depending on markets which use cases take priority. So I think different markets will roll out in a different way. If we take China, for example, you can see that they’re investing very heavily towards industrial IoT. We can see that in our own factory in China, where we are very early in terms of championing this type of technology by implementing devices in every screwdriver which enabled us to detect when screwdrivers needed to be replaced. The ROI on that has been more than 200 percent; so basically, after six

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months, we’ve got payback after introducing IoT on the screwdriver and this is just a small example of the power of industrial IoT. We’ve been conducting demos at Mobile World Congress which focus on some areas in which we think industrial IoT is going to have a huge impact in terms of developing new use cases. Industrial IoT is where we’re seeing most of the early traction, but another area we see a lot of development in is remote servicing. You can use augmented reality so instead of travelling to detect faults, a service engineer would actually be able to project that on his augmented reality glasses. It’s going to take a few years, but I think we’re just on the verge of a number of cutting-edge and revolutionary use cases that will transform how many businesses conduct their operations. There has been a lot of discussion here at Mobile World Congress about Ericsson’s 5G platform and its phenomenal capabilities. Can you tell our readers what this platform enables operators to do? What we’re trying to do is future-proof our customers’ investments. What that basically means is that they should always be able to go from 4G into the

Our key competitive advantage is technology leadership


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INTERVIEW

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5G world in a cost-efficient way. So one part is the radio platform where they can do the software upgrade and become 5G-capable which enables them to carry more traffic and they can also do the same with the core - and the core can carry 4G and 5G traffic. Then the entire orchestration layer needs to accommodate both 4G and 5G end-to-end and that’s what we’re trying to do with our new platform. Ericsson has recently launched a new AI-based solution that simplifies managed services. How will this solution address the complex challenges facing operators as the industry moves towards 5G and the internet of things? Ultimately, we believe in a zero touch network, but that will require a lot of automation. However, it will also require you to be proactive; instead of reacting to an incident, you’ll be able to predict in and adjust in advance in a seamless fashion. That’s what we’re trying to do now by utilizing the data from network operators and we’ve got almost 1 billion subscribers that we manage globally. By using that database, we can start to be much more predictive in the way we run the network, and that is ultimately going to make a big difference for our customers. Operators need to have closed-loop automation and our capabilities will actually allow them to have that so if there is an incident they can automatically fix it. Ericsson recently decided to overhaul its existing BSS strategy and it has announced its intention to increase investment in its digital BSS platform. Why did you restructure your BSS strategy and what are your projections for your BSS business in 2019? What we saw is that we had allocated most of our R&D into a future platform and we have a large installed base. We needed to keep the installed base with a future-proof solution in the same way we do with the 5G hardware. So basically, we identified that we needed to increase our investment in our existing platform. In a way, we’re diverting R&D money from the future platform into making the current

platform upgradable in the future instead. We believe that this is a much better strategy for us, but in fact, it is a much better strategy for all our customers. We have 350 customers that use our billing and charging solutions globally. So we need to protect their investments and that’s why we’re restructuring our existing BSS platform. At Mobile World Congress, we’ve seen a lot of 5G-enabled handsets being unveiled. How much of a driver will these 5G-powered devices play in the acceleration of the rollout of 5G networks? It is critical. 5G is going to depend on the ecosystem and there’s no point in having a network if there are no handsets and applications. It is imperative that the whole ecosystem comes together, and that means spectrum availability, infrastructure, handsets, devices and applications all need to be fostered in an environment that merges all of this together in an effort to drive 5G penetration and adoption. Ericsson published the findings of its latest ‘Mobility Report’ at Mobile World Congress. Can you tell me from your perspective what you found to be some of the most interesting insights that emerged from the report? One of the most interesting insights

to emerge from the comprehensive report compiled by Ericsson is that 4G is going to be a long living technology. So, for example, 60 percent of the subscriptions will still be 4G in five years. 4G is going to remain the key access technology for mobile subscribers on a global scale. However, what is equally interesting is that we foresee about 1.5 billion 5G subscriptions by 2024. That’s going to happen in North America, North East Asia and in parts of Europe, but it actually is a very sizeable number of subscribers and that, I think is very, very interesting and represents an exciting new chapter that will take place in the ICT ecosystem over the next five years. Can you outline to us what your primary goals and objectives are as CEO of Ericsson for the rest of 2019? We need to maintain our position as the leading vendor of 5G in the market and that’s really important for us. In addition to this, given that we’ve strengthened the company significantly over the last number of years, we’ve now got an opportunity to start growing as well. We’re going to go for more profitabilityseeking growth and that’s where we see that in our existing business, but also in new applications, for example, in IoT. We’re very exciting about where we’re positioned in the market right now and what the future holds for us after navigating our way through some choppy waters.


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INTERVIEW

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Vanrise Solutions driving telcos’ business growth Vanrise Solutions has been helping telecom companies succeed in the digital era through a wide range of services and solutions it develops to fulfill industry requirements. Telecom Review spoke to Vanrise Solutions’ CEO, Mr. Jamal Anouti, in order to discover more about the company, the journey it has undertaken since its establishment and the recent projects it’s implemented. Vanrise solutions was established in 2006 but was effectively present since 1991 through the founding companies. Vanrise was set up to offer telecom solutions to the carrier business initially then moved on to cover operators, incumbents and regulators,” he said. The company has grown into a worldwide industry leader in providing amalgamated solutions in the fields of telecom billing and routing management, fraud detection, voice quality testing, probing, quality monitoring, revenue assurance, cybersecurity and international gateway management. When asked about the recent projects the company has implemented, the CEO mentioned several projects highlighting a key project it executed in 2018 for Ogero, the engine of the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunication. He explained, “We were announced winners of the international competitive bid which comprised world leaders in telecom. We were given a whole year to implement a complex solution, and managed to deliver four months prior to the deadline. Since then, three major telecom operators in North Africa have chosen Vanrise’s T.One for managing

their international and interconnect traffic.” “For Ogero, the delivered solution is based on our T.One platform covering billing of local and international interconnect traffic along with additional billing of services such as fiber and other capacity services offered by Ogero. The project also required seamless integration with Ericsson’s retail solution including mediation and CRM components.” T.One is going to allow Ogero to benefit from the advanced features which set a firm ground for achieving business agility, flexibility, exceptional user experience, advanced business intelligence, scalability and smooth integration with third party systems. The solution covers voice and data traffic, and will assist Ogero in improving its profit margins through revenue loss prevention as a result of the automatic tariff management, automated routing, advanced cost analysis, and improved financial settlements with local and international players. “Another key achievement for Vanrise was the recent implementation of the Public Key Infrastructure project in Iraq. Vanrise has been licensed, through an international competitive bid, by the State Company for Internet Services (SCIS)

to manage the entire digital signature services in Iraq. The PKI has been successfully established and a wide spectrum of digital signature and security services have been made available for the government and the citizens in Iraq,” Jamal Anouti said. The industry has tremendously transformed since 2006, the date when Vanrise Solutions was founded. What was the highlight of the company’s journey so far? The CEO says, “Managing the International Voice Gateway in Iraq is definitely a major milestone in the history of the Vanrise. We were able to set up the international gateway in 2012 by establishing the international fiber connectivity through several borders, implementing our full IGW management solution VANGATE, and running the entire show (interconnect agreements, pricing, billing, invoicing, NOC, etc.) on behalf of ITPC. We had a steady growth since 2006 and have successfully managed to develop our solutions portfolio in a very tough and competitive market. We adapted to the severe and constant decline in the voice market, and developed further our platform to answer the needs of the rising SMS and data markets with both on premise and cloud business selling models.”


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ICT FEATURE

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Enlarging the scope of business models with the advent of 5G

Revealing 5G technology has enabled operators and suppliers to seek multiple sources of revenue from it. The industry conceptualized new 5G business models and assumed new services fell into three categories: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machinetype communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC). Each class creates different demands of bandwidth, latency and intelligence. Enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access will lead the way, but IoT applications and use cases requiring ultra-reliable and low latency communications will be more efficient on 5G networks than on previous generation infrastructure.

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nhanced mobile broadband The first new business case looks very familiar: eMBB is faster data to handsets. This is already being deployed and it helps relieve congestion in high density areas at venues and zones where 4G is overloaded at peak times, such as major railway stations. Fixed wireless access Another new business model that builds on the old is fixed wireless access (FWA), already famous for the LTE links providing cable/DSL speeds to homes and businesses. However, the added value with 5G is the new radio bands, especially in the higher, millimeter-wave 28GHz and upward spectrum. With fixed installations, there is a lot of flexibility regarding antenna size and power usage, which can push the usable range of millimeter wave links to kilometers. Massive machine-type communications 5G’s IoT-focused mMTC technologies are inherited wholesale from the latter revisions of LTE. There are two main classes: the low power, narrowband NB-IoT (aimed at the classic IoT

model of static, embedded sensor and control nodes) and the medium power, medium bandwidth LTE-M (geared towards supply chain and more flexible uses). 5G absorbs these standards as they are and adds new bands and new core network capabilities for greater capacity and more custom network slices for different use cases. 5G’s big concern regarding IoT is to be able to provide competitive services on the back of infrastructure that’s already in place for other uses. Unlike older systems like 2G, this network has a very great deal of flexibility: it uses licensed spectrum, which is managed and not susceptible to third-party interference, and inherits cellular levels of authentication and security. Ultra-reliable and low latency communications Ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC) unlocks more complicated use cases where safety and life-critical tasks are involved - not the sort of things that sit well with LTE, with its typical latencies of 50ms to several seconds and block error rates before retransmission of one in ten. 5G, by comparison, will be able to achieve sub-1ms latencies and error rates in the one in a billion. Three typical use cases become feasible at

these levels: telesurgery, autonomous driving and factory automation (robotics). However, the new use cases for 5G are not only limited to the three industrysanctified groups. A good example out of the industry-oriented use unveils if you look up. Drones that fly out of lineof-site of their controllers rely on data networks, but no terrestrial networks have been designed with drone control in mind. It’s true that drones use LTE networks, but the further a drone goes, the more it will get interfering signals. It’s noteworthy that aside from radio issues, drones confront other problems as well such as significant security-threatening and disruptive capabilities, but they are notoriously hard to identify and shut down. One network, many services It isn’t clear how big a business model drone support will be, but the main point is to be able to offer a wide range of network services for novel functions while building on existing infrastructure in order to avoid making major changes to physical infrastructure or across too much of the software stack on which the network runs. Ericsson, heavily involved in 5G deployment by selling a lot of the infrastructure that the core 5G network will be built on, pictures the model as a cheese shop that used to sell just cheddar, but now offers hundreds of different kinds of cheese. The old core cheese business may not be so important, but with many new customers prepared to pay for unique offerings, the whole business remains profitable.


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COVERAGE

Huawei proves its remarkable 5G leadership at MWC 2019

The Mobile World Congress was the perfect opportunity for Huawei to showcase its leadership in the field of 5G technology. Huawei has been committed to helping operators expand their business boundaries and achieve new growth through innovations in networks, services and business models. To this end, Huawei has presented its end-to-end 5G products and solutions at the event, such as simplified 5G sites, architecture, protocols, and operations and maintenance (O&M).

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G has arrived, and AI has become a new generalpurpose technology. Innovation will never end and humanity will continue to develop, driven by advancements in science and technology. The intelligent world of the future will be a “Digital Village” where everyone is included and closely connected. At this year’s event, Huawei expanded on the theme of “Building a Fully Connected, Intelligent World”. Huawei’s main exhibition hall – Hall 1 – was designed around the theme of the Digital Village, representing the combination of technology and culture. The Digital Village provides a platform that brings together global industry elites and KOLs, allowing them to exchange ideas and discuss what challenges and opportunities the fully connected, intelligent world will bring to humanity. Huawei has maintained absolute leadership in 5G solutions through ongoing investment in R&D. The high 5G network performance and strong delivery capabilities make Huawei a partner of choice. So far, Huawei has signed over 30 commercial 5G


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contracts with operators around the world, and shipped over 40,000 5G basestations. Its aim is to help operators jump start 5G and deliver a high quality 5G user experience. In Hall 1, Huawei showcased its endto-end 5G products and solutions, ranging from simplified 5G sites and 5G integrated transport, to 5G cloud core and simplified 5G O&M. It also demonstrated its core technologies behind the new products and solutions, including radio frequency, optical transmission, IP and IT. All of these are evidence of Huawei’s extensive experience in R&D and strong innovation capabilities. Huawei was the first company in the industry to launch commercial 5G chips and devices, and has worked with the industry to drive 5G maturity and commercialization. Huawei demonstrated 8K high definition (HD) livestreaming on Vodafone Spain’s 5G network, and showcased new applications such as cloud VR, cloud gaming and cloud PCs. These applications showed that 5G will bring a better life for everyone. Under the support of Huawei, multiple European operators, including Vodafone, announced that 5G networks are now ready for commercial use. Huawei also signed 5G contracts with many operators from around the world. In addition, Huawei presented its idea for autonomous driving networks, as well as its full-stack, all-scenario SoftCOM AI solution, with the aim to significantly improve operating efficiency, network performance, O&M efficiency and user experiences. The SoftCOM AI solution enables “0 bits, 0 watts” and adaptive beam adjustment, thereby maximizing the value of telecom networks. Huawei is actively innovating networks, services and business models. It works with customers to redefine the business models and boundaries of the telecom industry, and ultimately help operators succeed. This will be achieved through a portfolio of innovative business solutions, including IoT cloud services, personal

COVERAGE mobile services, five-star premium home broadband and cloud-network convergence. “We are seeing today changes occurring in the telecommunications sector at all levels. With changes in the access network, notably with 5G, the core has to be transformed as well for networking slicing. And the application layer and the computing capabilities in the network are also changing, not to forget that network function virtualization is a big thing now. We have worked with Huawei to virtualize our EPC core network. This has helped us in the time to market, reducing our cost per GB, create more use cases capabilities and boost innovation,” said Saleem Alblooshi, chief infrastructure officer, du, about the fruitful collaboration with Huawei. Du has chosen Huawei as its partner for one main reason: innovation. “As the chief infrastructure officer, I can confidently say that Huawei is the leader in driving telecom networks. They are customer-focused and that is their key differentiator,” he commented. Huawei has worked closely with industry organizations, and has made key contributions to future network infrastructure, cyber security, and security policies and standards targeting vertical industries. Huawei is the world’s one and only telecom equipment vendor that is subject to and passes inspections against the highest-level standards. This ensures Huawei can create more secure and trustworthy products and solutions for its customers. Huawei’s partners and clients visited its booths at the Mobile World Congress and expressed the importance of working with the leading Chinese vendor. Government entities and ministers also shed light on how the company is helping their countries move forward towards digital transformation and accelerate 5G deployment. On Huawei’s role in Bahrain, H.E. Eng. Kamal Bin Ahmed Mohammed, Bahrain Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, said, “We are

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impressed by what Huawei has been offering to the world, and to Bahrain in particular, where it is assisting operators. VIVA is one of the country’s leading operators and has partnered with Huawei recently on 5G.” Huawei announced partnerships and signed MoUs with regional operators in a bid to accelerate 5G deployment and innovation in the Middle East. Huawei-Etisalat 5G partnership Etisalat and Huawei announced a strategic partnership to deploy an end-to-end 5G network in UAE in 2019. This partnership is in line with Etisalat’s continuous efforts to enhance its digital experience and provide innovative solutions and services to its customers with the utilization of its 5G network. Etisalat will be able to deliver innovative solutions and services targeting various sectors including education, healthcare and transport, among others. This will enable the use of advanced technologies, high speed services, cutting-edge and innovative applications. As part of the agreement, Huawei will offer its latest state-of-the-art network solutions including 5G wireless and 5G service oriented core, and 5G-ready transport network to facilitate smooth 5G technology adaption.

Huawei was the first company in the industry to launch commercial 5G chips and devices


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Program 2020 and maximize investment efficiency in terms of capital and operations spend. As we move forward to the next generation of 5G networks and new service rollout, STC is determined to keep innovating. This will drive network evolution towards a new and exciting 5G era, providing the best customer service experience and build a progressive and flourishing Saudi ICT industry.

Saeed Al Zarouni, senior vice president, Mobile Networks, said, “Etisalat continues to focus on digital innovation to ‘drive the digital future to empower societies’ leading to investments in superior and state-of-the-art technology solutions on the network. 5G is considered a major enabler for the next generation of broadband service and the internet of things, which is growing exponentially due to the global adoption of connected devices. “5G service availability will provide high data rates with ultra-low latency, providing unlimited access to all kinds of innovative applications and services, and will drive efficiency and productivity to a wide range of business across industrial sectors of the UAE. With its implementation, there will be immense potential for future technologies like AI, robotics, advanced 4K gaming, AR and VR enhancing the overall digital experience for all consumers.” Peng Xiongji, president of Huawei Etisalat Global Key Account, said, “Etisalat and Huawei have been collaborating for over a decade to launch innovative technologies and services. Building on our long-term relationship, Huawei is committed to supporting Etisalat’s 5G digital transformation. 5G offers great potential for Etisalat to offer enriched broadband experiences, new services and explore new B2B markets.” Etisalat’s major achievement in deployment of 5G was the launch of the

first commercial 5G network on C-band in the MENA region in early May 2018. The implementation of the 5G network will help transform an open cloud platform to allow much faster time to install new services to provide superior experience and reliability. Huawei announces the Aspiration Project In the 5G era, user experience demand will increase to Gbps class - more than 10 times faster than the 4G user experience. To ensure a smooth user experience upgrade from 4G to 5G, STC initiated the Aspiration Project for large scale commercial 5G network and 4G network upgrading. More importantly, 5G creates the strong ICT capability foundation for Saudi Arabia’s industrial digital transformation. As a strategic partner, Huawei has been supporting STC to introduce the latest 5G and LTE Advanced Pro technology. Huawei helped STC build the first E2E 5G network (core, transmission, wireless and CPE) in 2018. STC will provide larger 5G outdoor and indoor coverage with the Aspiration Project. For current LTE user experience upgrading, STC will modernize the LTE network through the latest technologies, such as Massive MIMO, 15-band antenna and multi-band technology. Based on network capability, Huawei will support STC to introduce global partners to the KSA 5G ecosystem, and deliver high quality services to Saudi citizens and enterprises. This will ultimately to support National Transformation

Eng. Nasser Al Nasser, chief executive officer, STC, said, “STC is committed to pioneering 5G network development and deployment in order to deliver the pledged “fully digitized society” in KSA. We have already put ourselves on the road to pioneer and shape the future of 5G services in the KSA and beyond. Our collaborations with our international partners will only enhance and push forward the boundaries for our 5G ambitions. Our customer deserves all the capabilities and distinguishing services that the 5G network will offer in the near future. We are very excited by the endless opportunities and the bright future that the 5G network promises to deliver to all our worthy customers.” Charles Yang, president of Huawei Middle East, said, “STC and Huawei share common understanding of industry trends and national vision. Nowadays, the ICT industry is undergoing digital transformation, and the operator will be a more important role in this transformation period. Meanwhile, 5G, AI, cloud and IoT technology are the key techs of ICT infrastructure. As the strategic partner of STC, Huawei is confident to support STC to enable KSA digital services and redefine ICT boundaries through partnership.” Nationwide 5G service launched in Bahrain VIVA Bahrain signed a nationwide 5G service launch MoU with Huawei, a leading global provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices. Signed at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, this agreement compliments the successful completion of the 5G readiness project which was recently announced and is located in key areas across Bahrain.


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COVERAGE

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VIVA Bahrain will upgrade its existing infrastructure based on non-standalone 5G core and 4/5G dual mode radio unit, and high capacity backhauling technologies that will enable VIVA customers to access 5G services across Bahrain by June. Moreover, transmission network’s high capacity ready hardware will allow them to rapidly scale up their networks to meet capacity requirements in the near future. VIVA Bahrain acting chief executive Mohammad Al Khushail said, “We understand the rapid demand for 5G coverage and devices to breakout in Bahrain, therefore, we made the decision to be a pioneer in launching this technology that will position Bahrain among the first to adopt the 5G network globally. By signing the MoU with Huawei, a long-standing partner of VIVA Bahrain; we continue our commitment to accelerate digitization in Bahrain and ultimately support the vision to become a diversified, knowledge-based economy.” Huawei Middle East Carrier Network Business Group President An Jian said, “We are proud to be part of VIVA’s growth and expansion plans adopting our 5G products and solutions. Additionally, for consumers, we will be launching our recent 5G-compliant CPE and cellphone with VIVA to complete the offering for consumers in Bahrain, and we look forward to working together to bring 5G to Bahrain and support the country in becoming a diversified, knowledge-based economy through digital transformation.” VIVA’s 5G services will ultimately enable customers to enjoy not only gaming VR services and 3D 8K video but will also provide a platform for smart businesses and homes. 5G foldable smartphone: HUAWEI Mate X The highlight of Huawei’s participation at Mobile World Congress was the revealing the first 5G foldable smartphone: the Huawei Mate X. Reflecting the DNA of the HUAWEI Mate Series, the HUAWEI Mate X represents

a voyage into uncharted territory. The HUAWEI Mate X combines 5G, foldable screen, AI and an all new mode of interfacing to provide consumers with an unprecedented user experience and bring forth a new breed of smartphone. A result of Huawei’s bold experimentations with novel smartphone form factors, the 2-in-1 smartphone and tablet HUWAEI Mate X feature a flexible OLED panel and a Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge that blends style with technology. The lightweight foldable smartphone sports a new Interstellar Blue color wave that epitomizes the beauty of technology and sets a higher bar for future smartphones. The HUAWEI Mate X is more than a smartphone or a tablet—it is greater than the sum of its parts. The flexible OLED foldable FullView display and the world’s fastest 5G modem chipset Balong 5000 combine to deliver a new mode of interfacing, in which the large screen experience and portability co-exist in harmony. In tablet mode, the HUAWEI Mate X is the ideal mobile productivity powerhouse. Multitasking is better than ever and users can take advantage of two screens simultaneously for multiple tasks and enjoy a desktop-like experience. Huawei’s flagship smartphones have always come with powerful cameras, and the HUAWEI Mate X is no different. The foldable design makes it possible for the camera system to play the

role of both front and rear cameras, resulting in a revolutionary photography experience. Possessing leading capabilities in chip, device and communications technologies, Huawei is poised to lead in the 5G era. Equipped with the world’s first 7nm 5G multi-mode modem chipset Balong 5000, the HUAWEI Mate X will be the benchmark of 5G smartphones to come. A high capacity 4,500mAh battery supporting HUAWEI SuperCharge is packed in HUAWEI Mate X, fulfilling the demand for greater battery performance in the 5G era.

We are impressed by what Huawei has been offering to the world


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Mountasser Hachem, CEO of Monty Mobile

Monty Mobile offers an opportunity to mobile operators to become advertising mediums

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Monty Mobile is a GSMA-certified open connectivity SMS hub and roaming broker, and a leading VAS provider in emerging markets. Monty Mobile has developed close working relationships with major mobile operators in an effort to help them push their profits and tap into new streams of revenue across global markets.

Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with the founder and CEO of Monty Mobile, Mountasser Hachem, at RVS7. RVS7 is Monty Mobile’s exclusive flagship event that was held recently at The Address Hotel in Dubai. Mr. Hachem, the dynamic and visionary leader, has contributed in guiding the company to unprecedented success in what is an ultra-competitive market.

he company has enjoyed phenomenal growth in recent years, growing from one office and a handful of employees into nine worldwide offices and over 200 employees. Its ability to be able to provide cutting-edge solutions that cater to all operators’ needs is what differentiates this pioneering company from other VAS, roaming and SMS brokers.


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The charismatic executive outlined in detail how its unique business model and strategic vision is what ultimately distinguishes Monty Mobile from its rivals. He further discussed the approach he feels operators need to implement in order to regain the revenues lost from the emergence of OTTs. He also explained how the company’s diversifying portfolio of solutions can help telecommunication operators fight back. This is the 7th edition of Monty Mobile’s RVS conference and it continues to be a huge success. In your opinion, why is the event so successful and can you tell us about the diversity of the operators in attendance? We’ve got a really diverse mix of operators here in attendance at RVS7. We’ve got operators that are Tier 1 and we’ve got operators that are Tier 4. For example, we’ve got China Telecom who have 400m subscribers. We also cater for smaller operators too because it’s our strategy to serve all telecommunication operators regardless of their size. When we started out Monty Mobile, we specifically targeted smaller operators: that was our strategic approach. Upon expanding, we gained some notoriety in the market in a positive way and we were able to secure partnerships with some major players such as Etisalat, Zain and Orange. To have big operations is not only more challenging in terms of the technical requirements needed, but it is also challenging from a financial perspective. For example, to pre-pay a company like 9Mobile is a challenge. Dubai is a very attractive place to host an event, but we can’t say that RVS is an exclusively Middle East conference because of the diversity of our clients here in attendance. We’ve got representation from almost every major market here. It’s fantastic for us to have representation from the South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East as they’re all huge markets that have a lot of potential. In Africa, you’ve got 53 countries dependent economically on mobile services in their day to day activities.

INTERVIEW Mobile services have become one of the pillars driving the economies in Africa. Our business model is designed around taking risks in emerging markets. We’re delighted with our position in the market and the phenomenal growth we’ve enjoyed. And, the operators that are in attendance here at RVS reinforce and solidify our importance in this market. Monty Mobile has enjoyed phenomenal success since its inception and is an industry leader in some major markets such as Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa. What is it that differentiates Monty Mobile from its competitors? We learned our business through our customers, their needs and their markets. We built all the solutions that we’re introducing to the market in-house. We had to try several times before creating the right mix, technically and commercially. We started from scratch and went through all stages of the assurance and this knowledge management that we gained shows through our products. It’s part of our DNA. We built the DNA by ourselves from the infrastructure to the technical solution to the building up of our entire solution portfolio. We went through the rejection of being told you’re too small for us, to then being accepted by major players in the industry. We’ve now earned the respect of those entities, and we’re now firmly established as a key player in this industry and recognized for the incredible solutions and services we can offer operators. We’re an example of a typical entrepreneurial case study. We failed and we learned! Now we’re riding the success train and have visibility in a lot of key markets and have developed relationships with some key operators. This is what I think ultimately differentiates us from our competitors. We’ve grown exponentially since we were established, and today our offices are in UK, Lebanon, UAE, India, Indonesia, Germany, France, Croatia and Fiji. So we’ve truly become a global player and this is reflected by the fact that we’re currently preparing our IPO, which we hope will be ready by 2022 or maybe 2023.

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Operators have seen their traditional business models decimated by the rise of OTTs, and they need to create new revenue streams to offset these losses. How are the solutions provided by Monty Mobile helping operators fight back? The message that we’re preaching to operators and what we’re trying to convince them to do is become an advertising medium. We see operators like Etisalat, du and Vodafone as being media for advertising. We’re launching a program called M-Rewards. When a call is initiated, the caller usually spends an average of 10 seconds listening to the ringing tone while waiting for his call to connect. M-Rewards uses the dead time to play an audio advertisement that can be as short as seven seconds, and subscribers who opt in to the service will benefit from collecting reward points each time the ads are heard. Subscribers can redeem these points for other services such as free SMS, free calls and free data. M-rewards is not only a premium platform for advertisers to achieve the widest reach, but also merges a loyalty program that allows mobile operators to reward their loyal subscribers while gaining huge revenues. Operators have all this data that is being used by Facebook and Google, so they should become a Facebook or a Google and become an OTT player too. Operators should utilize the data they have. Operators have already invested in the infrastructure and instead of selling pipes with no value, create the value in it and become a major player in targeted advertising. There has been some resistance from some players because they’re afraid of the regulatory side. Operators can follow the same model as OTTs: you simply apply GDPR and you obtain consent. Google and Facebook provide us with wonderful services for FREE in exchange for data, and communication service providers can do the exact same thing. The mindset and mentality of operators has to change and that’s what we’re trying to do in terms of providing them with solutions that can help them make that transition.


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INTERVIEW

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Es’hailSat aspiring to become a global satellite operator Satellites and telecommunications are two intertwined industries, for the former is an important means for telecommunications companies to cover large areas and provide their services. Satellite operators are thus the key infrastructure provider of telcos, said Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari, president and CEO, Es’hailSat Qatar Satellite Company, in an exclusive interview with Telecom Review.


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s’hailSat launched its second satellite Es’hail-2 in November 2018 which aims to serve government, broadcast and telecommunications sectors in the Middle East and North Africa. Built by Mitsubishi Electric Company (MELCO) and launched by Space X aboard Falcon 9 rocket, Es’hail-2 has a proven, modular platform with high power capability and flexibility for a broad range of applications. It will support the growth of 25.5°E/26.0°E broadcast neighborhood, and also features multi-transponder Kaband payload with sophisticated anti-jamming capabilities providing business and government sectors with secure communications across the MENA region. In addition, it carries the first ever payload on geostationary satellite to support amateur radio community across the visible earth from its orbital location. The spacecraft has a design life in excess of 16 years. In the interview, the CEO talked about the company’s role in the MENA region and how it aspires to become a global satellite operator and service provider. He also tackled the challenges faced by satellite operators in the region which are mainly related to spectrum. Es’hailSat launched its second satellite Es’hail-2 in November 2018. How will broadcasters and businesses benefit from the services it will provide? Es’hail-2 brings additional Ku-band capacity to the MENA broadcast hotspot of 25.5°E/26°E orbital position. With over 100m dishes currently tuned to this hotspot, broadcasters are able to instantly reach these viewers when they use Es’hail-2 to distribute their channels. Businesses can leverage on the wide coverage beams provided by Es’hail-2 across the Middle East and North Africa. Using Ka-band spot beams for uplink, broadcasters and businesses can be secured from harmful uplink interference. Satellites play a key role in the telecommunications industry. How

INTERVIEW would you describe the company’s role in the region? Who are Es’hailSat’s target customers? Satellites with their ubiquitous coverage are an excellent conduit for telecommunications companies to reach out to a large area or region to provide voice, data and broadband services. We see ourselves as the key infrastructure provider for these companies to distribute their services, by providing bandwidth in space and also teleport services using our new state-of-the-art teleport in Doha. We work with and support major telecommunications companies, broadcasters, VSAT operators and service providers, mobility service providers, and any other companies who are in need of our services to distribute or contribute their content. Es’hail-1 was launched in 2013. Five years later, Es’hail-2 was launched. Are there any plans to launch a third satellite, and when is it planned? We currently own and operate two satellites with a focus within MENA, but our vision is to be a global satellite operator and service provider. We are always looking to explore opportunities for satellite services beyond our region. At present we are in talks with a few parties to extend our reach into developing markets such as East Asia and Africa, and hope to announce some news along these lines over the course of this year. What are the challenges that satellite operators face in the region? How have you managed to overcome them? Global satellite market is a challenging and difficult market, and the MENA region is no different in that respect. One of the major challenges faced by satellite operators in this region is the availability of spectrum for new entrants or new satellites. With numerous satellites already operating in this region, there is just not enough Ku-band and K-band spectrum for newer satellites. Partnership and sharing of spectrum with friendly parties has helped us overcome this major challenge. Some of the other challenges faced

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by satellite operators in the region are interference and content piracy. Having anti-jamming technology within our satellites helps us overcome interference problems, and working with a coalition of industry leaders helps us overcome the issue of content piracy. What are your plans for this year, especially after the successful launch of the company’s second satellite in the last quarter of 2018? Given Es’hail-2 has only been commercialized in Q1 2019, our main focus is to market and sell the transponders capacity on Es’hail-2. We have also officially inaugurated our state-of-the-art teleport in Doha, and will be adding new services that we can provide through the teleport. For Es’hailSat, 2019 is a year of consolidating all the services we have been provide within the teleport and increasing the fill rate of Es’hail-2.

We are always looking to explore opportunities for satellite services beyond our region


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INTERVIEW

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Ja-Square’s smart water meters make ‘waves’ at MWC

Ja-Square, a LebaneseFrench company specialized in providing smart technological solutions and IoT services, has showcased its latest innovations at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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ince its establishment in 2012, Ja-Square has proved itself as a key player in addressing acute technology issues facing governments and large enterprises across the Middle East. The company has enjoyed phenomenal growth during that timeframe and is now recognized as being a market leader in terms of providing high-tech and up-todate innovative concepts in the ICT ecosystem. The DNA of Ja-Square is to enable individuals, governments and businesses to realize their full potential. Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with Dr. Ziad Al Jamal, CTO, Ja-Square, onsite at MWC in an effort to find out more about their new technological solutions and the reasons behind their extensive resonation in the marketplace. Dr. Ziad Al Jamal, CTO, Ja-Square

According to Al Jamal, what differentiates Ja-Square is its ability


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to address issues for large-scale corporations in a practical and costeffective way. Al Jamal said, “Our solutions can address major problems for governments that encounter obstacles in terms of receiving payments for water and electricity bills. Our smart solutions can’t be manipulated, they can’t be tampered with. They provide real-time information, which enable each of the individual homeowners and governmental entities to manage their electric and water consumption.” The charismatic Al Jamal explained that receiving data is all well and good, but stressed on the importance of one’s ability to utilize that data in order to make informed decisions. Al Jamal continued, “It’s not good enough to simply just read data; you need to read it, control it and then use the information being conveyed to you in an efficient way. You’re reducing your operational expenditure by getting rid of the conventional formalities that deal with physical data collection and physical payment collection from end users like you used to, for example, by sending someone to physically collect this data from the home and also to retrieve outstanding fees. Our solution grants the governments advanced control, in a practical, effective and cost-efficient way. We believe this is a joint venture between the private sector and public sector, which is the telecommunication operators and the government, in order to have successful implementation.” Ja-Square, as mentioned, made a big impact in the technology industry and has demonstrated its ability by providing innovative solutions that address daily needs and requirements which have enabled the company with pioneering force to contribute in the technological revolution in Lebanon. According to Al Jamal, Ja-Square is both an IoT and an industrial IoT company that can create solutions specifically tailored for two very different markets.

INTERVIEW Al Jamal said, “We’re an internet of things company. In fact, I’d also say we’re an industrial IoT company. We provide solutions in both, a standard environment and in heavy IoT. When we’re talking about heavy or industrial IoT, we’re referring to the locations which are typically found in harsh environments like the allocation of water meters, for example, in certain harsh environments. In this given case, our smart solution is classified and customized as an industrial IoT rather than a standard IoT where our smart products, such as a sensor, can read the temperature. Basically, very few players are available in this market because it is very hard to tailor a smart solution fully customized for customers in harsh environments due to their specific needs or requirements that demand advanced development and implementation of industrial IoT solution. For this reason, we’re categorized as one of the key players in the heavy IoT field as well due to our ability and adaptability to provide advanced solutions addressing our customers’ needs.” The dynamic executive believes that what ultimately differentiates JaSquare from its competitors is its extensive portfolio of smart solutions that address multiple challenges across so many different markets - in addition to its desire to continuously innovate new concepts which deems to be part of its fundamental DNA which keeps them ahead of the chasing pack. Al Jamal said, “We’re differentiating ourselves in the market by providing cutting-edge technologies that are keeping our competitors at bay. We not only focus on the products but also on our platform as well. We are providing end-to-end solutions so it’s not about just selling the products; we’re providing turn-key solutions which include platform customizations with any third-party billing provider. We’re building smart products that enable citizens to monitor their own consumption of a service on a daily basis, whether this service is water or electricity. The type of uniformed approach we employ isn’t common in the marketplace.

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A lot of other companies simply focus on one thing, whether that is a specific platform or a product. However, for us, we want to have a diverse portfolio of solutions, and as I said before, we’re an end-to-end solutions’ provider.” Operators have seen traditional business and price models decimated by the rampant emergence of OTTs, and as a consequence, telcos have had to find new ways of generating new revenue opportunities. One of these areas is streaming as a value added service. “All operators want to provide more services to offset the losses caused by OTTs and they recognize the urge of performing this. They want more traffic on their network, but they ultimately need services and IoT products in order to do it. This year, we’ve been working closely with a lot of operators - and we’ve identified a lot of services that we can integrate together, and we can work on a lot of services that we can put on the network.” Al Jamal added that Ja-Square also provided operators with IPTV streaming services as part of their holistic approach and strategy designed to help operators create new revenue models. He said, “One of the other services we provide is automation and IPTV, which create quite a lot of traffic on the network. However, this is what the operator needs. The operator wants more traffic on his network as it provides it with an opportunity to generate new revenues from that traffic. Operators have been really impressed by these solutions because of their ability to get a return on investment quickly by integrating our IPTV services into their portfolio of services.” Al Jamal also added that a number of major enterprises and government entities have expressed huge interest in their diverse portfolio of solutions during MWC, and said that they will engage in further talks in the next few weeks.


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INTERVIEW

5G will enable enterprises to build their own private networks – Femi Oshiga, CommScope

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CommScope is a global pioneering organization that helps companies around the world design, build and manage their wired and wireless networks. The wireless leader was demonstrating its cutting-edge solutions and innovations at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with Femi Oshiga, vice president of Service Providers in the Middle East & Africa, at CommScope.

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n a fascinating interview, the dynamic CommScope executive predicted that 5G will not only provide the opportunity to address a specific need for customers, but it will also enable large enterprises and manufacturing facilities to build their own private networks.In addition to this, Oshiga highlighted its new 3.5GHz capable antennas, the importance of fiber saving in the 5G era and ultimately what differentiates CommScope from its rivals. CommScope has announced its new 3.5GHz capable antennas that are designed to help increase network capacity and migration to 5G. Can you outline to us in more detail how this enables communication service providers to accelerate their efforts to deploy 5G networks? There is a lot of talk around 5G, especially in relation to frequencies.


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We think, perhaps specifically for the Middle East and Africa, but probably in other regions as well, that the 3.5GHz band is a nice sweet spot because it has a lot of bandwidth and compared to higher frequencies, it still has reasonably decent propagation characteristics. So we believe that being able to deploy 3.5GHz antennas alongside our traditional low band antennas is very interesting for operators and something they ought to consider. We will certainly be one of the first to deploy 3.5GHz antennas that will co-exist or in some cases will be integrated with our passive antennas, and this is something that operators wants to talk to us about. You wrote a brilliantly detailed and comprehensive analysis that outlined the major trends driving 5G innovation in the Middle East. Could you expand on some of the predictions and projections you made, such as how private networks are looking hugely enticing for new markets? We think there are a number of areas where 5G will proliferate, starting initially with applications that obviously take advantage of its high throughput, low latency characteristics; most probably in high density urban areas where the end user - consumer and businesses alike - will see improved services. There are also the other extreme use cases where we talk about remote surgeries from one end of the world to the other which would be fantastic, but perhaps a little more difficult to monetize. An interesting area which is perhaps easier to monetize as a business case is in private networks. Large enterprises, large companies, manufacturing facilities and hospitals would be able to build their own networks, in some form of partnership with our traditional network operators. Further using the best 5G has to offer, we can have neutral hosts that provide benefits for the enterprise in an arrangement the operators are happy with, that we can contribute to with our equipment

INTERVIEW and solutions, thus building an ecosystem that solve specific problems for specific customers. Today, with our IBS solutions, network operators tend to provide broad brush solutions that don’t necessarily suit a specific need. 5G gives us the opportunity to address a specific need for our customers. As CommScope, we are investing in coming to market with innovative products that enable the operator, neutral host or enterprise to address these needs. We see it as a very, very exciting space. You said the wireless future is limitless and you expressed your excitement and your belief that this year we will see glimpses of 5G. But when do you think we will really start to feel 5G having a seismic impact on the way we conduct our business and go about our daily lives? When you talk to operators in the Middle East and Africa they want to start off with some pre-commercial 5G networks this year. Subject to what also happens in other parts the world (i.e. countries that drive volumes), we’ll see the introduction of 5G-powered devices in the region which in turn will accelerate the rollout of 5G networks. We expect to see further developments and bigger projects in 2020 and 2021. If you think of our region, we’ve got EXPO 2020 in the UAE as an example and that will stimulate a lot of development in 5G in the next 12 months. In addition to the 3.5GHz antennas you’re displaying here at MWC, what other cutting-edge innovations and solutions are you showcasing at this year’s MWC? Are you making any major partnership/project announcements? We’re showcasing a lot of our innovations and solutions here at MWC, and we’ve set up quite a large demonstration area in an effort to best present them to prospective clients and existing customers. I think something that is really important is efficient use of one’s fiber assets. 5G is going

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to be very demanding in terms of its fiber backhaul requirements. Therefore, cost-effective and rapid deployment and expansion of the fiber access network will equate to the deployment of more sites more quickly. We’ve got solutions that cater for that and I’m very proud of the portfolio we have on display here at MWC. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of big customers in the region and they want to see what we’re doing because they want to backhaul all these 5G sites as well as provide FTTX/FTTH services. In addition, as zoning right become a bigger challenge given the number of sites that need to be deployed, it is imperative that these structures are aesthetically pleasing. We’re showing here at MWC examples of what such metro sites might look like for the region. Clearly the sites are much smaller and as such can be deployed in large numbers without causing discontent amongst residents. Equally, being able to provide these solutions at the right price point is very important as well. CommScope’s ability to develop technological solutions that help cities and enterprises address explosive consumer demand has made it the ‘go-to-player’ in the ICT ecosystem. Is it this broad range of capabilities what ultimately differentiates you from your rivals? I think our broad range of capabilities is a huge strength, but I think it’s our ability to be first that ultimately differentiates us from our competitors. When you’re first all the time and you’re the most innovative and agile company in the marketplace, I think that’s always going to be a winning ticket. Our strategy is to be that telecoms equipment infrastructure company that can provide and cater for all operators within the communications network ecosystem; we provide solutions starting with antennas all the way to datacenters where we’ve got a unique suite of solutions for cloud. The combination of all these factors is what I believe distinguishes us from our rivals and what makes us an industry leader.


OPERATORS’ NEWS

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EITC makes first live 5G data call UAE-based telecommunications service provider du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), announced that it has conducted the first-ever live 5G data call on its production 5G network while rolling out 700 5G sites across the United Arab Emirates. Du reaffirms its strong position in the region with nonstandalone (NSA) 5G access network launch. Moreover, du launched a native cloud unified 5G core network solution with capability to accommodate 5G NSA and 5G standalone (SA) evolutions. The announcement coincides with Mobile World Congress 2019, being held this year from 25 February to 28 February, 2019.

REDEFINING POWER SOLUTIONS

Hybrid Solutions Guaranteeing OPEX Reduction

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The deployment will allow du’s customers to enjoy extreme broadband services. The 5G NSA deployment provides a wider bandwidth and lower latencies to support enhanced mobile broadband services such as virtual

reality, augmented reality and 5G cloud gaming. The cloud-native and distributed 5G network will provide du’s data network with the capability to implement a variety of 5G use cases. The 5G deployment will enable du to provide seamless 5G data services across different verticals from individual to business customers by providing data services over native distributed cloud across the UAE. Huawei and Nokia are du’s strategic partners in the 5G rollout. Saleem AlBlooshi, chief infrastructure officer, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), said: “We are delighted to modernize and expand our network to latest state-of-the-art 5G NSA, including access network and native cloud 5G core network that supports NSA and SA. We are proud to make this technology commercially available in the UAE.”

Etisalat and Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions collaborate on digitization of government services Etisalat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions and Services Authority (ADSSSA) to boost their collaboration in the digital transformation of government services in Abu Dhabi. Etisalat will provide the technical knowledge and expertise to facilitate the ADSSSA’s drive to digitise Abu Dhabi Government services, thus providing seamless and proactive customer experience to the Abu Dhabi community through the ADSSSA’s platform ‘TAMM’. The MoU was signed by Saeed Mohamed Al Mansouri, executive director of joint government services, ADSSSA, Salvador Anglada, group chief business officer, Etisalat at Etisalat’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The signing ceremony was also attended by H.E Dr. Rauda Al Saadi, director general, ADSSSA, and Eng. Saleh Abdulla Al Abdooli, chief executive officer,

Etisalat Group in addition to a number of senior executives from both entities. The agreement strengthens the existing cooperation between ADSSSA and Etisalat, and paves the way for joint innovative initiatives and strategic solutions to provide an array of innovative digital solutions. The MoU comes in the context of Etisalat’s commitment to support the efforts of ADSSSA to harness the latest digital technologies to provide the next generation of government services. Etisalat provides a wide range of ICT solutions to the Abu Dhabi government services platform ‘TAMM’, which is a leading and futuristic model for government services in line with the Abu Dhabi Government Vision and the Abu Dhabi economic stimulus plan ‘Ghadan 21’, which means ‘Tomorrow 21’.


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OPERATORS’ NEWS

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VIVA Kuwait chooses Huawei as its 5G strategic partner VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, announced the establishment of a 5G innovation center, with the aim to explore, develop and launch new 5G use cases in Kuwait by 2019. Currently, VIVA is already in action to rollout a nationwide 5G network with over 1000 5G NR sites supported by a massive device ecosystem of more than 100K devices including 5G CPEs, setting the benchmark as one of the largest 5G commercial rollouts in the world up to date. The 5G innovation center comes to enforce VIVA’s 5G business strategy execution and will open the door for new business models such as ultra-broadband, IoT, smart city services, and position VIVA as the undisputed leader in 5G era. On this occasion, Eng. Zarrar Khan, VIVA’s CTO, said, “Two months back, VIVA celebrated its 10th year anniversary. The growth we witnessed in the past represents an amazing success story. We provided best in class telco services to our customers, invested in latest cuttingedge technologies and boosted Kuwait leadership in ICT era. Moving forward, we intend to position VIVA as first operator in the world to deliver true 5G NR experience. With the planned nationwide coverage, our clients will have access to

5G networks and experience new services. The establishment of the 5G innovation center will help us to drive digitalization across vertical sectors. Industries from telemedicine to smart cities to public safety will thrive with the support of 5G infrastructure. The networks will enable new revenue streams, enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs and ultimately uplift the standard of living across Kuwait.” VIVA Kuwait chose Huawei as strategic partner to support its 5G rollout, leveraging Huawei’s 5G leadership and E2E ecosystem. Over the past 10 years, VIVA and Huawei collaborated to deliver successful 3G/4G services; this 5G move reflects VIVA’s confidence and trust in Huawei’s capabilities. 5G is the next generation wireless network, enabling new 5G use cases to emerge and transform the way we live. With its ultra-high capacity, services such as VR/AR, 4K/8K video live streaming will provide immersive experiences, critical communication use cases including driverless cars and drones will revolutionize transportation industry, sensors, machines and smart devices will be all connected bringing the smart city dream into reality. 5G will touch each and every aspect of our lives for the better.

REINVENTING TELECOM INFRASTRUCTURE

STC successfully completes indoor 5G test Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Huawei jointly announced the first trial of indoor 5G @3.5GHz in the Middle East and North Africa. This is the second indoor 5G test in the world.

Through the 5G indoor solution, STC will provide its customers with a faster and better user experience, and ensure that they enjoy the latest services, from 4K/8K video streaming to AR/VR video game applications.

STC is the leading operator in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the 5G solution technology field. On February 20th, STC launched the region’s first indoor 5G test via Huawei’s 5G product - the first multi-band indoor 5G solution that supports both 5G NR (New Radio) and 4G LTE.

The indoor 5G trial includes verification of 5G technologies and air interface DL peak throughput. During the testing in Dammam, STC used 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band on the 5G network and achieved a peak user downlink throughput of 1.3 Gbps.

Building, Renovating & Maintaining Telecom Infrastructure

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OPERATORS’ NEWS

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Etisalat and Cisco announce progressive self-driving project Etisalat and Cisco have successfully deployed the first segment routing technology in the region over its international network with closedloop automation, introducing automation and software defined networking (SDN) to the service provider’s Emirates Internet Exchange (EMIX) network, deploying cutting-edge technologies that set the foundation for new opportunities and business models. The EMIX Network is the largest regional network access point (NAP), a network providing high quality, with no interruption and low latency IP transit services to carriers, ISPs and mobile operators in MENA, Asia and Europe.

"LEADING T-ESCO GLOBALLY"

Etisalat has always been an early adopter of new technology and is driving innovation in the region, implementing the latest in networking technologies. These mainly include technologies such as segment routing and advanced networking solutions for its customers to improve scalability and enhance the level of network automation. The announcement showcases the successful adoption of Cisco’s

advanced automation on top of the segment-routing framework to enable software defined intelligence, closed-loop automation, a selfhealing network and intent-based networking in the EMIX network, offering a competitive business services model to Etisalat’s customers globally. The combination of segment routing, which allows precise control of how the network transports applications, with Cisco’s Network Service Orchestrator (NSO) also enables EMIX to offer a better quality of service, with fewer human errors, less repetitive manual work and faster development processes. Cisco is leading the disruption in the industry with technology innovations in systems, silicon, software and security- and Cisco’s unrivalled expertise in mass-scale networking, automation, optical, optics, cable access, video and mobility. Together with their portfolio of professional services, they can enable service providers, media, and web companies to reduce cost and complexity, help secure their networks and grow revenue.

STC investment in Careem now worth $274m following acquisition by Uber Combining Power Solutions with Telecom Infrastructure and field Managed Services

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STC Group CEO Nasser Al-Nasser has credited its Dare Strategy for the success of its investment in ridehailing service Careem. STC’s Dare Strategy was specifically designed to focus on digital transformation and new growth opportunities for the Saudi telecommunications behemoth. STC owns a stake of around 8.8% following an investment of $100m into the company in 2017. However, following the acquisition of the company by Uber that investment is projected to grow to $274m.

STC confirmed that most of the $274m will be paid partly in cash and party in Uber’s convertible notes, with the exact split depending on the final allocation at the closing of the transaction. STC has pointed out that it made the investment in Careem through two owned funds which are: • STC Ventures (6.4% stake) • Saudi Technology Ventures (2.9% stake) The investment is further proof that STC’s progressive Dare Strategy is paying dividends for the Saudi operator.


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OPERATORS’ NEWS

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UAE’s Etisalat launches package for transit passengers UAE telecoms operator Etisalat has launched a ‘transit pack’ of 1GB and 10 flexi minutes for a 48 hour duration worth 50 Dhs for transit passengers at UAE airports. Transit passengers can now purchase the package from Etisalat’s authorized partners at UAE airports and borders after providing the required mobile registration information. The launch follows the country’s decision to grant free transit visas for 48 hours to passengers transiting in the UAE’s airports. Etisalat’s chief consumer officer, Khaled Elkhouly, stated: “We are delighted to offer transit passengers an affordable and tailored package that caters to their needs for their 48 hour stay. This special package is part of our ongoing efforts to provide top-notch benefits to all our customer segments.” The UAE cabinet announced a new visa policy last year which permits all transit

passengers to be exempt from entry fees for a 46 hour transit visit. This visa can be bought at passport control in UAE airports and extended for up to 96 hours for a fee of 50 Dhs ($14). Tourism is a key industry in the UAE’s diversification plans and has been growing in recent years as an important area for government authorities in all the seven emirates. The government recently granted Russian and Chinese passport holders visas upon arrival in an attempt to encourage and boost tourism. Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports have become transit hubs for international passengers travelling to many different parts of the world. Taking advantage of this traffic has become a key priority for the country’s many sectors as cities like Dubai aim to attract more tourists in the coming years.

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EITC shows its support for the creativity sector in the UAE Du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), is playing a key role in positioning the UAE as an innovative creative hub by sponsoring Design Forum 2019. Taking place earlier this month at Fairmont the Palm, Dubai, the unique platform showcased the region’s awe-inspiring creativity and future design opportunities. Farid Faraidooni, Deputy CEO – Enterprise, EITC, said: “The UAE is gaining recognition as a world leader in design and architecture. By supporting Design Forum 2019, we

are proud to be driving growth and continuity of the creative industry’s numerous SME businesses as well as facilitating the convergence of designers, artists and suppliers to showcase the region’s creative future.” Design Forum 2019 serves as a platform for participants to explore the forthcoming revolutions taking place within the region’s design industry. The event also plays host to design conversations, panel discussions and insights from industry experts about the future of design in the region.

www.iptpowertech.com


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INTERVIEW

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Farhad Khan, CEO, YahClick

YahClick solutions are unlocking human potential in education and healthcare YahClick, the leading satellite broadband service from UAE-based global satellite operator Yahsat, and its partner Hughes Network Systems showcased their incredible portfolio of transformative satellite services at CABSAT 2019.

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ahClick placed a particular emphasis on its suite of e-Learning and e-Health solutions that have been designed to help accelerate the social and economic progress of unserved and underserved communities across YahClick’s global footprint. Visitors were given live demonstrations and had the opportunity to participate in technical

discussions on e-Learning and e-Health solutions throughout the event, which was held over three days at Dubai World Trade Centre. YahClick has enjoyed phenomenal success under the dynamic leadership of its CEO Farhad Khan, and Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with him at CABSAT. In a fascinating and detailed exchange, Khan outlined to us that whilst these solutions would appear simplistic in the Western world, they

have the ability to empower so many people from deprived areas of Africa in terms of education and health. The CEO defined the e-Health application as a solution that creates a closed network between a healthcare practitioner and a diagnostics capability which is remote. Khan told Telecom Review, “What is important to understand is the application and the permutation benefits linked to it. To us, in a first-world country, it may sound


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simplistic, but you have to physically visualize the countries that we operate in Africa. In a country like Kenya, for example, you’ve got hundreds and hundreds of kilometers between any urban built-up central business district and where the habitations and the communities are. In Africa, as you can imagine, primary healthcare is as basic as being able to identify a fever or a flu or any ailment that we would take for granted that can be treated with paracetamol. A person in the middle of the bush does not have that luxury or the knowledge or education.” Khan then explained in more detail exactly how the e-Health solution would work once deployed in rurally desolate parts of Africa. Khan added, “What an application like this allows is that you have a rural clinic type format that may not necessarily need a qualified person to be onboard. They can take a person that comes to the rural clinic - and the rural clinic can also be deployed to where the communities are. You establish the vital statistics that are needed to do the diagnostics, and within a matter of minutes, the information is sent to a general practitioner who’s then able to determine whether or not that person needs to be referred to a secondary healthcare environment, or they can issue them a prescription which can be done by remote.” YahClick’s CEO conceded that whilst it is a simplistic solution in the developed world, he stressed how the integration of such an application would have a revolutionary impact on parts of rural Africa. In addition to this, Khan said the e-Learning solution designed to transform education in underserved and unconnected regions of Africa also had the ability to be a complete game-changer. The YahClick CEO said, “I think our e-Learning solution will have a similar transformative impact. We would take a bricks and mortar classroom for granted and access to

INTERVIEW media for granted in the developed world. In many parts of Africa, they simply don’t have these luxuries we take as basic human rights. What e-learning does is basically increase the connectivity between educators in multiple class formats which then becomes a virtual classroom.” Khan added that this was only one leg of it, and the second leg of the solution involved collaborations with media and content partners. These agreements were secured in order to ensure that the content is available which alleviates the problem of three or four children having to share one textbook. According to Khan, the connectivity can be reached by accessing an iPad or any tablet that has WiFi capabilities. YahClick’s visionary leader then expressed how he didn’t want to focus too much on the solutions, but instead said it was important to examine the incredible societal benefits the introduction of both solutions would have in these rural parts of Africa. Khan added,” I don’t want to focus too much on the solutions, but more on the application and the principle of the socio-economic development it will have. I mean, it’s not entirely altruistic. We all want a better socio-economic environment within the world, but when I say it’s not entirely altruistic, obviously there is a monetizing operating model underneath it. One of the models that we have is that as Yahsat and YahClick, we don’t have licenses in each and every one of these countries. So what we do is identify a service partner that has a license. However, the service partner at the same time - and this is not coincidental - are also government agencies rolling out some government projects.” Khan explained that YahClick gets the benefit of rolling out the last mile in areas where fiber and copper aren’t practical or economically viable. However, at the same time, these partners then identify rural communities that are underserved

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and YahClick partners with the solution developers to create a tripartite agreement. In addition to this, Khan expressed his confidence in the projects and that he firmly believes both will be a massive success. Though, he did acknowledge that the operating model is still in its early stages, but said it was a ‘no-brainer’ for governments in Africa to address these two very specific and important issues. Khan concluded by saying, “This is the model we have, and whilst it’s still in its infancy, we’re very confident it’s going to be successful. We’ve done a number of proof-ofconcepts and we’re now at the stage where we’re going to government agencies - and we’re saying we’ve got this model and it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg. We can subsidize the CPE and subsidize the bandwidth and this is how we can work together.”

What is important to understand is the application and the permutation benefits linked to it


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COVERAGE

Ericsson solidifies its position as a global leader in 5G at MWC 19

Swedish telecommunications powerhouse Ericsson has further enhanced its reputation as one of the global leaders in providing 5G equipment, solutions and products with a number of major announcements at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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a ‘Focused Business Strategy’ coupled with a strategic increase in its R&D investment has positioned Ericsson as one of the frontrunners in 5G development. Many global operators are turning to Ericsson in an effort to help them accelerate the commercialization of their 5G networks.

However, the appointment of Ekholm almost two years ago has proved to be a masterstroke from Ericsson. The implementation of

Ericsson CEO keynote at MWC During his keynote presentation on Day 1 of Mobile World Congress, Ekholm said that in 2019 ‘5G would become a reality’.

ricsson has enjoyed a phenomenal recovery under the leadership of its CEO Borje Ekholm. The growth of the telecommunications vendor had stagnated under previous leadership and the company was in financial turmoil.

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“We are truly switching on 5G around the world in 2019 and it is beginning to become a reality. Consumers and enterprises are waiting for 5G. According to Ericsson Consumer-Lab research, one-third of smartphone users globally will change either immediately or within six months to a service provider that switches on 5G. Today, the US and Asia are leading in 5G development.” Ekholm said the first commercial scale 5G beneficiaries will be mobile broadband consumers with massive and highly cost-efficient capacity expansions facilitating new applications in augmented reality and virtual reality in areas such as gaming and sports broadcasts. But he also stressed how 5G would move the industry beyond consumer products and into the industrial internet, citing ongoing collaborations in both mobile robotics and all-electric, autonomous vehicles as examples. Ekholm also highlighted how Ericsson Radio System hardware has been


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5G-ready since 2015 and can be used also for 5G new radio (NR) with a remote software installation. This means that Ericsson has already shipped more than 3 million 5G-ready radios to its customers worldwide. Ericsson’s unique spectrum sharing capabilities and common core and dynamic orchestration solutions would put Ericsson customers in the lead with 5G. “Our unique Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is the most economically feasible way to introduce 5G in existing bands achieving immediate nationwide coverage,” he said. “We can dynamically mix 4G and 5G traffic on the same spectrum. Some said this kind of spectrum sharing was impossible. Wrong! Our engineers are truly world class. With spectrum sharing, our customers have a real 5G frontrunner advantage.” Ekholm announced that Ericsson intends to acquire Kathrein’s antenna and filters business for mobile networks. This will expand the company’s capabilities and competences in the advanced active and passive antenna domain. Ericsson will be adding around 4,000 highlyskilled professionals in R&D, production and sales based in more than 20 locations, including Germany, Romania, Mexico and China. 5G commercial contracts Ooredoo Qatar It was announced at MWC that Ericsson had been selected by Ooredoo Qatar to make its ‘supernet’ fully 5G-enabled and enhance the digital lives of people, enterprises and industries across Qatar. The 5G deal will see Ericsson radio system, 5G new radio solutions, and 10 Gbps microwave solutions digitally transform and modernize Ooredoo’s existing mobile networks and introduce the latest 5G technologies across the country. Ericsson’s high speed and low latency 5G technology will help Ooredoo to meet growing data traffic demands and deliver high quality mobile broadband

and fixed wireless experiences. Ooredoo is currently preparing about 1,200 network basestations to be 5G-ready. Once the network stations are completed and 5G-compatible devices reach the market, Ooredoo’s 5G network will be able to provide download speeds of up to 100 times faster than 4G networks. Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani, group chief executive officer, Ooredoo, said, “Our partnership with Ericsson will provide the 5G foundation for our Ooredoo supernet to enable Qatar’s smart cities, digitally competitive internet of things industries, and immersive mega-events and virtual reality experiences. As 5G becomes mainstream across Qatar, we are dedicated to transforming industries and enhancing people’s digital lives.” Rafiah Ibrahim, head of Market Area Middle East and Africa, Ericsson, said, “We are partnering with Ooredoo to bring our latest 5G innovation to life in their nationwide network. 5G promises to accelerate the digitization of industries, presenting Ooredoo with new opportunities and enabling them to launch the most advanced technologies while improving the end user experience with faster speeds and lower latency.” Ericsson recently enhanced its 5G platform with portfolio additions across core, radio access and

transport areas, as well as service orchestration. The add-ons make the platform more dynamic and flexible, enabling service providers to smoothly evolve their networks and deploy 5G at scale. Etisalat Ericsson was also selected by Etisalat to deploy a 5G radio network in UAE. The network will become operational in Q1 2019, enabling Etisalat to continue the expansion of the 5G network in UAE, and position UAE at the fore front of 5G network deployment globally. The deal is part of a strategic partnership which will also see Ericsson and Etisalat working together to explore 5G opportunities. Ericsson 5G network technology will allow Etisalat to offer enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access. These are among the first 5G use cases and will provide subscribers with higher throughput and better experiences. For example, new immersive experiences using augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) applications, such as watching a 360° immersive 4K video on VR goggles. The low latency 5G technology will also enhance the daily lives of people in the UAE with particular needs. For example, those with hearing impairment can receive voice-to-text


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managed to maintain technology leadership that serves millions of customers across Egypt with the latest and best quality of products and services. Working with Ericsson allows us to deploy the latest technologies on our 4G network, which will be an important component of our rapid transition to 5G.”

transcript on smart glasses using 5G and cloud solutions. Ericsson solution will also enable Etisalat to address industry 4.0 digitalization opportunities by exploring automation, AI and machine learning services for UAE industries, based on 5G capabilities. Saeed Al Zarouni, senior vice president, Mobile Network, Etisalat, says: “Our ability to provide 5G services is due to our commitment to invest in line with our strategy to ‘drive the digital future to empower the society’ with solutions and services that are at the forefront of the digital journey. This is an opportunity for Etisalat to provide customers futuristic digital services and a truly transformative, nationwide 5G network they deserve. 5G will also allow us to explore new use cases and business models as well as capture new revenue streams by addressing industry digitalization. This partnership is a major step in our plans to move into the digital future These technologies will provide a platform to create a unique customer experience and contributes to the UAE’s national innovation strategy.” Rafiah Ibrahim, head of Ericsson Middle East & Africa said, “5G unlocks the possibility of reshaping connectivity in the UAE, empowering

an intelligent, sustainable and connected society. Together with Etisalat, we have created a clear roadmap and built a robust ecosystem that will enable us to maximize the potential of 5G, including conducting market trials and exploring market potential. We look forward to continuing that close and trustful work with Etisalat to support to make 5G a reality for their customers.” At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson also announced the signing of two new contracts with Etisalat Misr to expand the latter’s 4G network capabilities and extend the managed services deal. These contracts are part of Etisalat and Ericsson’s strategic partnership to ensure the best network availability in Egypt. The first agreement entails expansion of current 4G capabilities, advanced features deployment all over Cairo as well as deploying 5G-ready Ericsson radio systems, which will boost Etisalat’s network capacity in greater Cairo. This will lead to an enhanced end user experience and deliver best in class services, which will serve the growing demand and expectations of Etisalat’s valuable customers. Khalid Murshed, chief technology officer at Etisalat Misr said, “We continue to be committed to bringing the best network to Etisalat Misr customers. At Etisalat Misr, we

Moreover, the second contract is an extension of the current managed services contract for a further five years. Ericsson helps to create sustainable differentiation for its managed services customers by evolving from network-centric operations to user experience-centric operations, using automation and artificial intelligence. “The recent partnerships with Etisalat Misr highlight our joint commitment to continue providing measurable improvements to secure network quality and performance. Going forward, Ericsson will continue to invest in automation to further increase network quality and shorten lead times while also implementing analytics to measure and enhance the subscribers’ experience,” Ibrahim said. To assist operators in the preparation of 5G, Ericsson will continue in 2019 to rollout its 5G RAN software, giving frontrunner operators the ability to turn on 5G in their existing LTE commercial networks. Further enhancements are expected as the 5G ecosystem evolves. For customers, the result will be higher data speeds and more capacity for a growing device ecosystem. Saudi Telecom Company Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Ericsson announced that they are launching a mid-band 5G network in Saudi Arabia at a signing ceremony which was held during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. STC is deploying a 5G network using Ericsson commercial hardware and solutions including radio access network (RAN), packet core, transport and Ericsson Network Manager. This


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network modernization with latest technologies of wireless and fixed broadband, boosted speed and 5G deployment will operate on a 3.5 GHZ band. The 5G network will be deployed with a third-party, 3GPPcompliant user equipment. Nasser Al Nasser, STC CEO, said, “We are excited to launch one of the fastest mid-band 5G field networks in the world. We have been working in close partnership with Ericsson on 5G for tests in the lab - field trials, and now initial deployment. Throughout this process, our customers and their service requirements are our top priority. Our aim is to build a network that caters for current and future services. 5G is considered as a very important step toward digitalization and connecting everything, which supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 toward economic diversification.” STC and Ericsson have a longstanding partnership to create a strategic roadmap for the evolution towards 5G technology. Rafiah Ibrahim, head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said, “5G holds an immense potential for driving industry digitization and pioneering innovation. Our collaboration with STC has enabled us to create a fast mid-band 5G field network based on real business needs, which supports STC in meeting their future customer requirements.” 5G at mid and high bands is well suited for deployment at existing site grids, especially when combined with lowband LTE. Adding new frequency bands to existing deployments is a future-proof and cost-efficient way to improve performance, meet the growing needs of mobile broadband subscribers and deliver new 5G-based services. In addition to facilitating the delivery of next generation mobile broadband, cloud and providing support for massive IoT deployment, Ericsson’s 5G collaboration with STC will also enable new industry use cases thanks

to increased throughput and reduced latency. Eng. Emad A. Alaoudah, Procurement and Support Services Sector VP, STC, said, “STC has signed multiple Rawafed Local Content agreements under its flagship 5G Aspiration Project with strategic partners. These agreements will open new opportunities for the local supply market and build long-term capability in the national ICT sector.” “The 5G project with all partners will contribute more than SAR2bn to local industry, boost Saudization in vital next-gen technology and management positions by 50percent, increase SME support by 20percent, and double the direct innovation investment made by STC strategic partners for 5G industry development within KSA. The measures taken will ensure maximal knowledge transfer, training and development of the Saudi workforce in future 5G technologies. “STC and its strategic partners have agreed upon accelerating 5G use case development within the Kingdom leveraging innovation hubs and long-term sustainable innovation platforms. These plans will establish KSA as a future 5G regional center of competence.” The combined effort of the two partners aims to create significant

value towards Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, targeting both consumer and business sectors to enjoy next generation technologies.

We are truly switching on 5G around the world in 2019


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How will the implementation of 5G affect the MENA region? In a consumer-led society, data is constantly and rapidly increasing knowing that whatever we need is in the palm of our hands. With the increased dependency on smartphones, it is no wonder that data usage has been increasing at such an unprecedented rate.

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ith the prevalence of 5G, we will be able to do the same things we do with our smartphones now, but more efficiently and a great deal faster than this new technology’s predecessor, 4G. 5G promises extra fast internet speeds as well as download and upload speeds around 10 to 20 times faster than 4G.

By 2024, it is expected that the demand for mobile broadband will increase dramatically, to around 30 million subscriptions in the MENA region. According to the MEA edition of Ericsson Mobility Report, this figure accounts for two percent of total mobile subscriptions. It has been speculated that 5G is expected to operate in countries with more advanced markets such as the likes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “It is anticipated that some 50

billion devices will be connected to mobile networks worldwide by 2020, and a large proportion of the communications will be between machine rather than humans. For a mobile network to carry the weight of the smart city of the future, it needs a fast, responsive and stable mobile network that can handle a vast amount of data. It needs 5G, and this is what we are gearing up for,” said Saleem Al Blooshi, chief infrastructure officer at Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company (EITC),


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which is the company behind UAEbased operator, du. According to a GSMA intelligence report on 5G in the MENA region, the key use case in these circumstances will be enhanced mobile broadband as applications and services for enterprises will be tested and in turn, introduced. With regards to the commercial aspect of the implementation of 5G, it will be a great opportunity for operators to increase their revenue. Some operators in the region such as du, Etisalat, STC and Zain, among others, plan to launch these services within the next two years. Operators in the region agree that the government, the mobile industry and some private sector players should work on developing a partnership that aims to work towards maximizing the potential of 5G in order to meet the increase demands of today’s digital society. This applies to all countries in the MENA region. The government should look at 5G as a promise for greater economic growth, progress and transformation within the industry and society as well. However, it is vital to consider the regulatory frameworks that will be involved in order to maximize the potential of 5G technology. Challenges With new technology come new challenges. According to a GSMA report on 5G implementation in the Middle East and North Africa, some of the key challenges involved are the limited number of smartphones that are compatible with 5G deployments, advances in immersive digital entertainment and the fact that the transition from the digital to the augmented consumer still needs more time to mature. “The most significant of these challenges will be implementing a network rollout plan that enables them to maximize the returns on their 4G investments of the past, but there will also be issues around the availability of sufficient spectrum, the conceptualization of new use

ICT FEATURE cases and business models, and the integration or migration of IoT technologies,” said Ranjit Rajan, associate vice-president of IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey. The current spectrum bands are becoming congested which, as a result, has caused breakdowns in service especially when a large number of people were in the same area trying to use mobile services online simultaneously. However, 5G can efficiently cope with thousands of devices simultaneously. A limitation to this technology would be the fact that 5G deployment involves purchasing a new phone specifically tailored for that technology to function. 5G handsets, which are currently in the making and are expected to be launched by the end of 2019, will be needed in order to access the enhanced broadband service. The smartphones that are compatible with 5G will be able to switch between 4G and 5G networks to ensure the best and most stable quality of service. Benefits Many people are of the belief that 5G will become vital to the efficiency of autonomous vehicles so that data traffic and live maps could be communicated properly. Unlike 5G, 4G mobile networks offer a speed of around 45 Mbps (megabits per second). Chipmaker Qualcomm believes that 5G could actually be 10 to 20 times faster than its predecessor when it comes to download speed. It is believed that a full length high definition film could be downloaded in just one minute. However, many countries are behind in the race of 5G deployment. Many are likely to launch 5G services after 2020; however, Qatar, Saudi and the UAE plan to implement it this year. In 2017, the smartphone industry contributed around $164 billion to the economy of the MENA region, which accounts for four percent of the GDP. This figure is expected to increase to about $200 billion by 2022. This is due to the fact that the industry will improve

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even further with its new technological developments which will in turn increase productivity and efficiency thus benefiting the region’s economy. An increase in the take-up of mobile services is also expected. It has been said that this growth in the industry will support many jobs as it did in the 2017. Back then, the mobile industry supported over 1 million jobs both within the industry and those which were directly affected and supported by the economic activity. From a mobile traffic perspective, the MENA region holds the highest growth forecast globally between 2018 and 2024 as mobile broadband subscribers are expected to double. Additionally, the combination of high app usage, a young population, favorable policies and relatively lower cost devices, investments are expected to increase within the telecoms sector. “As 5G now hits the market, its coverage build-out and uptake in subscriptions is expected to be faster than for previous generations. At the same time, cellular IoT continues to grow strongly. As networks mature and ecosystems evolve, service providers need to become increasingly agile to achieve the goal of profitable growth,” said Rafiah Ibrahim, head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa. There is an increase in opportunities for operators in the new consumeroriented services such as eSports, immersive reality and digitally enhanced entertainment places. What is more, is that video consumption via mobile devices will evolve due to the technology and it will include virtual reality and augmented reality applications which will cause content to be more data intensive and immersive. “The commercial launch of 5G services by operators in the Gulf Cooperation Council will be crucial,” said Rajan from IDC. “As such, they are positioning 5G as one of the key technologies underpinning the development of smart cities and the use of autonomous and connected vehicles, robots and drones.”


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VENDORS’ NEWS

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Huawei supports Saudi operator to carry out digitalization services and reduce operating costs of networks.

On the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Saudi Arabia’s Etihad Etisalat Company (Mobily) has signed a contract with Chinese tech giant Huawei to develop the quality of the Kingdom-based telecom firm’s

Under the agreement, Mobily will launch a simple network this year in a bid to restructure operating expenses and to be ready for self-operating in the future. This collaboration with the major Chinese telecommunications provider is expected to support Mobily’s

infrastructure, along with accelerating plans to carry out digitalization, which is part of Saudi Vision 2030, chief technology officer (CTO) Mazid Al Harbi said. In February 2018, the two Asian telecom service providers inked a contract to try fifth generation (5G) wireless network for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Qualcomm awarded $31m in patent legal battle with Apple the jury’s decision following a lengthy judicial process. US chipmaker Qualcomm has won its protracted legal battle with Apple over patented technology used in iPhones. A jury in a federal court in Southern California ordered that Apple pay Qualcomm $31m after deliberating that the smartphone manufacturing behemoth had committed patent infringements for chips used on iPhone 7, 8 and X models. The damages were tabulated from July 6, 2017, through the end of the trial, according to a Qualcomm statement. The legal representative for the chipmaker expressed delight

Qualcomm’s general counsel Don Rosenberg said, “Today’s unanimous jury verdict is the latest victory in our worldwide patent litigation directed at holding Apple accountable for using our valuable technologies without paying for them.”

A third patent related to promoting rich graphics in games while protecting battery life, according to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm shares closed the formal trading day up 2.2 percent to $56.60.

On another front in the complex legal battle between two US companies, a federal judge in Southern California recently issued a preliminary ruling that Qualcomm owes Apple nearly a billion dollars in patent royalty rebate payments the chip maker is withholding, according to US media reports.

The patents at the center of the issue in the case involved “flashless booting” that allows devices to connect quickly to the internet after being turned on and technology that lets smartphone apps move online data efficiently.

Apple sued Qualcomm two years ago over the payments, which were part of a contracted arrangement. The judge’s decision will be on pause until after a trial in the case. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CommScope’s new solution will enable operators to accelerate 5G adoption

As governments around the world invigorate broadband with investment in digital infrastructure, the number of 5G connections is expected to exceed one billion by 2025. The next few years are critical to building networks that will meet the demand. In anticipation of this need, CommScope is introducing its FISTTM Modular Splice Closure that assists network operators with building a fiber foundation for future networks.

Speed of deployment and shortage of skilled labor continue to be a challenge around large fiber connectivity deployments. CommScope’s FIST Modular Splice Closure addresses the need to keep pace with subscriber demands using plug-and-play technology. The modular build allows configurations on-site, reducing the need for site inspections and therefore decreasing rollout lead time. The new FIST Modular Splice Closure adapts to the constantly-changing needs of the network featuring the following innovations:

• Gel sealing technologies: composed of eight interchangeable and wrap around cold-seal segments that are field and factory installable • Wide range of cables: universal termination for 1-27 millimeter (mm) cables • FIST fiber management: single circuit and single-element splice trays with high levels of performance at high splice capacity • Easy install: removable base with easy access during installation and provisioning.


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VENDORS’ NEWS

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Ericsson launches new global AI education program

Ericsson and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) have formed a new partnership to educate and empower the next generation, with the partners to develop a new digital skill learning program that has specific emphasis on scaling up artificial intelligence (AI) skill development for young people. With the rapid deployment of advanced technologies such as mobile broadband, cloud, IoT,

automation and AI, a new set of skills is required to enter the workforce. There is an unprecedented opportunity to harness technologies and use them to advance not only economies but also to combat some of the world’s looming challenges. Next generation 5G services are set to play a key role in accelerating digitalization and the impact of technologies like AI. The impact of AI is also felt across the education sector where it has the potential to increase access, automate process, curate learning and improve outcomes in education. It will continue to bring new opportunities for enhanced learning, new forms of learning and offer more flexible lifelong learning pathways.

With this background, Ericsson and UNESCO are combining their respective strengths to create opportunities to scale up skill development in AI and other key digital skills for young people. Under the AI for youth initiative the partners will: • Develop and manage a repository of AI and other key digital skill training courses that will be available globally. • Build capacities of master trainers from selected countries around the globe with advanced knowledge of AI skill development. • Support master trainers to mobilize AI hub centers and hackathons to train young people on developing AI applications.

Huawei share in telecom equipment market registers an 8% increase great deal and other primary vendors have remained in the same position. Huawei is also at the top of the market in terms of wireless packet core (WPC).

A new report from analyst group Dell’Oro showed that Huawei holds 29% of the Telecom equipment market which puts it in a position ahead both Nokia and Samsung. The Chinese vendor’s market share has increased by 8% since 2013. In 2018, Huawei dominated the race, leading Nokia, Ericsson, ZTE, Samsung and Ciena as the primary equipment manufacturer. Dell’Oro found that all these companies

combined possessed around 80% of the global market revenue of service provider equipment. The market grew by a steady 1% in 2018, after three years of decline. This growth is due to an increased demand in broadband access, optical transport, microwave and other mobile technologies. However, Huawei is the only vendor in the market that is experiencing consistent growth. Indeed, ZTE declined by a

Senior analyst at Dell’Oro Group Dave Bolan said: “The modest growth of the WPC market in 4Q 218 was due to the 4G evolved packet core (EPC) technologies that service providers are using for 4G networks, but also for EPC use in upcoming 5G network deployments.” He added: “For 2018 WPC market shares, Huawei was the number one vendor based on revenues; however, Ericsson retained its first-place ranking for the EPC market that was the largest subsegment of the wireless packet core market.” Recently, the telecoms industry gathered in Barcelona for MWC where an abundance of discussions were around 5G. EE, Qualcomm, and OnePlus launched ‘5G Apps of Tomorrow’ and the GSMA found that by 2025, 15% of all mobile connections would be powered by 5G.


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Huawei growth proliferates despite vindictive and sinister US campaign effectively ban Huawei and ZTE from the US. The campaign shows no signs of abating with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, again warning Germany that if they use Huawei for their 5G buildout that it may interfere with intelligence sharing between Washington and Berlin.

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has recorded higher than projected revenue growth in the first two months of 2019, despite being the victims of a sinister and vindictive campaign being led by the United States. Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei disclosed that sales had increased by 35.8% in January and February

from the same period last year during a speech in Moscow. The Chinese vendor has been subjected to a sustained attack by the United States which has questioned its integrity and credibility by labelling it a severe threat to national security. The US has banned government agencies from using its equipment and President Donald Trump is reportedly going to issue an executive order which would

However, despite the intense scrutiny, Huawei is going from strength-tostrength and Huawei’s founder said the strong financial performance was a testimony to everyone’s efforts and said the company had become more unified in the face of adversity. The company’s revenue in 2018 increased 21 percent year on year to $108.5 billion and is forecast to rise 15 percent in 2019, which would be the same rate as in 2017. A month ago, Huawei said it had signed more than 30 5G contracts and shipped more than 40,000 compatible basestations. A representative said there was no update on those figures.

ZTE announces new patent applications filed in 2018 Moreover, the company’s cumulative PCT patent applications have reached over 29,000 in total. It is the 9th consecutive year for ZTE to be among top 5 PCT applicants worldwide. ZTE was ranked 1st in PCT patent applications in 2011, 2012, and 2017 respectively. ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the mobile internet, announced that it has filed 2,080 patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2018, ranking 5th in the number of published PCT applications, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s latest annual table of patent applicants in 2018.

By December 31, 2018, ZTE had cumulatively filed over 73,000 patents globally, with more than 35,000 granted worldwide. As a major participant and contributor to global 5G technological researches and standardization, ZTE has been intensifying its investment in 5G arena. To date, ZTE has submitted more than 7,000 5G NR/NexGenCore standard proposals and over 3,000 5G patent applications to international organizations, such as 3GPP.

In addition, ZTE has declared over 1,200 families of 3GPP 5G standard-essential patents(SEP) to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), with more than 300 patents related to 5G devices. ZTE is poised for 5G end-to-end commercialization by making comprehensive product deployments in key fields including wireless, transport, core network, vertical industry application and device, and it has completed the intellectual property layouts in these fields, aimed at guaranteeing the carryout of 5G services. Furthermore, ZTE has widely collaborated with 30 global operators in 5G, maintaining its industry-leading position in the commercial network practices of 5G key technologies.


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MWC 2019 participants put the spotlight on 5G

Under the theme “Intelligent Connectivity”, this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress was held in Barcelona, and gathered like it does every year global companies aiming to showcase how they are spearheading the technological revolution.

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ore than 109,000 visitors from over 198 countries and territories attended MWC19 Barcelona, the mobile industry’s premier event. Over 55 percent of this year’s MWC attendees held senior level positions, including more than 7,900 CEOs. More than

2,400 companies showcased the latest technology, products and services across 120,000 net square meters of exhibition and hospitality space at Fira Gran Via. Attendees explored the era of intelligent connectivity: the overarching theme of MWC’s 2019 events that describes the powerful combination of flexible, high speed 5G networks, IoT, AI and big data.

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Everyone attending the exhibition was expecting to see revolutionary innovations and witness live use cases of the most developed and advanced technologies, and indeed, this is what MWC 2019 was all about. 5G, however, was the most anticipated. Attendees were able to experience the technology’s impact, and telecommunications companies announced 5G partnerships and MoUs that will allow the acceleration of 5G’s rollout. Huawei was one of the main exhibitors at the Mobile World Congress with a very remarkable presence in different exhibition halls. Huawei’s main exhibition hall – Hall 1 – was designed around the theme of “The Digital Village”, representing the combination of technology and culture. The Digital Village provides a platform that brings together global industry elites and KOLs, allowing them to exchange ideas and discuss what challenges and opportunities the fully connected,


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intelligent world will bring to humanity. Huawei showcased its end-to-end 5G products and solutions, ranging from simplified 5G sites and 5G integrated transport, to 5G cloud core and simplified 5G O&M. The highlight of Huawei’s participation at Mobile World Congress was revealing the first 5G foldable smartphone: the Huawei Mate X. Reflecting the DNA of the HUAWEI Mate Series, the HUAWEI Mate X represents a voyage into uncharted territory. The HUAWEI Mate X combines 5G, foldable screen, AI and an all new mode of interfacing to provide consumers with an unprecedented user experience and bring forth a new breed of smartphone. Huawei announced several 5G partnerships with global operators. In the MENA region, the Chinese telecom vendor partnered with Etisalat in the UAE. Etisalat will be able to deliver innovative solutions and services targeting various sectors including education, healthcare and transport, among others. This will enable the use of advanced technologies, high speed services, cutting-edge and innovative applications. As part of the agreement, Huawei will offer its latest state-ofthe-art network solutions including 5G wireless and 5G service-oriented core, and 5G-ready transport network to facilitate smooth 5G technology adaption. In the KSA, Huawei signed the “Aspiration Project” contract, which contains wireless network modernization and 5G network construction. This contract aims to drive the Saudi ICT industry development and ultimately support the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision and National Transformation Program 2020. Ericsson’s participation at Mobile World Congress 2019 was also very fruitful in terms of 5G agreements. Ericsson has been selected by Etisalat to deploy a 5G radio network in the UAE. The network will become operational in Q1 2019, enabling Etisalat to continue the expansion of the 5G network in the UAE, and positions the UAE at the

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forefront of 5G network deployment globally. The deal is part of a strategic partnership which will also see Ericsson and Etisalat working together to explore 5G opportunities. Moreover, Ooredoo Qatar has selected Ericsson to make its ‘supernet’ fully 5G-enabled and enhance the digital lives of people, enterprises and industries across Qatar. The 5G deal will see Ericsson radio system, 5G new radio solutions, and 10 Gbps microwave solutions digitally transform and modernize Ooredoo’s existing mobile networks and introduce the latest 5G technologies across the country. Ericsson’s high speed and low latency 5G technology will help Ooredoo to meet growing data traffic demands and deliver high quality mobile broadband and fixed wireless experiences. Furthermore, Telecom Egypt and Ericsson announced a collaboration at the Mobile World Congress 2019 on the upgrade of Telecom Egypt’s cloud core network and the deployment of artificial intelligence. Telecom Egypt and Ericsson completed the successful deployment of AI to its full-stack telco cloud infrastructure. The objective is to operate telco cloud environment intelligently and efficiently to enable cloud automation and orchestration. The two companies will now begin to onboard other services to address further market segments and opportunities, while ensuring business continuity management and automation process evolution of live solutions. On another note, the two companies also announced the upgrade of Telecom Egypt’s cloud core network to be 5G-ready. Telecom Egypt had gone live in September 2017 with the Ericsson virtual evolved packet core deployed on Ericsson’s proven network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVI). The solution is prepared for 5G and enables Telecom Egypt to improve speed, efficiency and agility for operations of current business and when addressing new opportunities.

Telecom Egypt has also announced a partnership with Nokia whereby they will build the first cloud infrastructure in Egypt exclusively for IoT services. Telecom Egypt will use Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) as a service as the platform to launch IoT services for the enterprise segment later this year. As part of an MoU, Nokia and Telecom Egypt will also explore joint marketing initiatives and will work to accelerate the development of an IoT partner ecosystem in the country. A number of IoT use cases drive automation, which will help enterprises cut their operational expenses, enhance productivity and bring new services to market faster. Nokia will also collaborate with Dawiyat Integrated Telecommunications and Information Technology Company, part of Saudi Electricity Corporation (SEC), on multiple projects to develop the ecosystem for Industry 4.0 in the country. Nokia’s path-breaking solutions and Dawiyat Integrated’s vision will together help in building infrastructure for the next generation of services.


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Under the terms of the MoU, Nokia and Dawiyat Integrated will work together on multiple initiatives: • 10 million smart meters to serve the citizens and businesses all over the Kingdom in accordance with the NTP 2020. Nokia’s solutions and expertise will help Dawiyat Integrated to better manage the infrastructure and use analytics for an improved customer experience. • Nokia and Dawiyat Integrated will jointly explore working to deploy Industry 4.0 infrastructure and smart industrial solutions to enable companies to benefit from increased productivity and efficiency with integrated infrastructure and services. • Nokia will also be one of the technology partners for deployment of a Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) and IP Multi Protocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) communications infrastructure for Dawiyat Integrated FTTH infrastructure. • In addition, Nokia and Dawiyat will collaborate to develop solutions to help the mining industry use digital solutions to adapt to fluctuations in demand, better control operational expenditures and enhance safety. In the framework of the Mobile World Congress, ZTE Corporation - a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the mobile internet - hosted 5G Summit 2019 to showcase its commitment to embracing 5G era. The Summit brought together over 300 executives and representatives from world-renowned telecom operators, chip makers and vertical industries to explore how a smarter, connected world can be built. ZTE’s key global customers and partners, including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, VEON, Telenor, Telkomsel, Wind Tre, Qualcomm, Intel and Tencent attended the summit to share their 5G network deployment experience and business model innovation. “As the leading pioneer in 5G, ZTE has the full range of end-to-end products

and solutions, and will explore 5G development together with all of you,” said Wang Xiyu, ZTE’s CTO, in his opening speech for the Summit. “Adhering to technology leadership, ZTE will be committed to being the best partner of all of you.” With 5G in mind, one can’t help but think about Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, that announced at Mobile World Congress, the PC industry’s first commercial 5G PC Platform the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 8cx 5G compute platform.

Featuring the groundbreaking secondgeneration Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X55 5G modem, the Snapdragon 8cx 5G platform will help PC manufactures take advantage of the global rollout of 5G networks. With the power and performance of a premium thin and light PC, the Snapdragon 8cx 5G will modernize how people connect, compute and communicate with their PCs. This new PC platform will impact consumers, small businesses the enterprise and those on the go by enabling multi-gigabit connectivity, multi-day battery life and performance computing in a modern device.


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CABSAT 2019 explores how broadcasters can cope with growing demand for content His Highness Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, director general of Dubai Department of Information, officially opened the 25th edition of CABSAT – which is recognized as the definitive event for broadcast media and entertainment content across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA).

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is Highness toured the exhibition halls, meeting with exhibitors who gathered in Dubai for the influential annual meet of broadcast technology pioneers, which lasted for three days at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The three-day event is the leading specialist platform for the broadcast, satellite, digital media and filmed entertainment industries. It marks its 25th year with a fresh, newly evolved format carefully devised to bring the full content creation, production, post production satellite, OTT video, e-sports, digital media and entertainment ecosystem together to both understand and grasp the opportunities that the new wave of anytime, anywhere media offers. “For 25 years now, CABSAT has provided an essential gateway to new broadcasting technologies for media experts and professionals based across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia,” said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre. “The equipment and know-how that CABSAT has brought to the market has helped the region become the media hub that it is today. This year, we deal head-on with the new tools and opportunities born from the seismic shift the media landscape has experienced in recent years, enabling all our visitors to

be in prime position to take advantage of this new, thrilling era of internet-led broadcasting.” Returning for 2019 is CABSAT’s influential Content Congress, which united more than 250 creative visionaries, technological disruptors and industry influencers for active debate and discussions accounting for all channels of broadcast, and feature speakers from many of the world’s biggest media brands, including Fox International, Viacom, Starz play, CNN, Dolby and Twitter. Topics ranged from ‘TV – a failing behemoth?’ to ‘Arabic TV – Why is the MENA region a heavy consumer of foreign content and can’t produce products that compete globally?’, with speakers including Dr. Ibrahim Abu Zekri, president of the Arab Union of TV and Radio Producers; Amanda Turnbull, vice president & general manager at Discovery Networks Middle East and Africa; and Raffaele Annecchino, president and managing director, Southern & Western Europe at MEA Viacom International Media Networks. As content becomes screen-agnostic, the latest cameras, lenses and lighting have never been more in demand. CABSAT’s Content Production pillar showcased these very latest technologies, while diving deep into the AI, AR/VR and 5G advances reshaping the media conversation entirely. Along similar lines, CABSAT’s debut Photography Workshop offered free to attend seminars and

learning sessions presented by leading professionals. A new arrival at CABSAT, Flix on 86, hosted in collaboration with MENA TV and UTURN Entertainment, brought a range of original Arabic and international content via live cinema screenings. Flix on 86 provided a unique opportunity for creators to screen fresh content to media buyers. Screenings included serial dramas, documentaries, comedy, kid’s entertainment, animated series and more, and was followed by brief Q&A sessions with the creators. Responding to the demand of a booming new industry, analysts are already projecting to be worth as much as $USD2.5 billion by 2020, CABSAT has launched an e-sports Pavilion for 2019. The dedicated invite-only sector was home to everything e-sports, with 18 leading industry experts who discussed opportunities across the plethora of original revenue generators the skyrocketing gaming phenomenon presents. The eSports pavilion provided an unrivalled opportunity to broadcasters, advertising and marketing agencies, premium brands and game developers.


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GLOSSARY-G-

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Gateway

A gateway is a hardware device that acts as a “gate” between two networks. It may be a router, firewall, server or other device that enables traffic to flow in and out of the network.

GDPR

Stands for “General Data Protection Regulation”. GDPR, also known as Regulation (EU) 2016/679, is a European Union law drafted on April 27, 2016, and instituted on May 25, 2018. It replaces the EU Data Protection Directive, which was adopted in 1995. The primary purpose of GDPR is to protect the personal data of residents of countries within the European Union (EU).

Generic access network (GAN)

In telecommunication systems, a generic access network (GAN) is used by cellular device users to connect and interact with other types of communication devices. GAN protocols primarily evolved for wireless communication systems, allowing mobile phones to perform functions seamlessly between wireless local area networks (WLANs) and wide are networks (WANs) without interrupting the communication session. Modern GAN technology permits a subscriber to interact via voice, data, IP multimedia subsystem and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) applications.

Green computing

Green computing is the environmentally responsible and eco-friendly use of computers and their resources. In broader terms, it is also defined as the study of designing, engineering, manufacturing, using and disposing of computing devices in a way that reduces their environmental impact.

Guest virtual machine

A guest virtual machine (Guest VM) refers to a virtual machine that is installed, executed and hosted on the local physical machine. A guest virtual machine is implemented on the local workstation or server, and is powered entirely by the machine hosting it. A guest virtual machine runs simultaneous to the host machine.


EVENTS’ CALENDAR

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Seamless ME Seamless is the region’s leading payments and commerce technology conference and exhibition. The event has separate conference agendas covering the world of Payments, Fintech, Ecommerce, Retail and Identity. With one shared free-to-attend exhibition hosting 350 of the region’s leading technology providers.

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Place: Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center, Dubai, UAE

Lebanon’s leading international technology exhibition will be back in April. In its last edition, SmartEx attracted thousands of local and regional business executives, presenting a wide range of industries looking for the latest technological innovations for their business

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APRIL

SmartEx 2019

APRIL- MAY

Place: Seaside Arena, Beirut, Lebanon

Ai Everything Summit The Ai Everything Summit is a culmination of the UAE and the world’s mission to promote initiatives, collaborations, partnerships and breakthroughs in the field of AI, and to foster positive impact on governments, businesses, social enterprises and humankind.

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Place: Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE

Broadband Forum Asia brings together telco operators, ISPs, broadcasters and the digital TV community to discuss building next generation networks and drivers of faster speeds. Place: AVANI Riverside Hotel, Bangkok

Latest updates on: www.telecomreview.com

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MAY

Broadband Asia


EVENTS’ CALENDAR

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The goal of the 3rd edition of the AI for Good Global Summit is to connect AI innovators with problem owners and to identify practical applications of AI to advance the SDGs. The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the ITU in partnership with UN Sister agencies, XPRIZE Foundation and ACM.

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MAY

AI for Good Global Summit

Place: Geneva, Switzerland

JUNE

CommunicAsia CommunicAsia continues to be Asia’s key international Information and Communication Technology (ICT) trade event. Into its 30-year edition, the event consistently delivers a highly relevant show experience for ISPs, Satellite Operators, System Integrators, Mobile Operators amongst many others in Asia.

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Place: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

MWC Shanghai 2019 is Asia’s leading event for next-generation technology – 5G, IoT, AI, big data and beyond. This year, the most influential and industry dominating companies and organizations will come together to explore the depths of Intelligent Connectivity.

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JUNE

MWC Shanghai

DECEMBER

Place: Shanghai, China

Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit

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The 13th edition of the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit will be held in Dubai to shed light on the industry’s latest ICT trends through interesting panels and keynotes that will be given by prominent industry leaders. Place: Dubai, UAE

Latest updates on: www.telecomreview.com


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