Kingdom of Bahrain

superoskarin

TT_Jan17

Issue 133

MEET ICT & BITEX

Special

Kingdom of

Bahrain

to be digitally enabled

in line with the

global trend

Eng. Muna Al Hashemi

CEO, Batelco Bahrain

January 2017


Meet ICT & BITEX _ AD.pdf 5 12/8/16 11:26 AM

تحت رعاية سعادة المهندس

كمال بن أحمد محمد وزير المواصلات و اتصالات

Under the Patronage of H.E Eng.Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed,

The Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications

JOIN THE 7TH EDITION

OF THE LEADING ICT

EVENT IN BAHRAIN

2017

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Gulf Hotel, Kingdom of Bahrain

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January 2017

12 th year of publication

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AN EVENT OF

Mobile has become fundamental to our everyday lives.

It has inextricably changed how we communicate,

interact, work and play as individuals. It is

transforming entire industries, bringing new levels

of productivity and efficiency to enterprises.

Over three decades, mobile has evolved from an

emerging communications technology to a

phenomenon that is now at the foundation of

everything we do. How can we describe the role

of mobile in today’s world?

Elemental.

Mobile is revolutionary, dynamic, ever adapting.

It’s the force behind every emerging innovation, every

forward-thinking enterprise. Join us in Barcelona for

Mobile World Congress 2017, where the world comes

together to showcase, celebrate and advance mobile.

WWW.MOBILEWORLDCONGRESS.COM


23 33

2016 has been a year of great transformation

Liu Dianfeng, CEO - CMPak (China Mobile)

A year in review and the future outlook

Riyadh Al Adely, Managing Director - SkyStream

Interviews

19 C5 provides a highly tailored programme in the

form of Cloud10

Hadyah Fathalla, Executive Director, C5 Accelerate

20

This year we expect to see integration

with key players in the industry

Eng. Muna Al Hashemi, CEO, Batelco Bahrain

Telecom, IoT and AI

08 The evolution of communications

14 Etisalat Group active to promote

telecommunications services in UAE

16 US to continue to assist India in

development of ‘Smart Cities’ under Trump

22

47

STC announced 4th quarter financial results

26 Huawei secures top spot at Etisalat

Strategic Suppliers Awards

29 The Levant’s rising Digital Economy creates

new opportunities for tech entrepreneurs

Cyber Security in 2017

30

Qualcomm has always been the leader in

pioneering next generation technology

Jay Srage, President, MEA & Southeast Asia - Qualcomm


Letter to Readers

Dear Reader

2016 has been a year of great challenges and transformation

for all of us. As we move towards a Global Data Economy, the

roles of all players are fast changing to accommodate for today’s

needs and market conditions. You will find a lot of interesting

interviews and opinions on the past year and what we are looking

forward to in 2017 in this edition.

11

Brand-building takes time, especially when done globally

Joy Tan, President Global Media Communications - Huawei

Event Reports

17

29

32

36

MEET ICT and BITEX 2017

to be held under the patronage of

H.E. Eng. Kamal Bin Ahmed Mohammed,

Minister of transport and telecommunications,

Kingdom of Bahrain

Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre

hosts UN / UAE - High Level Forum

Satellite Communications

Moving closer to delivering the home WiFi

experience to users on the move

“Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic

Sustainable Development”

One of my recommended reads is the interview with Joy

Tan, President of Global Media Communications at Huawei

Technologies. She talks about Huawei’s journey on a global

level, brand-building (Huawei is now one of the most well-known

global telecom brands) and the future outlook for one of the

world’s largest telecommunications companies.

You will find exclusive insights from other industry leaders in this

edition such as Liu Dianfeng, CEO of Zong (China Mobile) and Jay

Srage, President, MEA and SEA – Qualcomm.

Bahrain has been a key Middle East market demonstrating good

growth in terms of market size, level of technology and user

adoption over the past years. We are now looking at MEET ICT

& BITEX Bahrain in the 2nd week of February 2017. The event

will focus on discussion on the Bahrain ICT market, its role

in the regional market and connect Bahrain ICT players with

other players within the region and beyond. Teletimes is the

International Media Partner to this event and will be actively

participating there. I am personally available to meet any of our

readers and partners at the event and can be directly reached at

khalidathar@teletimesinternational.com

When we talk about Bahrain, it is impossible to not mention

Batelco – you will find in this edition an exclusive interview with

Eng. Muna Al Hashemi the CEO of Batelco.

As always, your feedback is welcome and much appreciated at

info@teletimesinternational.com

Please enjoy reading this edition of Teletimes International!

40

42

43

Selevision chooses Voddler Group

to optimise quality of experience

EUTELSAT 117 West B now in commercial service

Ericsson and SpeedCast International

announce global partnership

Scan to download PDF version

Follow @TeletimesIntl on Twitter


ARTICLE

The

evolution of

communications

Toby Ruckert

CEO - Unified Inbox

Back in the day, people talked

in person. Communications

was exclusively synchronous,

complete with sight, sound,

and even smell (both good

and bad). Then came the breakthrough

technology of letters, and before we knew

it, communications became possible on

different channels.

Today, we now use dozens of different

synchronous (live) and asynchronous

communications channels at home and at

work. These include everything from ink on

paper letters to emails and from chat and

messaging apps to social media.

Interestingly, at this point of

communications evolution our

asynchronous text-based messaging —

thanks to the rich media of photos, videos,

audio, emoji, and stickers — enable us

to engage our senses (with the notable

exception of smell, so far) more than a live

audio conversation does.

This, combined with the sheer speed and

convenience of being able to express our

every thought, feeling, and opinion anytime

and from anywhere, has made text-based

messaging our most frequently used

method of communications.

Which industries are affected by this

evolution?

Pretty much all industries will over time

be affected by this constant evolution of

communications. But there are some which

have communications as their core DNA

and therefore will be disrupted first.

Telecom Companies

While all telecoms offer internet packages,

often with unlimited access to our choice

of different messaging services through

their pipes, customers still perceive them

as being voice-driven. As a whole, telecoms

have not yet managed to move up the

value chain to be perceived as innovators,

value creators, and service providers for

how people want to communicate. Many

millennials view the telcos in the same

way as previous generations view electric

utilities — dull, but necessary. What matters

to them is their device, not who powers it or

how it connects to the internet. There is a

huge opportunity for telecoms to reposition

and rebrand themselves to better engage

current and future generations.

Postal Companies

Suffering with increased costs, decreased

margins and the immense pressure of

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the world as a whole moving away from

postal to electronic communications,

postal companies are gravely affected by

this communications evolution. With few

exceptions, they have little or no history,

experience or technology when it comes to

pushing for a more digital world.

That said, they know where people live

and who stays in one household together.

Consequently they have an unique ability

to leverage identities in a physical-digital

world fabric. However whether they can

eventually make use of this opportunity

remains to be seen.

Device Manufacturers and Software

Companies

Interaction with technology is greatly

changing alongside the evolution of

communications – both in terms of

hardware as well as software. In software

we’re seeing the rise of chatbots and

hardware is getting a personality makover

of its own. This is driven by design thinking

and human device interaction: so far we

literally had to be “in touch” with our

devices in order to operate them, but now

communications and control is available

from our smartphones via the same

messaging platforms which push chat

bots and manage our human to human

communications electronically already

(refer to “How People and Machines

communicate in Future” for more detail).

Therefore it is an enormous opportunity

for both makers and developers to

accelerate their development and offering

by having an innovation strategy in place

which is aligned with the evolution of

communications.

Becoming an enabler for IoT – the

Internet of Things

No matter which industry you’re in, the

ongoing evolution of communications will

touch your work and customers. The easiest

way to not get disrupted in the process is

to be aligned with the current phase of this

communications evolution, to see and to

seize the opportunities that come with it,

and to potentiatlly even become a force for

disruption in your own industry.

In the current state of this evolution,

IoT plays a dominant role. Becoming an

enabler for IoT, or, at the minimum, having

a strategy in place which supports those

enabling this next phase would certainly

create new opportunities but at the very

least could simply ensure survival.

The above example industries could all be

key influencers in IoT. Telcos could be part

of the “I”nternet’s infrastructure, postal

companies manage the “o”f identities

between man and machine and device

makers and software developers naturally

develop “T”hings for IoT.

The glue which brings it all together is

“intelligent IoT messaging”. It’s easier (and

safer!) for smart, connected machines

to talk with humans using text-based

messaging. Technologically speaking,

the apps we currently use to control and

manage our smart devices are all API-driven

anyway. Therefore – for now – text trumps

voice recognition as it eliminates the

problems of understanding different voices,

accents, and dialects.

Eventually of course there will be an

Artificial General Intelligence (or “AGI”)

powered interface which rules them all –

whether that is messaging, voice or thought

(see below “Future Outlook”) based – but

that is likely still years away. Often it is

not technology which isn’t ready, but our

behaviour in society. For instance it would

still be awkward (at best) for you to host

your next dinner party while yelling at all

of your appliances as you entertain your

guests.

In the meantime text-based messaging

offers us the privacy and security of

controlling our smart devices and having

them communicate with us without others

even noticing. Your appliances, for example,

could tell you when each food is ready.

Future Outlook

Research tells us the generation currently

entering the workforce prefer text-based

messaging for communications in both their

human and their machine relationships.

I predict, however, that the next

generations, those born after 2020, will

prefer voice. After seeing their parents

glued to their screens, they will long for

voice-based interaction and (following) its

easy, intuitive commands driven by AGIpowered

personal assistants.

Latest 2040, I believe thought-based

communications will start to be en

vogue and then making the channel use

irrelevant. This certainly guarantees that

each generation will become even more

impatient than the last.

Electric communication will never be a

substitute for the face of someone who with

their soul encourages another person to be

brave and true” – Charles Dickens

The takeaway for makers, researchers and

developers?

For the next five years, focus on text

integration rather than building an app; and

latest from 2020 on, focus on direct voice

integration with AGI-powered assistants.

The underlying technologies of AGI and

intelligent IoT messaging will evolve over

the next decade so developers can continue

to create the next generation of messaging

technologies alongside the ongoing

communications evolution.

10 January 2017


INTERVIEW

Brand-building

takes time, especially

when done globally

Joy Tan

President, Global Media

Communications

Huawei Technologies

Interview - Khalid Athar

Khalid Athar: As a thought leader, you

have contributed new insights on the

developments taking place within the

ICT sector. What developments or trends

within the industry do you feel have been

the biggest drivers of business growth?

Joy Tan: ICT growth is being driven by

several forces, all of which will be familiar to

readers of Teletimes International. They are

Cloud computing, online video, the Internet

of Things (IoT), and digital transformation.

Cloud computing creates opportunities

for companies to create new products,

services, and business models. Large

companies have already embraced the

Cloud, and small and mid-sized enterprises

are beginning to follow suit. In fact, the big

trend that Huawei sees in Cloud computing

is what might be called the Industry Cloud.

It’s actually not a single cloud at all, but

thousands of distinct, separate clouds

spanning different industry verticals.

Huawei projects that by 2025, 85% of

enterprise applications will be deployed

in the Cloud, and that every company will

integrate its core business with the Cloud.

Online video is putting huge pressure on

data networks. Gaming, streaming video,

virtual and augmented reality, not to

mention video captured by sensors in the

Internet of Things – all will increase this

pressure over time and deepen society’s

reliance on the network. More data means

more opportunities to apply analytics

that produce business insights and, in

many cases, social benefits. Of course,

many people watch video on their phones,

creating demand for our smartphones,

tablets, and other devices.

The IoT will create estimated 100b

connections within the next 10 years, a

significant driver of business for Huawei.

This means companies will operate in a web

of digital connections – a digital ecosystem.

Industries that never had to work together

before will have to start collaborating.

Much of that collaboration will happen

through the Cloud.

The Cloud is also central to the fourth

big trend, Digital Transformation – the

process whereby companies become

digital enterprises. To become digital,

companies have to integrate the Cloud

into their production processes. This will

give them access to advanced technologies

like data analytics, mobile broadband, and

the Internet of Things. With these new

resources, companies will be able to deliver

products and services at scale, in a way that

is flexible, customized, and innovative.

Again, all of these trends – video, cloud, IoT,

and digital transformation – are going to

increase society’s reliance on the network.

That means that sound ICT regulatory

policy and secure, stable networks will be

essential requirements for prosperity and

growth.

KA: How has 2016 been a

transformational year for Huawei as a

top technology brand among businesses

as well as end-users of your handheld

devices and digital platforms?

January 2017

11


JT: Brand-building takes time, especially

when done globally, and in 2016 Huawei

saw steady improvement in our brand

recognition. We rose to #72 on Interbrand’s

global brand ranking, moving up 16 spots or

18 percent from 2015. In 2016, in addition to

product ads, we launched a comprehensive

corporate branding campaign. It used a

series of images and stories to convey to

our key stakeholders as well as the general

public who we are, where we came from,

and what we stand for. This campaign has

run in many countries and regions. I believe

you can see the impact in our business,

which has grown substantially this year.

KA: What is Huawei’s global marketing

vision as the world’s leading

telecommunications company, which

some argue, many consumers in the

Western world don’t know much about?

JT: Again, we’ve begun talking more about

our values, what we believe and why we do

what we do. We don’t want to be known

simply as a company that makes phones,

or network switching equipment, even

though we do make those things. We want

to be known as a company that enables the

digital, intelligent society of the future.

That may sound a bit abstract, but it’s really

not. In an intelligent world, factories will run

more efficiently, farmers will use less water

and get better crop yields, streetlamps will

use less electricity, and nearly everything

will emit less carbon. People will have

access to always-on medical services and

education. Cities will be safer. The potential

for improving the quality of everyday life

is immense. You can get bogged down in

the bits and bytes, but as a communicator,

I always try to emphasize technology’s

benefits to people and society.

KA: What specific endeavours by your

team of media and communications

professionals have helped elevate

Huawei’s standing as a top technology

player on the global scale?

JT: One of Huawei’s core principles is to

remain customer-centric, and if you’re in

Corporate Communications, your main

customers are the media. My team tries to

apply that philosophy to our engagement

with journalists around the world. We give

them information that provides context

for their stories, so they in turn can help

their audiences better understand not just

Huawei has been investing in 5G research since

2009. We collaborate closely with top universities

including Harvard, University of California at

Berkeley, and Cambridge, and to date have

published more than 250 research papers

about 5G technology”

Huawei, but the technological changes

affecting the economy and the world.

One new thing we did last year was to start

an influencer marketing function aimed at

Key Opinion Leaders, or KOLs – bloggers

and other people who may not be accredited

journalists, but are nevertheless shaping

conversations related to technology in

general, and Huawei in particular. We look

for people who have substantial online

followings, or who have a strong influence in

specific areas such as cloud computing, safe

cities, robotics, or fintech. Currently we have

more than 100 KOLs. In 2016, they shared

Huawei-related content that reached 39

million people.

KA: How is Huawei promoting its

innovation and best practices particularly

within South Asia and the MENA region?

JT: In the Middle East, Huawei manages

more than 24 operators’ networks in more

than 10 countries. We have three resource

centers dedicated to Managed Services, and

three training centers across the region. We

partner with leading local organizations to

create innovation centers in the UAE, Saudi

Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and elsewhere.

We also invest in local talent through our

“Seeds for the Future” program. Partners

in that program include leading universities

such as King Fahd University of Petroleum

and Minerals, UAE Higher Colleges of

Technology, King Saud University, Kuwait

University, Texas A&M University in Qatar,

and the University of Bahrain. We also work

with regulatory and other government

authorities, and with organizations such as

Aramco, UAE TRA, Saudi CITC, Oman TRA.

In South Asia, Huawei’s Lean GSM

solution helped Telenor India in its digital

transformation project. Among other things,

we provided green solutions that reduced

power consumption by nearly one-third and

increased spectrum efficiency and network

capacity by more than 30%. Telenor took

that saved spectrum and used it to launch

an affordable high-speed internet service

to a mass market in India. Last August, we

set up a Global Services Center (GSC) in

Bangalore with an investment of over US

$20 million. And in partnership with Flex, a

contract manufacturer, last fall we started

manufacturing Smart Phones in India.

KA: What are your views on IoT for

telecom operators, on its sustainability

practices, and how should it be viewed by

the general public in terms of its potential

contributions to enhancing quality of life?

JT: IoT is a big contributor to sustainability.

It’s already making a difference in agriculture

by helping farmers in drought-stricken

regions conserve water. In California, for

example, some farmers are already using

20% less water to grow their crops because

of IoT technology. This increases yields,

while lowering costs. Smart power grids will

use IoT sensors that help operators manage

loads more efficiently and check meters

remotely. Buildings will use less energy and

emit less carbon. Huawei recently conducted

a year-long pilot experiment in China where

a four-story office building employed

energy-control systems using IoT sensor

technology. After just one year, the building

had saved the equivalent of 165 tons of coal.

Rolled out across China, such programs

could reduce air pollution substantially.

Manufacturing, public infrastructure, and

many other areas will also benefit from the

efficiencies created by the IoT.

KA: What R&D leadership role has Huawei

taken to accelerate the development of

5G technologies, and do you also view

2020 as being the year of 5G’s widespread

availability?

JT: Huawei has been investing in 5G research

since 2009. We collaborate closely with top

universities including Harvard, University of

California at Berkeley, and

12 January 2017


Cambridge, and to date have published

more than 250 research papers about 5G

technology through our engagement with

these leading schools. We have more than

2,000 research scientists and other experts

working on 5G, and have established 11 5G

research centers around the world. In the

five years between 2013 and 2018, Huawei

will invest at least US$600m in 5G research

and innovation.

We’ve also been promoting 5G

standardization. In the EU, we’ve played

a leading role in the 5G PPP project. We

are the founding member of 5GIC, a 5G

innovation center in the UK. With respect

to 5G as it relates to the industrial IoT,

we are a founding member of the 5G

Vertical Industry Accelerator program,

through which we collaborate with various

industry sectors in Europe in finding and

encouraging early adoption of 5G IoT

solutions.

There have been several early 5G precommercial

adoptions, such as the 2018

Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, the

2018 World Cup in Russia, the 2020 Olympic

Games in Japan, and Expo 2020 in the UAE.

Huawei has been actively involved in all of

them.

KA: What are some of the ways in

which Huawei, through its media and

communications strategy under your

leadership, is promoting digital inclusion

across the world?

JT: Bridging the digital divide is a hugely

important issue. Worldwide, about 4 billion

people remain offline. If even a small

fraction of those people come online in

the next five to 10 years, it will create new

commercial opportunities and raise living

standards. That means there’s an urgent

need to build out broadbrand networks in

less developed regions of the world.

Huawei runs a program called Seeds for

the Future that trains young engineers in

countries around the world. This type of

intervention can have a dramatic impact

on digital inclusion, especially in remote

areas. For example, last year we launched

a project aimed at bringing connectivity to

small fishing villages in a remote part

of the Amazon Forest in Brazil. We took

30 young Brazilian students and trained

them in basic IT skills, computer

maintenance, and photovoltaic systems.

Bridging the digital divide is a hugely important

issue. Worldwide, about 4 billion people remain

offline. If even a small fraction of those people

come online in the next five to 10 years, it will

create new commercial opportunities and raise

living standards”

This last item is crucial because many

Brazilian villages lack electricity, and solar

power is their only hope of connecting to

the Internet.

Also, each year we publish a Global

Connectivity Index that measures different

countries’ progress toward achieving

digital parity. We hope this encourages

governments to invest in broadband, cloud

computing, the Internet of Things, and data

center technologies, all of which will form

the basis of economic development over

the next decade and beyond.

January 2017

13


NEWS

Etisalat Group active to promote

telecommunications services in the UAE

The Etisalat Group is actively

working to strengthen the

Etisalat Enterprise division,

which aims to reaffirm its

position as a pre-eminent

telecommunications service provider in the

UAE and beyond.

The business-to-business (B2B) wing

handles smaller entities, SMEs, large

business accounts and government

departments, with innovation at the

core of its operations. Armed with teams

for products and services, in addition to

dedicated sales teams, the Enterprise

Division is currently working on several new

experiences that expand into cloud services,

security, Internet of Things (IoT), as well

as machine-to-machine (M2M) options,

among other booming sectors.

To date, Etisalat stands as a complete

Information and Communication

Technology (ICT) solutions provider

and trusted outsourced partner. This is

complemented by the Enterprise Division,

which has helped the company emerge

as a major player in the ICT space, and is

expected to make significant contributions

in terms of revenues in the near future.

Etisalat is keen to provide solutions to

customers in a profitable and competitive

manner; a strategy geared to transform

its product portfolio through project

management and professional services.

Its position at the forefront of telecom

technology in the region gives Etisalat

a unique advantage to meet customers’

present and future needs. Aside from core

services such as fixed line mobility, it also

offers a slew of services and products that

comprise the digital division. The company

invests considerable energy to offer an agile

platform that customers can use for cloud

and other systems.

The telecom giant devises solutions to

create secure environments, an interactive

platform that allows easy access to

digital channels (to send texts and enable

payments, for instance), encourage the use

of smart devices, and analyse relevant data.

The endeavour is to create matchless M2M

and IoT experiences for its clientele.

As a first in the region, Etisalat recently

conducted 5G live demos with super

speeds of 5Gbps. With international

standardisation of this technology nearing

completion by 2017, commercial networks

will be implemented in the year 2020.

Similarly, Etisalat’s M2M technology will

allow intelligent machines to communicate

with each other via IP-based networks

to automate the collection of essential

data faster and accurately without human

intervention. M2M SIMs would provide

connectivity to a wide variety of solutions

for businesses and communities alike.

Etisalat’s continued spotlight on IoT is

transforming the government’s vision of

Smart Dubai and other projects into reality.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)

has already connected most traffic lights in

the emirate to a central command centre.

By using cameras and sensors, the timings

of these lights can be controlled to guide

the flow of traffic in real time, thereby

easing congestion to a great degree. By

2020, smart meters will replace energy

meters.

As robotics, augmented reality and

automated retail gain wider traction in

the UAE, Etisalat is taking the lead in

implementing these technologies. Last

year, the company launched the country’s

first ‘Smart Mall’, an integrated technology

eCommerce service that provides shoppers

with an engaging shopping experience.

The first Smart Mall was unveiled at Mall

of the Emirates metro station that gives

customers a chance to browse through

products ad make purchases through a

3D-enabled format. Aside from instant

purchases with Etisalat’s novel payment

solution, the Mobile Cashier, customers can

also choose to have items delivered to their

doorsteps.

14 January 2017


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Telephone: +971 4 364 27 09, Mobile: +971 56 882 95 03

Email: info@samenacouncil.org, www.samenacouncil.org


NEWS

US to continue to assist India in

development of ‘Smart Cities’ under Trump

US officials have confirmed that they will

continue to assist India in the development

of ‘smart cities’ in the region under the

administration of president elect Donald

Trump. During the reign of Barack

Obama, India and the US signed a series

of memorandums of understanding which

was aimed at specifically developing three

‘smart cities’ in Allahabad, Ajmer and

Visakhapatnam.

Ashely O’Connor

US officials agreed to help assist the

cities in relation to a number of key areas

such as project planning, infrastructure,

development, feasibility studies and

capacity building. There had been fears

expressed among some leaders involved

in the ‘Smart City’ movement in India, that

the US would withdraw its support for the

initiative – following the election of Donald

Trump.

However, it has been officially confirmed

that the US will continue to work closely

with Indian officials in relation to the ‘smart

cities’ development.

Deputy Assistant Secretary in the US

Department of Commerce, Vinay Vijai Singh

said initial discussions had taken place with

a team of officials formed as part of Trump’s

on-going transition into office – and he

outlined some of the challenges that need

to be urgently addressed in India.

Singh said, “We have held initial discussions

with the transition team (under new

presidency). It is still early stages but we

have shared our plans and they have been

included. Indian cities should be enabled

to have more autonomy. The mechanics

between the centre and states in India

need to be worked out. I know they are

working hard at it, we had this ‘smart cities’

competition and the money has gone to

the states – then we go to the states and

some states say we don’t have the money

because these things haven’t been done.”

Further concerns have been raised by some

businesses who are already heavily involved

in India’s smart cities projects. One of these

companies is Region Business Line Leader,

AECOM. Its vice president, Ashely O’Connor

expressed her concerns and has appealed

for clarification to be offered on the smart

cities project.

She said, “In Visakhapatnam, in particular,

there were talks of a new airport. It would

need significant investment, so clarity

around these, what is in works, and how

they are working moving forward would be

helpful for the business side.”

Singh refuted suggestions that the US’s

involvement in India’s smart cities project

was politically motivated – and that the

agenda was being driven by the US private

sector which sees the region as a huge area

for potential growth.

Singh added, “We will continue to engage

with all stakeholders. We will also work with

multilateral institutions to help eliminate

the initial risk involved in such projects.”

Chief of Staff for the US Trade and

Development Agency echoed the

sentiments of Singh and declared the

primary focus areas for the US in smart

cities are in energy, telecom and the

transportation sector.

16 January 2017


EVENT

MEET ICT and BITEX 2017 - Bahrain

to be held under the patronage of

H.E. Eng. Kamal Bin Ahmed Mohammed

Minister of transport and telecommunications

Special Report

Meet ICT Conference is being organized

with multiple activities that will enhance

that will enhance the experience of the

participants and enable them to exchange

knowledge and ideas on difference

platforms.

The conference will be held on February

7-9 under the patronage of the Minister of

Transport and Communications Kamal bin

Ahmed Mohammed.

Imagine all the top business and ICT professionals

in one venue, sharing knowledge

and exchanging insights on what’s up and

what’s new in the field.

Digital transformation is happening

everywhere, in every industry. Thus, this

edition, the conference is much focused

on the latest digital trends, technologies,

and the cultural dynamics they bring to the

business and inspire how to become more

competitive in the digital economy.

The conference will also include knowledge

sharing, high level engagement, strategic

debate and networking with key stakeholders

and experts as they share insights and

debate on major issues confronting the ICT

Industry.

The conference will be hosted by the

high-caliber experts to share their outstanding

knowledge in the following key

topics:

• Digital Transformation

• Cloud Computing

• Smart World

• IT Security

• Internet of Things

• Big Data

• The Future Enterprise

This year’s event will have more than 30

speakers from international and regional

organizations and they are expected to

present a wealth of knowledge and expertise

in the various areas on ICT.

With their wide range of expertise and

experience, speakers will be able to answer

all the queries that will be made by the

attendees that will help enhance their skills.

These speakers will be using their motivational

abilities to deliver their message as

they impart their experience as well to the

participants.

In an industry where convenience is key, we

have developed a way for you to meet and

interact with the people who matter most

to your business.

Bahrain’s position as the Middle East’s most

liberal information and communications

technology (ICT) market, along with

January 2017

17


excellent infrastructure, has encouraged

many ICT companies to base their regional

headquarters in Bahrain. As we all know,

information and communications technology

is emerging as one of the strongest

tools in the world that help people in their

everyday lives.

BITEX, a technology exhibition held alongside

with the MEET ICT Conference will

bring all ICT companies under one roof to

display the latest trends in their field. It also

aims to bring together the ICT community

for business building as well as researching

for more powerful solutions in the sector.

Hence, the expo aims to strengthen innovative

potentials and boost the process of

technical restoration of ICT industry.

An excellent opportunity for companies,

consulting and research organizations

to display and demonstrate their activities

and services related to the subject of ICT

and other associated services. Exhibiting

in BITEX provides an ideal opportunity

to present your organization not only

to the local customers but also an international

target audience. Your participation

will be highly acknowledged and you will

enjoy multiple and attractive benefits.

With the rising demands for Information

Communication and Technology, this

sourcing event will feature and showcase

the following categories:

• Mobile Accessories

• IT Products and Solutions

• Mobile Applications

• IT Services

• Software Development

• Telecommunications

• ICT Consultancy

• Data Management and Storage

• IT Security

• eContent

• Networking

• System Automation & Robotics

• Etc.

BITEX aims to deliver fresh ideas, let you

find the right solutions and make you updated

on new trends and products:

• Achieve the best experience of attending

an expo and conference in one mega event

• Meet the best exhibitors showing their

newest products and services.

• Be updated on the newest trends of the

industry.

• Converge with the experts face- to- face

in a professional atmosphere.

This year’s Meet ICT and BITEX are backed

by the top ICT & Telecommunications in

Bahrain and the region:

Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications

– Strategic Partner

Huawei – Strategic Technology Partner

C5 Accelerate – Strategic Innovation

Partner

Batelco Bahrain – Strategic ICT Partner

Viva Bahrain – Official Telecom Partner

Ericsson – Gold Sponsor

SAP Saudi Arabia – Digital Transformation

Partner

Microsoft – Cloud Partner

CTM 360 – Cyber Security Partner

Computer World – Bronze Sponsor

Almoayyed Computers – Bronze Sponsor

Ahlia University – Bronze Sponsor

Teletimes International – International

Media Partner

Thinksmart for Training and Development

– Training Partner

CIO Knowledge Club – Affiliated Partner

Gulf Future Business – Affiliated Partner

BTECH – Organizer

Worksmart - Organizer

Together, let’s experience the Smart World

through Digital Transformation in MEETICT

and BITEX 2017!!!

Teletimes becomes ‘Meet ICT & BITEX’ International Media Partner

Bahrain News Agency

“WORKSMART” for Events Management

said it has entered into a strategic

partnership with Teletimes International, a

publication focused on the telecom, ICT and

satellite industry of the Middle East, Asia

and Africa, to be an international media

partner of seventh edition of the

Information and Communication

Technology (ICT) conference “MEET ICT”

and the Bahrain International Technology

Exhibition (BITEX).

Worksmart CEO Ahmed Al Hujairi said

that the partnership with Teletimes

International aims to promote ‘Meet ICT’

Conference and BITEX Exhibition at the

international level, which will increase the

operations of the Bahraini companies

participating in the expo and contribute

to attracting more regional and

international companies to Bahrain.

Ahmed Al Hujairy

Group CEO, WorkSmart for Events

Management - Bahrain

“I can say that after seven years of holding

MEET ICT Conference and BITEX Exhibition

in Bahrain, we are on threshold of a new

phase of growth at the regional and

international levels, which will support

the efforts of the government which has

placed the information and communication

technology sector at the top of sectors

that are capable of enhancing growth and

boosting the national economy,” he said.

Teletimes Chief Editor, Khalid Athar said:

Bahrain is a key market for the industry

and for many of our readers. The country

holds great importance as one of the fastest

growing technology markets that is home

to many service & solution providers.

As the International Media Partner,

Teletimes will be glad to provide due

coverage to this gathering for professionals

in the industry.”

18 January 2017


INTERVIEW

C5 provides a highly

tailored programme in the

form of Cloud10

Hadyah Fathalla

Executive Director, C5 Accelerate

Teletimes Interview

Q: Please talk about the vision behind the

start-up accelerator – why Cloud services?

A: C5’s Scale-up accelerator or Scalerator

is a programme that takes young dynamic

tech post revenue start-ups across MENA

and scales their business using AWS

cloud and international mentors. Cloud

services drive real business advantage and

differentiation in the current digital market.

Q: What are the benefits for start-ups to

get involved with C5 and how can they

apply to participate?

A: C5 provides a highly tailored programme

in the form of Cloud10 that provides a

unique integrative and bespoke approach

to honing business skills and competencies

while upskilling companies to leverage cloud

computing . The AWS technical support,

C5’s open door policy and access to senior

executives, the international mentorship

network, and international field-trips deliver

a unique and highly dynamic learning and

growth experience. It is a very different

approach and unlike many of the other

accelerator programs in the region.

• Applicants can apply via Tamkeen through

the below link or by contacting the us at C5

in Bahrain directly: http://www.tamkeen.bh/

en/pss/?p=C5#.WHJP3lN97IV

Q: How are Cloud services impacting the

business environment, especially in this

region, and how will they evolve how we

do business over the coming years?

A: Many organisations in the GCC have

The Bahraini

government strategically

is also adopting a

“Cloud First” policy and

looking at migrating all

government data to the

cloud while AWS is also

exploring geographic

expansion in the region”

already moved to the Cloud for lower cost

of operations, faster time to market with

product / services, operational agility,

and innovation among other benefits.

The Bahraini government strategically is

also adopting a “Cloud First” policy and

looking at migrating all government data

to the cloud while AWS is also exploring

geographic expansion in the region. There

are all signs of things to come.

Q: Are any of the start-ups allied with

C5 working on Cloud Security as we are

currently seeing a huge demand for it?

A: Yes, we have IPIFI, Bahraini based ip

threat detection, plus Drie – a UK based

major AWS Cloud security player.

Q: Please tell us about some of your

major partners?

A: Our main strategic Cloud10 partners are

Tamkeen, EDB, and AWS but we also have

a very strong working relationship and are

development exciting collaborations with

key players like BDB, leading universities like

UoB and Polytechnic, and also with industry

leaders like Batelco.

Q: What are you looking forward to at this

year’s BITEX and MEETICT? What do you

plan to achieve during the event?

A: Drive greater awareness of C5 and

Cloud10 business in MENA region.

• Network with industry leaders and

potential future partners.

• Pipeline for our Cloud10 programme.

January 2017

19


INTERVIEW

This year we expect to see integration

with key players in the industry

Eng. Muna Al Hashemi

CEO - Batelco Bahrain

Teletimes Interview

Q: Amongst the many challenges this

industry is facing, how was the year

2016 for Batelco, and what are your

expectations for 2017?

A: 2016 has been a very successful year

for Batelco, with the inclusion of new

certifications and partnerships coupled

with product and service launches. During

the year, Batelco successfully launched

the most advanced 4G+ digital network in

Bahrain with super-fast speeds. In 2016 we

became officially certified by Avaya as a

Platinum Certified Partner, in recognition of

our commitment, investment, experience

and dedication to customer satisfaction.

Additionally, we also launched WiFi and

were the only telecom to offer superfast

500Mbps fibre internet with the highest

thresholds. Furthermore, in 2016 Batelco

signed a memorandum of understanding

for 5G with Ericsson to drive innovation and

early loT applications on 5G mobile network

technology.

In 2017 we expect to see integration

with key players in the industry such as

20 January 2017


etail, automotive or healthcare. The

consumer oriented things that comprise

IoT will in large part consist of wearables,

smartphones, connected cars and smart

homes. We also expect to find new

opportunities for growth in the public

sector, as smart cities gain more traction.

We expect that the consumer demand for

digital technologies that make it easier to

access and pay for public services using

mobile devices will continue to drive these

initiatives.

Q: In many situations today, people tend

to prefer messaging over voice calls –

how will that impact telecom operators

and how are you evolving your business

models to adapt to this?

Key elements of

our focus include

enabling the Kingdom

to be digitally

enabled in line with

the global trend”

A: This is a natural change in customer

behaviour and Telecoms need to adapt.

In Batelco we will continue to invest in

improving the Broadband infrastructure

to ensure the best quality and to allow

customers to enjoy their life style.

Q: Is Batelco currently involved in any

Smart City initiatives in the country?

A: Yes and in collaboration with major

technology providers Batelco has

demonstrated a range of Smart Solutions.

The leading companies are partnered

to demonstrate a variety of Cloud and

Sustainability solutions with the range

of advanced technologies designed to

enable the development of the Networked

Society’s smart cities.

The technologies showcase how

life experiences in a smart city are

enhanced through more connectivity,

with a particular focus on working life,

city life and home life, allowing citizens

to live and work in more sustainable

societies. Among the solutions is Connected

Print along with smart solutions for homes

and hospitals.

Q: The IoT market is set to grow

exponentially into a multi-trillion dollar

market – are you currently working on any

IoT applications or initiatives?

A: Batelco, the Kingdom’s leading

digital solutions provider has launched

a cutting edge IoT (Internet of Things)

Connected Vehicle Solution to support

the requirements of the education and

transportation sectors.

The solution is aimed at equipping vehicles,

such as school buses, with cameras,

sensors, GPS tracker, sound level detector

and object count and furthermore the

solution is self-powered through the use of

solar panels.

Q: Where do you see the Batelco Group

in the coming years and how do you see

Batelco Bahrain’s contribution to the

group in the future?

A: With a core strategy focused on elevating

communication standards and digital

solutions in the Kingdom of Bahrain;

Batelco is paving the way for the evolution

of the industry keeping abreast with the

latest global trends. Our core strategy

centres on our continuous efforts towards

superior customer centricity by transforming

digital lifestyles. Batelco has played

a pivotal role in the country’s development

as a major communications hub and

today we are the leading digital

communications’ provider, continuing

to lead and shape the consumer and

enterprise market.

Q: Would you like to elaborate on the

BITEX theme “Smart World through Digital

Transformation” for this year and how

it translates into Batelco’s strategy?

A: The ongoing evolution of the industry inspires

us to continuously change our mindset

and business strategy. Key elements of

our focus include enabling the Kingdom to

be digitally enabled in line with the

global trend.

January 2017

21


NEWS

STC announced 4th

quarter financial

results

Consolidated revenue for the year

increased 2.4% compared to last

year, with increased contribution

from the Enterprise sector

Dr. Khaled H. Biyari, CEO - STC Group

STC has announced the company’s

preliminary financial results for the period

ending at 31 December 2016

• Revenues from domestic operations

during the year grew 2.4% compared to last

year

• Consolidated revenues for the year

reached SR 51,845m, an increase of 2.4%

compared to last year

• Bundled services customer base during

the 4th quarter increased 19% compared to

the same quarter last year, and an increase

of 11% compared to the immediate prior

quarter

• Enterprise business unit overall revenues

increased approximately 19% during the

4th quarter compared to the same quarter

last year

In accordance with the approved dividend

policy for three years starting from the 4th

quarter 2015 which was announced on 11

November 2015, and have been ratified

during the General Assembly Meeting on

April 4th 2016, STC will distribute a total

of SR 2,000 million in cash dividend for Q4

2016, representing SR 1 per share.

Commenting on the results, STC Group

CEO, Dr. Khaled H. Biyari, stated: stated:

“The 2.4% increase in Consolidated revenue

for the 12 months period compared to

last year, confirms that STC strategy is

working well despite all the challenges and

circumstances facing the communications

sector and overall economic conditions.

While, the decline in Net Profit for the 12

months period is mainly attributed to the

increase in cost of services during the period

which included significant costs resulting

from the fingerprint authentication process

for millions of customers and documented

among relevant government agencies

during the first half of the year, and due to

STC investments in software’s and systems

related to cloud computing and managed

data services mainly during the 1st half.

Also, during the twelve months period, STC

invested in programs and initiatives that will

have positive outcomes in the near future,

such as Early retirement program. I would

like to stress that the company will continue

its investment in advanced networks and

new technologies in order to reach the

highest levels of customer satisfaction and

enrich our customers’ experience.”

Dr. Biyari also stated “that STC vision for

the year 2020 is to transform to a digital

company that provide innovative services to

its customers. The country is now living the

beginning of transformation to the digital

economy, and the company is capable to

work with all government sectors and the

private sector towards the dissemination of

broadband services and the corresponding

platforms like cloud computing platforms

and the Internet of things as per NTP

2020 and 2030 Kingdom vision. Assuring

the current need for high speed data

services, especially fiber optic networksupported,

so that the period ahead for

the telecommunications world will see

overlaps with many sectors, for example in

health and education sectors to enhance

the efficiency of the services provided to

clients.”

Domestically, STC’s continues with the

deployment of 4G network in all districts of

the country, and continued with deploying

the fiber optic network in the country to

serve the business sector. In addition,

bundled services customer base during the

4th quarter increased 19% compared to the

same period last year, and 11% compared to

the immediate prior quarter.

Enterprise business unit overall revenues

increased approximately 19% during the

4th quarter compared to the same period

last year, driven mainly by the 16% increase

in Business sector data services revenues

compared to same period last year, and also

due to the offering of cloud computing &

managed data services which started during

the year.

22 January 2017


INTERVIEW

2016 has been

a year of great

transformation

Liu Dianfeng

CEO - CMPak Ltd.

(A China Mobile company)

Interview - Gulraiz Khalid

Mr. Liu Dianfeng graduated from Harbin Engineering University in 1991 with a Bachelors of Science in Navigation Engineering,

completing a Masters in Acoustics from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1996 & completing his EMBA in 2007 from Cheung Kong

graduate school of business.

Mr. Liu has an extensive experience working at China Mobiles spanning over 17 years holding multiple leadership positions of Chief

Technical Officer & Chief Commercial officer Beijing Company, Chairman of Labor Union & chief Commercial Officer at Jilin Company.

He also has a diverse experience starting up his own business at China. His primary focus has been on network planning and online

education. Mr. Liu was appointed as Chairman & CEO of China Mobiles Pakistan in October 2014.

Q: To begin with, how do you think Zong

has evolved into a leading operator in

Pakistan?

A: I think technology has the real advantage

here, we have been able to capitalize on the

latest 4G technology evolving in Pakistan

very successfully. We have the largest, best

quality 4G network coverage in Pakistan

with the largest 4G subscriber base, and we

will continue to increase our base with more

and more network sites, more than 5,000

by the end of 2016 and be able to provide

our services to more and more cities of this

country. Our 4G is unbeatable in quality,

service and coverage.

Q: Would you like to comment specifically

on the performance of Zong throughout

2016?

A: 2016 has been a year of great

transformation, particularly from our voice

to our data services. Our 4G has yielded

incredible terrific results for us and we

January 2017

23


If the telco market doesn’t get engaged in IoT

now in Pakistan, it will be too late, but I am

happy to see that the market is responding to a

strong IoT demand in Pakistan, which is a very

positive sign”

have seen phenomenal growth in our data

services demand, which is a sign that our

customers are happy with our services. At

this point, we have our 4G in more than

250 cities in Pakistan. Having said this, we

are looking forward to a better 2017, with

more sites, more investment in our network

and more solution related services for our

customers across the nation.

Q: How has the market responded in your

opinion to the introduction of LTE 4G?

A: Market response actually depends

on many factors, for example, quality,

coverage, speed and most importantly

price. We have been rated the best quality

network by PTA, we have the best coverage,

the fastest 4G speed & highest number of

4G sites and most of all, affordability. We

think our products and our prices are the

most affordable in the market. Considering

all this, our customers have reacted to our

4G services in a very positive way.

Q: After the acquisition of Warid by

Mobilink and 4G spectrum by Telenor, will

there be any changes to Zong’s strategy

moving forward?

A: Our strategy has always been to provide

the best services to our customers through

a more stable and reliable network and we

will continue to focus on how we can

24 January 2017


continue to improve in this area. One area

we will focus more in the future is how we

can provide more solutions to different

industries of Pakistan through our 4G

network. Infact, we want the 4G market to

Our 4G is unbeatable

in quality, service

and coverage.

develop in Pakistan, and we are happy that

this merger will be an enabler for the 4G

market to develop faster in the nation and

continue to contribute to the 4G ecosystem

in the industry. We are very open to a

healthy and fair competition in business, so

we take this in a very positive way.

Q: When and how do you see a future of

IoT in Pakistan?

A: The answer to when is “now”. If the telco

market doesn’t get engaged in IoT now in

Pakistan, it will be too late, but I am happy

to see that the market is responding to a

strong IoT demand in Pakistan, which is a

very positive sign. I hope all operators build

this market together in Pakistan to benefit

the local people & to introduce more and

more solutions. Infact, advancement of IoT

will help benefit the corporate sector and

the government more than a single user.

Exchange of information and smart data

analytics can be a really strong tool for any

country in its journey towards prosperity

and progression. Zong will be a strong

enabler in this area.

Q: Do you think our networks will be

able to support an IoT ecosystem? (It is

predicted that an average autonomous

vehicle will need 4000GB per day by 2020)

A: It’s a long journey and it will take time but

the market is reacting stronger and stronger

in this area every year, especially after the

4G launch in the country. Awareness to the

importance of data and IoT is becoming

more and more essential as Pakistani

markets compete in the international world.

Some sections of this ecosystem are very

visible, but some areas are still upcoming,

for example, 4G handsets market share in

the country is very low. Government itself

needs to play a stronger role in developing

One area we will focus more in the future is

how we can provide more solutions to different

industries of Pakistan through our 4G network”

this ecosystem by introducing more flexible

policies, especially on the taxation side.

Q: Given your experience, what will be the

key success factors for Mobile operators in

Pakistan and beyond?

A: I think 3 things are very important: 1- The

financial stability of the market itself in

terms of a reasonable tariff 2- 4G market

development and its contributors, meaning

the 4G handsets availability in the system.

3- The ecosystem, meaning that voice and

data are very different to each other. Voice

is voice and has linear dimension, but data

is very different and has many different

dimensions. Understanding of data, its

content, its application and its products are

very different to that of voice, so the overall

ecosystem to support data applications and

products must be very strong.

All 3 of these things are extremely

important, because the market is changing

significantly. We can have the best 4G

network, but if the users don’t have a 4G

handset, it’s a challenge for the operator

to sell its services. On the other hand,

commercial tariff for mobile data and voice

is one of the lowest in Pakistan with the

highest taxation and the overall ecosystem

is still in development phase. This balance

needs to be adjusted for the market to

recapitalize again.

Q: Would you like to comment or make

any suggestions on the current policy

framework with respect to regulation and

spectrum issues etc.?

A: It’s a good and positive step, and if

implemented correctly, it will benefit all

mobile operators in the long run. At the

same time, it does need more work to be

able to solve some specific challenges the

industry is facing.

January 2017

25


EVENT

Huawei secures top spot at Etisalat

Strategic Suppliers Awards

Huawei has been honored with the “Best

Strategic Supplier Award” by Etisalat

UAE. Huawei secured the top spot at the

inaugural Etisalat Strategic Suppliers

Conference. The event successfully

promoted better understanding and mutual

benefit within the ICT ecosystem, while

recognizing the key telecom suppliers in the

region.

“Needless to say, this is a proud moment

for the entire Middle East team,” explained

Poundss Peng, President of Etisalat Global

Key Account, Huawei ME. “Ranked number

one in 2015, based on a comprehensive

evaluation, this is the direct result of the

close partnership between Etisalat and

Huawei over the years, and the hard work

from both teams.”

Huawei and Etisalat have worked together

to outline the carrier’s future network

framework architecture vision and

produce a five year roadmap to achieve

end goals. Future network and operation

plans, that will enable the various national

visions of the region, will see Etisalat offer

personalized and seamless user experience

and services over the next decade.

In order to determine the winner of the

‘Best Strategy Supplier’, Etisalat evaluated

suppliers on several crucial sets of criteria,

like quality and performance of work;

overall cost competitiveness and added

value; how they approached innovation and

partnership; and capability to follow clause

compliance.

neXgen and Huawei Join

For years now, Etisalat and Huawei

have worked together on leading

projects that span beyond the building

of crucial ICT infrastructure in the region.

Just this year Etisalat and Huawei partnered

up to successfully trial 10Gbps service

that will enable users to experience

the fastest broadband speed available

in the region today; one of several key

projects.

Under the current partnership framework,

Huawei is committed to collaborating

with Etisalat on launching innovative

technologies and services.

26 January 2017


NEWS

Huawei promotes quality and

safety in the Kingdom

In line with the Saudi Vision 2030 goal

to embrace responsible businesses,

adapt a comprehensive list of standards

and guidance, regulating an array of

environmental and safety challenges,

Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia

recently held an Environment, Health and

Safety (EHS) workshop for its employees,

partners and suppliers in the Kingdom as

part of the global ICT leader’s commitment

to safety and quality.

Aimed at highlighting best practice in

EHS, the one-day event was attended

by a number of Huawei partners in Saudi

Arabia including Consulting Engineering

Group (CEG) KSA, Al Rashed Comatec,

Zamil Steel Holding, waseela, Mobiserve

Co. Ltd. and Gulf Business Horizons etc.

The workshop was also attended by Huawei

staff including senior executives. As part of

its commitment to following the highest

standards in safety and quality throughout

all its operations, the company also

launched the Huawei Saudi EHS Operation

Incentive Award, which aims to recognize

and encourage safe and responsible

practices amongst employees and partners

within the Kingdom.

“As a global leader in the ICT industry,

Huawei is committed to conducting

its business responsibly, placing great

emphasis on the adherence of both local

and global policies among staff, partners

and suppliers,” explained Charles Yang,

President of Huawei Middle East, who

also attended and spoke at the workshop.

“With over 1,000 Huawei employees and

almost 100 partners working across several

KSA projects, EHS standards top Huawei’s

priorities to ensure the successful delivery of

all its projects”.

Accompanied by a number of senior staff

members from Huawei and partners,

Charles Yang inspected different work sites,

to ensure full compliance to EHS standards

in all locations.

Forces to Make Region’s Cities Smarter

Huawei has joined forces with neXgen

Group, to meet the ever-increasing

demand for Smart City technology in

the region. Enabled though its strategic

partnership with Zain Group, neXgen is

the trusted advisor and managed service

provider to some of the most forwardthinking

governments and enterprises

worldwide.

The strategic alliance agreement was

signed between Terry He, President,

Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Middle

East, and Ghazi Atallah, CEO of neXgen

Group - in the presence of Zain Group CEO

Scott Gegenheimer, and Huawei Middle

East President, Charles Yang.

Both Huawei and neXgen will cooperate

in the Smart City Go-to-Market (GTM)

across the region with emphasis on

markets within Zain’s footprint.

The collaboration covers the design,

release and marketing of joint Smart City

solutions for smart districts and logistics,

smart safety and security, and smart

healthcare services. The agreement also

covers cooperation in Smart Internet of

things (IoT), and Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT)

technologies. “This strategic collaboration

with Huawei, will bring readily deployable

solutions for Smart Cities and Districts,

enabling our clients across the region to

leverage these innovative services in their

digital transformation journey. Delivering

simple and effective services to our

customers from our industry collaboration

efforts is always our overarching goal.” said

Ghazi Atallah, CEO of neXgen Group.

“This partnership is in line with our

strategy to build an ecosystem that

involves various industry players to

enable an open, better connected world.

This alliance allows us to capitalize on

neXgen’s regional presence and

know-how while addressing the evergrowing

appetite for smart city solutions

in Middle East,” said Mohamad Sharara,

President of Zain Key Account Dept,

Huawei ME.

January 2017

27


NEWS

HUAWEI

Consumer Business

Group announces

strong 2016

performance

Huawei Consumer Business Group

(CBG) revealed its expected 2016 annual

performance figures indicating a 42 per

cent increase when compared to 2015. With

anticipated sales revenue of USD $26 billion

Huawei CBG is showing steady growth for

the fifth consecutive year. Additionally,

smartphone shipments reached 139 million

units presenting a year-on-year growth of

29 percent. According to IDC, the increasing

rate of global smartphone shipments was

only 0.6% in 2016, which means Huawei has

outperformed the overall market.

Mr. Richard Yu, Chief Operating Officer

of Huawei CBG commented on the

results saying, “Despite tough market

conditions Huawei CBG is still growing

at industry-leading speed. We believe

our success is a direct result of our

consumer and innovation-centric approach,

as well as our ongoing commitment

to building a premium brand. As we

reinforce our global channels and ensure

consistent, high-quality service, we make

our devices accessible and reliable for all

Huawei users.”

When speaking on Huawei’s plans for the

coming year, Yu said: “In 2017, we plan to

strengthen our supply chain, channels,

R&D efforts, our after-sales services. We

will also work to fortify any other areas

and to streamline our operations, improve

the efficiency of our decision-making,

drive our internationalization strategy and

proactively develop future capacity.”

Whereas the global smartphone industry

is witnessing a slowdown and fewer

innovations introduced to the market,

Huawei CBG is building product leadership

and pioneering ground-breaking

developments in key technology areas. In

2016, Huawei CBG focused on developing

meaningful innovations and made

breakthroughs in the areas of operating

systems (EMUI based on Android), dual-lens

camera technology, artificial intelligence

and more.

For years Android users have been let down

by their devices as performance declined

over time. Huawei set out to solve this

and with their software R&D team led

by world-class Linux professionals- they

conducted in-depth optimization research

on the Android system. Based on their

findings, Huawei unveiled EMUI 5.0 – their

latest operating system software that is

deeply integrated with the Kirin chipset and

contains 20 Huawei patented technologies

2016 also saw the introduction of Huawei’s

first dual-lens camera technology

featured on a flagship device. These were

designed in conjunction with industry

expert Leica Camera AG and by the end

of the year Huawei had developed two

generations of dual-camera technology.

This not only set the industry ablaze and

established new benchmarks for image

quality but also, it made the Huawei P9 and

Mate 9 very popular amongst consumers.

In September 2016, Huawei also founded

the Max Berek Innovation Lab alongside

Leica Camera AG. This center will see

joint research and development efforts

in the fields of optical systems, imaging

algorithms, virtual and augmented reality.

With these technological advancements,

Huawei’s flagship products such as the

P9 and Mate 9 have achieved global

recognition. Huawei P9 and P9 Plus global

shipments exceeded 10 million units,

making them the first Huawei flagship

handsets to break 10 million sales. The

Huawei Mate 9 series, shortly after

launching in November 2016, faced a supply

shortage due to overwhelming demand

and its sales in the first two months were 50

percent higher than those of Mate 8 for the

same period.

In 2017, Huawei CBG will continue to put

consumer needs first and will develop

a consumer-facing system focused on

channels, retail, brand, marketing and

services, to strengthen its business

base and streamline its operations and

customer service. In the meantime,

Huawei is committed to making further

breakthroughs in innovation that will

help consumers have a more intelligent,

connected lifestyle. We will continue

building on our core competencies to lead

the future and become a popular cultural

and technical brand for consumers.

28 January 2017


NEWS

The Levant’s rising Digital Economy creates

new opportunities for tech entrepreneurs

Startups are vital in driving the Digital

Economy and job creation for technology

talents. SAP has announced at the Start-up

Focus Event in Amman, hosted by startup

enabler and technology company SAP

and supported by Zain Innovation Campus

(ZINC) and USAID West Bank and Gaza

through its Compete Project.

Technology is a cornerstone of diversified

economic growth for both countries, with

their national development plans calling on

leveraging technology to drive job creation

for highly-educated entrepreneurs. Jordan’s

National ICT Strategy aims to increase ICT

investment to USD 450 million, increase ICT

revenues to USD3 billion, and create more

than 4,000 jobs by 2017.

Startup Focus, which was launched in

the Middle East in 2015, is now helping

eligible Jordanian and Palestinian startups,

whose product ideas are based on

Big Data, predictive or real-time analytics

solutions, to accelerate the development of

their solutions, and assist in bringing their

solutions to market.

“Tech startups can drive Jordanian and

Palestinian diversified economies, and Zain

is committed to joining forces with global

and local partners to activate and ignite the

Levant’s startup ecosystem. By providing

innovative entrepreneurs with hands-on

mentorship and guidance, we aim to make

their startups profitable, change daily lives

and businesses, and drive the region’s

Digital Economy,” said Ahmed Hanandeh,

CEO, Zain Jordan.

Jordan’s National

ICT Strategy aims to

increase ICT investment

to USD 450 million,

increase ICT revenues to

US $ 3 billion, and create

more than 4,000 jobs by

2017.

“Emphasizing that entrepreneurship is

of paramount importance to the regional

economy and society, USAID is pleased

to support initiatives like SAP Startup

Focus, which drive the creation of an

entrepreneurial eco-system in the West

Bank and Gaza and beyond,” stated

Jonathan Kamin, Acting Mission Director

of USAID West Bank and Gaza. “This

partnership is integrated with USAID’s

objective to develop and enhance the

Palestinian ICT sector by helping Palestinian

companies grow and increase their

competitiveness, thereby enabling them

to enter regional and international markets

and attract global investment.”

Selected Palestinian and Jordanian startups

now have the chance to develop their

solutions on the SAP HANA real-time

analytics platform, receive free support

from technical experts to help them bring

their ideas to life and make the best use of

the SAP HANA cloud platform. Participating

start-ups have access to a community

network of entrepreneurs, partners,

investors, thought leaders and industry

experts. Once validated, start-ups can pitch

to SAP’s ecosystem of more than 335,000

customers worldwide.

“Jordanian and Palestinian entrepreneurs

are among the best and brightest in

the region, and SAP’s Training and

Development Institute has seen strong

success in developing youth in the

ICT sector. Now we are advancing our

commitment to digital transformation and

upskilling local talent by helping to bring

the most game-changing local Big Data

analytics solutions to a global marketplace,”

said Marita Mitschein, Senior Vice President

and Managing Director, SAP Training and

Development Institute.

Worldwide, Startup Focus has engaged

with more than 3,750 start-ups across 59

countries and 22 industries, bringing more

than 225 of their validated solutions to

market since 2013.

January 2017

29


INTERVIEW

Qualcomm

has always been the leader in

pioneering next generation technology

Jay Srage

President, MEA & Southeast Asia - Qualcomm

Interview - Gulraiz Khalid

Jay Srage: Would you like to tell our

readers about the history of Qualcomm in

the mobile industry.

Gulraiz Khalid:To give you some

background, the foundation of Qualcomm

is based on the creation of technology that

enables mobile broadband and that’s where

Qualcomm has a unique position. All the

patents and all the IPs that go into all the

mobile networks, including the 3G smart

phones, the 4G smart phones and the ones

that are going into 5G are all based on the

technology that Qualcomm has created.

Qualcomm has always been the leader in

pioneering next generation technology.

When everybody was on voice in the

90s, we created the first mobile internet

connected phone towards the end of 90s

with the CDMA Technology and that CDMA

technology evolved into LTE. So from 2002

to 2010 the focus has been connecting

people to the internet through smart

phones using mobile broadband.

JS: Where are you heading today as a

company?

GK: In terms of what we are doing right now

and how we have evolved as a company, I

would say that when we started, we were

about smart phones and that was the core

business but we have started to go into

adjacent segments around the IoT space

especially automobiles. We have made

significant progress in the past few years in

30 January 2017


connected automotive and are now moving

into the next phase which is v2x which is

vehicle to everything connectivity. So that

is vehicle to pedestrian, vehicle to vehicle,

vehicle to infrastructure and that’s going

to change the landscape of transportation.

It’s going to make autonomous driving a

reality and it’s going to reduce accidents so

the benefits of having the connectivity are

going to be industry changing. Besides this

we are also focusing on multiple segments

mainly entertainment, wearables tracking

and some other IoT verticals.

JS: How soon will we see “Automated

Driving” and what should be the real

expectations?

GK: The evolution is going to be gradual.

We are not going to get there by phasing

in or phasing out. Initially the whole idea of

connected cars is “assisted driving” so it’s

different dynamics than other markets.

Would you like to elaborate on that?

GK: Africa is more of an adopted mature

technology market. It means that Africa

only adopts a technology when the devices

and the ecosystem drops down to a point

where it’s affordable and that’s quite logical

given the economies and the purchasing

power of the area. When we talk about

the migration of technology, 2G is there

because of legacy. 3G is deployed and is

widespread and the countries in this region

that have jumped to 4G are very few. There

are few specific markets and areas which

we talk about the digital divide we talk

about being connected to the internet.

This digital divide is being addressed now

with 3G smartphones that are affordable.

The migration of the operators to 4G is

happening and that’s going to bridge the

gap for better connectivity usage even

more.

JS: When will see the actual

commercialization of 5G?

GK: 5G will be standardized in the 2019 time

frame and in 2020 it will be commercialized

globally. You may see some 5G networks

Initially the whole

idea of connected cars

is “assisted driving”

so it’s not going

to be completely

autonomous, the

driving is going to be

assisted autonomous

driving”

not going to be completely autonomous,

the driving is going to be assisted

autonomous driving. You are going to get

interaction with infrastructure to be able

to manage traffic, to manage accidents

and the achievement will be to minimize

these kind of accidents, “minimize” not

“eliminate”. So from the legal perspective

nothing changes because the car is not

autonomous, you are the assistant driver.

Autonomy is happening in very close areas

and that’s going to stay, the autonomy

will stay in very dedicated tracks in

very dedicated areas and in controlled

environments until other issues are

resolved.

JS: Africa is a very important market for

telecom operators - however, it has quite

have adopted that but if you look at the

continent, it has successfully migrated to 3G

and now it’s in the phase to migrate to 4G.

Why? Because the price of the devices has

actually reached affordability.

Now, we can talk about 4G smartphones

below $100 which is affordable in terms of

the initial migration. Ideally, we want to see

it go down to the $50 mark or below but

that’s a roadmap and we will get there.

2G is now is very low cost ranging from

$7 to $15 and from a consumer point of

view, this is not the person who wants

to be connected to the internet, he just

wants to use it for the phone. But when

launch here and there, maybe in Korea

and Japan in early 2018 and maybe in US

in second half of 2018 but commercial

availability of the devices will not happen

before 2020.

We have announced X50 that will be

launched in the second half of 2018. 5G will

come quickly in many areas like the US,

Europe, China, Middle East, and then there

is Africa where it’s all about the 5G devices

hitting the affordability mark. The roll out

and network discussions will start in Africa

anytime in 2020. And when the price will

hit the $100 mark that’s when you will start

seeing the acceleration. So it really comes

down to price for this region.

January 2017

31


ARTICLE

Moving closer to delivering the home WiFi

experience to users on the move

Mark Richman, Director, Product Management and Mobility - Intelsat

The mobility sector remains one of the most

dynamic and growing opportunities for

broadband providers, driven by the demand

that end users want to remain connected at

all times. As maritime operators and their

crews and cruise line and airline passengers

experienced better and better connectivity

in 2016, the primary mobility trend for

2017 follows naturally – service providers

accessing more and more bandwidth to

deliver a WiFi experience that rivals that at

users’ homes.

This need for more mobility bandwidth is

driven by a shift in user expectations from

‘nice to have’ to ‘this needs to be a lot

better’. Initially, users were happy just to

exchange emails or read web sites. Now,

as more bandwidth becomes available and

services are upgraded, users also expect

to be able to send out large files, such as

business data or high-resolution photos and

video from their vacations. In fact, WiFi has

become so important to airline passengers

it has become the new “legroom” of

commercial airlines.

Similarly, cruise passengers expect to bring

their own device on vacation to actively

engage on social media while aboard the

vessel. For both airlines and cruise ships,

WiFi connections that can keep passengers

connected while onboard and allow them to

deliver as much data as they consume are

now THE differentiator in the marketplace.

For satellite broadband providers, this

creates an opportunity to begin meeting

these needs this year. High-throughput

satellites already in orbit have the available

bandwidth to satisfy end users connectivity

demands, especially when these satellites,

such as Intelsat EpicNG, have been

optimized to deliver connectivity in areas of

Intelsat EpicNG, have been optimized to deliver connectivity

in areas of high demand, such as highly traveled aero and

mobile traffic routes. Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e are in orbit

and ready to deliver high-throughput services today, and

scheduled launches in 2017 will deliver three additional Intelsat

EpicNG satellites”

high demand, such as highly traveled aero

and mobile traffic routes. Intelsat 29e and

Intelsat 33e are in orbit and ready to deliver

these high-throughput services today, and

scheduled launches in 2017 will deliver three

additional Intelsat EpicNG satellites to make

sure this connectivity is available when and

where network operators and end users

need it.

Another area where satellite will play a

critical role in the 2017 mobility landscape is

the connected car. Auto manufacturers are

excited about the potential of being able to

monitor vehicles and their systems remotely

and provide software updates via broadband

connections. What a game changer to think

that the car you buy today will get better

and better as new software features become

available.

The delivery systems that make this possible

will rely on hybrid connectivity featuring

both satellite and terrestrial technologies,

and the elimination of the need to bring cars

into the dealership for simple code updates

will save money and time for manufacturers

and drivers. And as more driverless cars

and trucks begin to take to the roads; those

same satellite-cellular networks will be used

to monitor those vehicles as well.

The automotive improvements are

dependent on advances in antenna

technology that Intelsat has been

supporting for several years. We saw

milestones and announcements around

the development of smaller, more efficient

antennas in 2016 that will have impact

across the mobility sector. That momentum

will continue into 2017 with productionready

units available over the course of the

year.

The next year promises to be, “Annus

Mirabilis” according to Runway Girl,

which means that it’s a year of expanding

opportunities for mobile broadband

providers and better experiences for end

users. The business challenge will be making

it easy for network operators to incorporate

this increased bandwidth into their

operations and deliver it in the right places

with winning business models. We know

that our customers don’t want to have to

buy megahertz and then determine the best

way to serve the end user.

That’s why we are working with our

ecosystem partners to make it easier to

incorporate high throughput technology

into their global networks. This is not just

about the right technology but also about

the ecosystem working together to make

it easier for our customers to focus on their

business while we handle the bandwidth.

Does your service provider offer you the

same?

32 January 2017


FEATURE

A year in review and the future outlook

Riyadh Al Adely

Managing Director - SkyStream

Looking back at 2016

2016 has been a very important year for

the entire industry, especially the governments.

The economy has seen some major

changes, especially in this region due to the

oil price changes.

The variation in oil prices has led to a lot of

changes in the entire industry on a lot of

on-going and planned projects. The effect

varies from country to country based on

their dependency on oil. Some countries

have not been affected because they have

diversified sources of income.

The year was quite tough for the satellite

industry due to two major reasons, the drop

down in the demand and the oversupply

of capacity. The oversupply has led to price

wars and it has become very difficult to

maintain a good market. The challenge is

not about acquiring more customers anymore

but about maintaining a good profit

margin.

However, in times of difficulty, many players

have diversified into different segments.

A successful platform for us has been the

military, tactical and law enforcement

January 2017

33


vertical. This vertical faces some challenges

for which we have very suitable solutions

and hence, we have started focusing on this

part of the market.

It is no doubt that this industry is facing

very difficult and challenging times but in a

way it is good because it will push solution

providers to make their offerings better and

better in order to differentiate themselves

in this time of competition and oversupply.

Moving forward

SkyStream will continue to operate and

actually at a larger scale, if I may add. Satellite

is not the only major focus for us now,

we are also focusing on military and critical

communications. We have counter systems

with multiple protection phases that have

applications in emergency situations in

public areas such as airports etc. We are

also working on another product to counter

terrorism, suicide bombs and suicide cars.

Oil & Gas is still a valid area of business

and may actually become better as we see

increase in the rise of the price of Oil once

again. However, the demand is rapidly

shifting as the entire industry including both

the buyers and the sellers are going through

some major changes in business models

to accommodate for the recent economic

conditions. Once the dust settles, it will be

much easier to come out on top for those

companies who withstand this process and

adapt to market changes accordingly – and

that is our plan. Our focus will be to focus

on the services, increasing the quantity of

services and adding value to each one of

them. Today we are offering system integration

but in the future we are looking at

provision of services that go beyond system

integration.

Critical Communications in the ME

I think the whole Middle East is important

when it comes to critical communications.

The UAE has been very supportive of businesses

like SkyStream and being our home

country, our focus remains the most within

the UAE where we plan to reciprocate the

government’s support in the form of high

quality solutions. That being said, the entire

region is currently a target market for us in

this vertical and we are offering our services

in multiple countries.

The Maritime vertical

We started offering Maritime services back

in 2009 and back then, this market was a

blue ocean with very little competition and

less market pressure. However, over the

past few years, the market has changed into

a red ocean defined by cut-throat competition

and heavy saturation. As a consequence

of these circumstances, the service offering

has also been compromised.

We are still active in the market and have

the largest fleet. We had some expansion

plans for this market as well, but we have

put those plans on halt for now to see how

the market works over the coming months.

The future is Capacity Building

What is happening today is a response to

the challenges this industry is facing. The

industry has spent billions of dollars in

building satellites. The market however has

not responded in the same manner and the

satellite companies who invested are forced

to find different solutions.

The market is currently evolving and as any

market evolves, it faces certain challenges.

We can see how other markets in the

technology industry have evolved when you

look at the telecommunications market or

the mobile phones market or the IT services

market. The same happens with almost every

market – the margins become very thin

and other companies (initially smaller) who

did not make investments benefit the most

from the market e.g. Whatsapp, Uber etc.

The future lies in capacity building and

improving yourself. The future is about

learning from mistakes in the past. For us,

that means building skills that are difficult,

in fact impossible, for others to adopt. Other

players will continue to replicate services,

but our goal is to stay one step ahead at all

times and keep evolving. If we keep learning

and evolving at the pace of the market

demand and not the pace of the industry, at

any given point, SkyStream will be ahead of

its competition and successfully capitalizing

on the market demand.

34 January 2017


Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai

In association with:

31 January - 1 February 2017 | St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort | Abu Dhabi | UAE

VISION AND PARTNERSHIPS

FOR A GLOBAL SPACE ECONOMY

H.E. Dr. Khalifa Al

Romaithi

Chairman

UAE Space Agency

Jean-Yves Le Gall

President

CNES France - (French

Space Agency)

Naser Al Rashedi

Director - Space Policy

and Regulations

UAE Space Agency

George Whitesides

Chief Executive Officer

Virgin Galactic

An all new agenda featuring:

Mars Science

Symposium

Earth Observation

Symposium

Satellite

Communications

Symposium

Foundation Partners

Industry Partner

Welcome Reception Sponsor Session Partner Session Sponsors

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Badge Sponsor Lanyard Sponsor

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PO Box: 62440, Dubai, UAE

Tel: +971 4 447 5357 | Fax: +971 4 447 5334

mail@smg-online.com | www.smg-online.com


EVENT

“Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic

Sustainable Development”

Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre hosts UN / UAE - High Level Forum

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre

(MBRSC) has hosted the United Nations/

United Arab Emirates High Level Forum:

“Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic

Sustainable Development”, which was

organized by the United Nations Office

for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

in conjunction with the United Arab

Emirates Space Agency. Under UNOOSA’s

leadership, the forum delivered concrete

recommendations in the form of the “Dubai

Declaration”, which will contribute to the

United Nations event “UNISPACE+50”, to

be held in Vienna in June 2018 , which will

mark the 50th anniversary of the first United

Nations Conference on the Exploration and

Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

The Dubai Declaration urges all parties to

further utilize the space sector as a driver

for economic and social development,

emphasizing that strengthening socioeconomic

development will require an

integrated approach among the space

industry and other sectors to understand

Participants of the Forum also declared that space economy,

space society, space accessibility & space diplomacy

constitute the main pillars of the Space2030 – the

global space agenda that will emerge from UNISPACE+50.

and meet the needs of users and the

society at large. The recommendations

emphasize the need for building stronger

international cooperation and coordination

in the peaceful uses of outer space at all

levels, and the need for broadening access

to space. The declaration asserts that

space exploration is a long term driver for

innovation and strengthening international

cooperation on an all-inclusive basis and

creating new opportunities for addressing

global challenges. It also affirmed the

need to strengthen youth and women’s

involvement in the space industry.

Participants of the Forum also declared

that space economy, space society, space

accessibility & space diplomacy constitute

the main pillars of the Space2030 – the

global space agenda that will emerge from

UNISPACE+50.

“This Declaration and what we have

learned at this Forum have provided us

with an understanding of how we should

move forward in utilizing space for

development, on the need to get open

access to space for an increasing number

of countries and in assisting States to attain

the sustainable development goals,” said

Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA.

Ms Di Pippo also thanked MBRSC for their

excellent work in organizing the Forum.

36 January 2017


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January 2017

37


H.E. Dr. Khalifa Mohammed Al Romaithi,

Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said:

“The hosting of the UNOOSA High Level

Forum in Dubai reflects the UAE’s standing

within the global space community as one

of the states to enjoy an advanced and

ambitious space program.”

He continued: “The hosting of the

forum comes as part of the UAE Space

Agency’s strategic goals of building and

strengthening international relationships

and partnerships in the field. This stems

from a belief in the importance of

international cooperation and of developing

relationships with the most important

stakeholders in the global space sector.

These approaches are in line with the

strategic plans and visions for the state to

establish strong international cooperation

and exchange knowledge with other nations

around the world.”

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of

the Board of Directors at MBRSC, said that

“the UAE has established a solid foundation

for sustainability preparing itself for the

post oil era, making innovation one of the

key indicators in all fields. We have laid the

basis for a truly diversified economy, relying

on integrated infrastructure and efficient

Emirati national talent”.

“The topics discussed at the forum

are highly important and essential to

achieving a sustainable future for the

space sector; and the “Dubai Declaration”

gave recommendations that enhance

and activate the role of space science and

technology in achieving comprehensive

economic and social development,” Al

Mansoori concluded.

H.E. Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani,

Director General of MBRSC, said:

“The Dubai Declaration is of historical

significance for the global space sector as

recommendations and trends delivered

therein will contribute to a more flourishing

future for the global space sector.”

Al Shaibani added: “Hosting this forum

in the UAE and the issuance of the Dubai

Declaration affirms the UAE’s attractive

positioning for key stakeholders in the

global space industry, and the trust

placed in the UAE by the global space

community.”

Al Shaibani stressed on “the importance

of continued compliance with these trends

and future courses that aid harnessing

space technology and applications to

address any challenges for the greater good

of humanity”. He added: “The UAE has

always supported UN trends with respect

to the optimal use of space as a core sector

and a driver for socio-economic sustainable

development”.

“For many years, there have been close

ties and coordination between MBRSC and

UNOOSA on space issues. For instance, the

Centre has previously hosted the United

Nations /United Arab Emirates Symposium

on Basic Space Technology,” Al Shaibani

concluded.

The United Nations/United Arab Emirates

High Level Forum hosted by MBRSC is

the first of three preliminary forums for

UNISPACE+50. The second forum will also

be hosted by MBRSC next year.

Inmarsat to provide connectivity to UAE through

partnership with Global Beam, Virgin Megastore

Inmarsat plc has announced that

distribution partner Global Beam Telecom

has struck a multi-year agreement with

Tecbuy and Virgin Megastores in the United

Arab Emirates to sell Inmarsat’s GSPS

IsatPhone satellite phones and IsatHub

terminals to its UAE customers.

The devices are immediately available

for purchase at three of the largest Virgin

Megastores in UAE.

Inmarsat’s mobile satellite communication

solutions allow consumers and business

travelers to stay connected using one

device and one SIM, regardless of where

in the world they travel. The IsatPhone

2, Inmarsat’s next-generation handheld

satellite phone, offers a robust handset,

unrivalled battery life, excellent voice

quality and the unparalleled reliability of

the Inmarsat network, helping customers

connect in the most extreme and remote

locations, or simply when local networks

are unavailable or slow.

“Today’s consumers demand robust

connectivity wherever they travel,” said

Paul Gudonis, President of Inmarsat

Enterprise. “This agreement with Global

Beam Telecom and Virgin Megastores is a

testament to Inmarsat’s commitment to

providing reliable, always-on connectivity,

coupled with the latest advancements in

satellite technology, to our customers

in UAE.”

In addition to providing the phones and

terminals to Virgin Megastores throughout

the UAE, Global Beam is also the first global

distributor of Inmarsat scratch cards to

purchase and recharge satellite airtime,

making it easy for customers to connect

using their satellite phones. “We are proud

to serve Virgin Megastore’s customers in the

UAE with the most-reliable L band satellite

services and devices in the industry,” said

Abdullah Sulaiman, CEO of Global Beam

Telecom. “Inmarsat’s proven solutions

and the ability to offer customers global

coverage with one device wherever they

travel is a positive sign for both B2B and

B2C customers across the world who have

bureaus in the MEA region.”

38 January 2017


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2017 39


NEWS

Selevision chooses Voddler Group

to optimise quality of experience

Voddler Group, the cloud-streaming

innovator, has been selected by Selevision,

to optimise the subscriber’s streaming

experience. Selevision provides broadcast

and online channels direct to consumers

under several brands from its bases in the

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United

Arab Emirates, providing exceptional

regional entertainment to its growing base.

To ensure a consistently high quality of

experience for its users, Selevision is now

adding Voddler’s hybrid peer-assisted and

secure delivery to its global technology

platform. Because Voddler’s technology

scales limitlessly across all devices and

bitrates, Selevision’s choice will bring its

substantial catalogue to an even greater

marketplace, while ensuring that its

commitment to amazing user experience

continues.

VoddlerNet combines controlled

and secure peer-assisted delivery with

direct streaming from the source provider.

This unique hybrid peer-assisted video

streaming solution greatly expands the

reach of streaming video services, while

maintaining the highest bitrate and quality

Dr. Raed Khusheim, CEO - Selevision

of service possible.

“Providing the best possible viewing

experience for the end user is vital to us,

regardless of which of our entertainment

services they are using and wherever

they may be viewing from,” said Dr Raed

Khusheim, CEO of Selevision. “To maintain

our leading position, we are continually

innovating behind the scenes. Voddler’s

ability to offer broadcast quality content

limitlessly offers real advantages in driving

up the quality of experience.”

One of the particular challenges for OTT

services in the Gulf region is the high

demand for mobile consumption, with

mobile penetration rates in Saudi Arabia

exceeding 168%. While VoddlerNet provides

service quality improvements across all

networks, it has specific functionality which

allows greater support even on mobile

devices without impairing performance.”

“We are very excited to be partnering

with Selevision,” said Adam Lewis, CEO

of Voddler Group. “As a pre-eminent OTT

provider in the MENA region, Selevision

already reaches millions of viewers.

We want to help them continue their

growth while maintaining the quality and

responsiveness for which the platform is

famous. Expectations of technical quality as

well as access to rich content are very high,

and VoddlerNet enables Selevision to meet

these expectations cost-effectively, without

massive investment in edge servers and

content delivery networks.”

CASBAA warns Indian TV Regulations Threaten Investment

CASBAA, the Association of Asia’s pay-TV

Industry, has warmly applauded the judicial

review now underway in India of proposed

extension and tightening of India’s pay-TV

rate regulations.

The Madras High Court is currently

reviewing the clash between the rights of

copyright owners around the world and new

tariff regulations proposed by the Telecom

Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The court has ordered the TRAI not to give

effect to the rules until the underlying issues

are considered, with a hearing now set for

January 19th.

CASBAA CEO Christopher Slaughter

observed that the new rules would be a

major negative factor for the business

environment in the $17 billion Indian media

industry. “India’s pay-TV regulations have

long been among the strictest in the world”,

he said. “The proposed new rules are highly

intrusive and would make the environment

much worse. Such a heavy-handed

regulatory regime will inevitably hit foreign

companies’ interest in investing in India.”

Indian law gives copyright owners the

ability to price and sell their creative works.

In filing the Madras suit, the petitioner

broadcasting organizations denounced

the TRAI regulation as contrary to these

principles as enshrined in the law, and in

international treaties to which India is a

signatory. (The TRAI rules would establish

a controlled price regime by mandating a

la carte channel supply, setting the ceiling,

by specific genres, that broadcasting

organizations can charge to multichannel

program distributors, limiting discounts,

prescribing carriage fees, and stipulating a

compulsory distribution fee to be paid by

Broadcasting Organizations to multichannel

program distributors.

CASBAA has long expressed concern about

India’s previous rate regulations, which

included a cable retail price freeze imposed

in 2004 “until the market became more

competitive” and never revoked.

“Today, India’s television content market

is among the most competitive in the

world,” said Slaughter. “Modern cable

MSOs, six different DTH platforms and

now online OTT television are all giving

Indian consumers a wide range of viewing

options.”

40 January 2017


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41


NEWS

EUTELSAT 117 West B now in commercial service

Eutelsat Communications has announced

that its EUTELSAT 117 West B satellite has

entered into full commercial service and

is now ready to support customers across

Latin America.

Commercialised by the Eutelsat Americas

affiliate, EUTELSAT 117 West B is the

second all-electric satellite in Eutelsat’s

fleet. It is equipped with 48 Ku-band

transponders (36 MHz equivalent)

connected to four beams providing

premium coverage of Mexico, Central

America and the Caribbean, the Andean

region and the Southern Cone. Eutelsat’s

new satellite complements EUTELSAT 117

West A, launched in 2013, to create

a multi-satellite neighbourhood at 117°

West, which is already used by Millicom’s

Tigo Star, Stargroup and Televisa. It will

also provide key services to telecom

operators and government service

providers in Latin America.

EUTELSAT 117 West B also features

a new-generation WAAS (Wide Area

Augmentation System) payload operated

by Raytheon as prime contractor for the

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),

which will go live in 2018. Developed

for the civil aviation community, the

WAAS payload is designed to receive

signals from ground stations that

verify signal accuracy and rebroadcast

the information to GPS users, including

airline cockpits, the most demanding of

civil GPS applications. It will increase GPS

signal accuracy from 10 metres to 1-2

metres, thereby enhancing aviation safety

for users in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico

and the continental United States including

Alaska.

Eutelsat appoints Sandrine Téran

as new Group Chief Financial Officer

Eutelsat has announces the appointmend

Sandrine Téran as Group Chief Financial

Officer and member of the Executive

Committee.

Sandrine Téran was formerly Managing

Director of Louis Dreyfus Holding (based in

the Netherlands) and has occupied other

key executive positions in the Louis Dreyfus

Group during the past eight years, notably

Global Head of tax and Corporate Secretary,

and subsequently Global CFO of Louis

Dreyfus Company. From 2000 to 2008 she

was head of taxation, corporate finance

and internal audit at Eutelsat, contributing

to significant structural changes including

the privatisation in 2001 and the IPO in

2005. She began her career at Ipsen as risk

manager in charge of tax and insurance

before joining Euro Disney where she was

Head of tax. Sandrine is a finance and tax

graduate from Paris Dauphine University.

Commenting on the appointment,

Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat’s Chief Executive

Officer, said:“Sandrine’s significant

expertise in a wide-range of financial

functions and experience in international

business will further strengthen our financial

leadership. I am delighted to welcome her

to Eutelsat and to our executive team.”

NovelSat to support Telefónica’s 4G service in Antarctica

Telefónica Móviles Argentina (Movistar)

recently launched the Antarctica’s first

4G LTE mobile network, supported by

NovelSat NS3000 Professional High-Data

Rate Satellite Modems. At Marambio Base,

a permanent Argentine research facility in

Antarctic territory, the most remote region

on the planet, the only viable method of

data communication is through a satellite

network. To meet the unique challenges of

Antarctica, Telefónica choose to run with

NovelSat modems and NovelSat NS4,

the 4th generation satellite transmission

waveform from NovelSat, a world leader in

satellite transmission technology.

In addition to increased data capacity to

support 4G service for the 70 permanent

residents and 5,000 annual visitors at

Marambio, the NovelSat solution has

increased network stability and reliability

compared to the previous communication

network solution.

Thanks to Telefónica’s deployment

at Marambio, where mobile data

transfer speeds previously reached

1.5Mbps, and can now enjoy speeds

of up to 20Mbps.

42 January 2017


NEWS

Ericsson and SpeedCast International

announce global partnership

Ericsson and SpeedCast have entered into a

strategic agreement which leverages both

organizations’ global capabilities to create

a strong partnership in the global maritime

sector, enabling both companies to expand

their offerings to the market.

By selecting SpeedCast as its satellite

connectivity solution partner, Ericsson will

expand its end-to-end service solutions

for shipping, ports and terminal customers

using SpeedCast’s global network and

satellite communication services to support

customers worldwide.

SpeedCast has established a strong

track record of successfully delivering

connectivity to the shipping sector, while

Ericsson has become a top provider of endto-end

managed solutions to the shipping,

port and terminal markets.

Through the partnership, Ericsson will be

able to achieve significant economies of

scale and an enhanced global infrastructure

that enables it to deliver a comprehensive

portfolio of services to its customers.

Both organizations will be able to drive

revenue growth and operational efficiencies

for their customers by combining their

offerings, including:

Pierre-Jean Beylier

CEO, SpeedCast International

• A tailored portfolio of connectivity

services aimed at lowering operational

costs, including global connectivity, data

capture and operations analytics tools

• A global sales force and support

organization that reaches all major shipping

locations

• A satellite and ground-based network

infrastructure that can provide customers

connectivity across multiple frequency

bands anywhere in the world

• Technologies that enhance connected

vessel offerings and improve efficiencies

across fleets

• Engineering, technical and managerial

resources to effectively drive program

management, product maintenance, and

field support

Pierre-Jean Beylier, CEO, SpeedCast

International Ltd, says: “Becoming

Ericsson’s mobile connectivity supplier

validates our competitive offering to the

market and our relentless focus on quality

of service. The seamless connectivity

experience that we provide to Ericsson is

crucial for their customers, and is available

to vessels and shore operations regardless

of their location. Ericsson’s integration

capabilities and end-to-end service offerings

are unique in the sector and we are happy to

explore new business models with them.”

John Taxgaard, Head of Maritime, Customer

Group Industry & Society, Ericsson, says:

“SpeedCast provides us a flexible business

model that fits our needs. The possibility

of joining their connectivity platform and

the resulting availability is a great fit for our

managed services solutions. We are very

pleased to have SpeedCast as our partner

and we foresee huge benefits and successful

implementations for both sides.”

SpeedCast launches ‘SpeedMail Business Unlimited’

SpeedCast International has announced

the official release of SpeedMail Business

Unlimited, a revolutionary service bundle

offering unlimited business email for the

maritime industry.

The SpeedMail Business Unlimited solution

is based on the SIGMA Net platform using

SpeedMail+, a primary VSAT connection

and an MSS backup link.

The SpeedMail Business Unlimited

package is designed to provide maritime

business continuity with predictable and

fixed monthly costs, removing the fear of

unexpected overage fees.

SpeedMail+ is a secure cloud-based

maritime email system, delivering efficient

email plus file transfer services between

ship and shore. Managing SpeedMail+

has never been easier with SpeedMail+

Portal, a cloud-based management

application allowing IT managers to

remotely configure and troubleshoot via a

browser wherever their vessels are located.

Vessel IT Managers can also opt to use the

SpeedMail+ domain for email, or permit

SpeedCast to host a designated corporate

email domain for their fleet.

SIGMA Net is a VSAT and MSS network

management device that provides

automated and efficient management

of multiple WAN links, plus a portfolio

of secured cloud-based business services

including an integrated firewall, web

access management, integrated SIP

server for VOIP calling and VPN

connectivity to corporate headquarters.

SIGMA Net offers flexible crew services

including innovative pre-paid pin-based

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) data and

voice services, supporting simplified

voucher generation and management

from shore.

January 2017

43


NEWS

Veeam launches ‘Veeam partner Academies’ in the

Middle East as part of Channel Enablement Strategy

Veeam has announced the introduction

of ‘Veeam Partner Academies’, a series

of half day and full day workshops that

will be co-hosted along with a distributor.

The objective is to develop knowledge

within Veeam’s sales and pre-sales partner

community so that they have all the tools

needed to deliver a compelling message to

customers about the criticality of availability

solutions for the modern data centre.

Omar Akhtar, Regional Channel Manager

- Middle East & SAARC at Veeam Software

says, “Veeam is evolving into a ‘nontouch

business’ and we rely heavily on our

partners to drive our business. Due to the

company’s continued commitment to its

channel partners across the Middle East,

investment in training is key so partners can

continually differentiate themselves from

competitors that offer traditional legacy

back-up. This initiative enables our partners

to position themselves as trusted advisors

to end-users and knowledgably advise

them about the criticality of ‘Availability’

in their journey to digital transformation.

Our partners will be given the knowledge

and skills to educate regional CIOs and IT

managers about the need to transition from

legacy backup solutions to high availability

data centre solutions like the Veeam

Availability Suite, in order to make the

most of their investments in virtualization

and become always-on, always-available

operations.”

Veeam will co-host the first event in Q1’

2017 in the UAE with its distributor Aptec

- an Ingram Micro Company, and will then

extend the concept to other regional

distributors.

Gianluca Mazzotta, EMEA Presales

Director at Veeam Software says, “At

Veeam, we see our channel as an extension

of our company, and to this end we want

them to be able to add value to end-users

as they help them address their

virtualization and availability challenges.

Key to this is delivering the correct technical

message and partners will only be able to

do this effectively if they are provided with

regular training. We have experienced a

great deal of success with hosting Veeam

Partner Academies in Europe and we are

excited about launching the concept in the

Middle East. The feedback from partners

that have attended the events has been

very encouraging and we have already

noticed an improvement in customer

engagement as a direct result of these

workshops. ”

Peter-Service and Rostelecom complete a Big Data project

Rostelecom invited Peter-Service to build

an analytical data storage. The main task

of the data storage is to process data from

Rostelecom’s interconnect system and

provide analytical reports, helping the

telecom operator make strategic decisions

on how to develop its voice service offerings

in the B2B, B2C and B2O segments.

Voice traffic remains an important part

of Rostelecom’s business, with outgoing

and incoming calls to and from numbers

served by other network operators

accounting for a considerable portion

of it. Since 2014 Rostelecom has been

using PETER-SERVICE ITC, a centralized

solution delivered by Peter-Service, to

handle interconnect settlement with other

operators. The newly deployed analytical

data storage will receive and process

data from ITC, with total monthly input

averaging over 10 billion records.

Rostelecom’s strategy is to adopt a

segment-based management model. To

implement it, the operator needs to split its

traffic into segments based on subscriber

number types. Until 2016, the entire

interconnect traffic had been classified as

B2O (Business-to-Operator) only. With the

data storage launched, it became possible

to classify traffic into three segments − B2B,

B2C and B2O − as required by Rostelecom’s

current corporate accounting practices and

calculate service margins for each segment

with a considerable degree of precision both

by region and by call interconnection level

(local, national, international).

The data storage was built by Peter-Service,

a long-standing supplier of interconnect

solutions to Rostelecom. The system

became part of Rostelecom’s big data

platform; the architecture of the solution

enabled seamless integration into the

operator’s unified enterprise data storage.

“Telecom operators have been focused on

building analytical data storages for the

last few years, but now, with operators’

interest in big data growing rapidly, the task

is becoming even more relevant,” said Igor

Gorkov, Peter-Service’s Managing Director.

“The revenue share of voice services has

been declining in recent years, and in-depth

traffic analysis is becoming increasingly

important. Empowered by big data

approaches, operators can not only better

control their revenue and cost streams

relating to on-network, interconnect

or roaming traffic but also make better

decisions about how to develop their

business in those areas.”

January 2017

45


EVENT

PSEB holds IT Awards event to

recognize top IT exporters of Pakistan

Aftab Raza Khan

Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB),

organized an IT Awards event at a local

hotel in Islamabad to motivate and to

recognize the top IT exporters of Pakistan.

The event was attended by senior

executives of IT companies, government

officials, and commercial counselors of

a number of countries. MD PSEB, Asim

Shahryar Husain, welcomed the participants

and mentioned that PSEB is organizing the

awards for the first time to motivate and to

recognize the top IT exporters of Pakistan.

He mentioned that PSEB has many industry

support programs including research

studies, software parks and bandwidth,

participation in international events, CMMI

and ISO certifications, and internships and

trainings for IT graduates, and industry

advocacy on issues such as taxation and

curriculum. He stated that the purpose

of these programs is to facilitate the IT

industry to grow the IT exports of Pakistan

every year.

This was followed by speeches from

executives of different IT companies

including Salim Ghauri from Netsol, Mr.

Naseer Akhtar from InfoTech, and Mr.

Haroon Kanth from Teradata Pakistan who

talked about the success stories of their

companies.

During the awards distribution ceremony,

Minister IT, Anusha Rahman Khan

gave awards to the top IT exporters.

The platinum award went to Netsol

Technologies. Gold awards were given to

Systems Limited, S&P Pakistan, Teradata

Pakistan, and TRG Pakistan. Silver awards

were given to MTBC, Ovex Technologies,

i2c Pakistan, LMKR Pakistan, and Mentor

Graphics Pakistan. The awards for top 3

companies in domestic revenue went to

Inbox Technologies, InfoTech, and NIFT. The

awards for top 3 startups in exports were

given to Synergy-IT, VentureDive, and MD

Vision. Finally, the innovation awards for

technology patents were given to Astica,

Solotech Labs, and Xgrid Solutions.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister IT

stated that ICT is a top priority sector for

the current government. The ministry had

announced the telecom policy in early 2016

and the plan is to get IT policy approved by

cabinet by early 2017. It was because of the

efforts of Ministry of IT that tax exemption

on IT exports has been extended for another

3 years. Also, IT remittances have grown

by 70% under the current government over

the past three years. She emphasized that

to improve the IT exports, the companies

should report their remittances under the

correct IT codes defined by state bank. If

the remittances grow by 25% every year,

then IT exports will cross $5 billion by 2020

and $10 billion by 2025.

The Minister mentioned that she

had approached Korea Exim Bank in

2014 to initiate feasibility study for a

new technology park on PSEB’s land

in Islamabad. The good news for the

industry is that feasibility study has been

completed and PC-1 has been approved

by ECNEC also. Chairman of Korea Exim

Bank will be visiting Pakistan next month

to sign the loan agreement. This will be

followed by design and construction of a

new technology park in Islamabad. She

mentioned that PSEB has land for IT parks

in Karachi and Lahore also and is looking

for investors to build new IT parks in those

cities also.

Minister IT congratulated the award winners

and hoped that the awards will motivate

other IT companies to improve their exports

and reporting to get a chance for winning

the awards next year.

46 January 2017


ARTICLE

Cyber Security

in 2017

Harish Chib

Vice President - Sophos, MEA

2016 saw a huge number and variety of

cyberattacks, ranging from a high-profile

DDoS using hijacked Internet-facing

security cameras to the alleged hacking of

party officials during the US election. We

also saw a rising tide of data breaches, from

organizations big and small, and significant

losses of people’s personal information.

With the year almost over, we’re pondering

how some of those trends might play out in

2017.

Current and emerging attack trends

Destructive DDoS IoT attacks will rise. In

2016, Mirai showed the massive destructive

potential of DDoS attacks as a result of

insecure consumer IoT (Internet of Things)

devices. Mirai’s attacks exploited only a

small number of devices and vulnerabilities

and used basic password guessing

techniques. However, cybercriminals will

find it easy to extend their reach because

there are so many IoT devices containing

outdated code based on poorly-maintained

operating systems and applications with

well-known vulnerabilities. Expect IoT

exploits, better password guessing and

more compromised IoT devices being used

for DDoS or perhaps to target other devices

in your network.

Shift from exploitation to targeted social

attacks. Cybercriminals are getting better

at exploiting the ultimate vulnerability

- humans. Ever more sophisticated and

convincing targeted attacks seek to coax

users into compromising themselves. For

example, it’s common to see an email that

addresses the recipient by name and claims

they have an outstanding debt the sender

has been authorized to collect. Shock,

awe or borrowing authority by pretending

to be law enforcement are common and

effective tactics. The email directs them

to a malicious link that users are panicked

into clicking on, opening them up to attack.

Such phishing attacks can no longer be

recognized by obvious mistakes.

Financial infrastructure at greater risk of

attack. The use of targeted phishing and

“whaling” continues to grow. These attacks

use detailed information about company

executives to trick employees into paying

fraudsters or compromising accounts. We

also expect more attacks on critical financial

infrastructure, such as the attack involving

SWIFT-connected institutions which cost

the Bangladesh Central Bank $81 million

in February. SWIFT recently admitted that

there have been other such attacks and it

expects to see more, stating in a leaked

letter to client banks: “The threat is very

persistent, adaptive and sophisticated –

and it is here to stay”.

Exploitation of the Internet’s inherently

insecure infrastructure. All Internet users

rely on ancient foundational protocols,

and their ubiquity makes them nearly

impossible to revamp or replace. These

archaic protocols that have long been the

backbone of the Internet and business

networks are sometimes surprisingly flaky.

For example, attacks against BGP (Border

Gateway Protocol)could potentially disrupt,

hijack, or disable much of the Internet.

And the DDoS attack on Dynin October

(launched by a myriad of IoT devices), took

down the DNS provider and, along with it,

access to part of the internet. It was one of

the largest assaults seen and those claiming

responsibility said that it was just a dry run.

Large-scale ISPs and enterprises can take

some steps to respond, but these may well

fail to prevent serious damage if individuals

or states choose to exploit the Internet’s

deepest security flaws.

Increased attack complexity. Attacks

increasingly bring together multiple

technical and social elements, and

reflect careful, lengthy probing of the

victim organization’s network. Attackers

compromise multiple servers and

workstations long before they start to steal

data or act aggressively. Closely managed

by experts, these attacks are strategic, not

tactical, and can cause far more damage.

This is a very different world to the preprogrammed

and automated malware

payloads we used to see – patient and

evading detection.

More attacks using built-in admin

languages and tools. We see more exploits

based on PowerShell, Microsoft’s language

for automating administrative tasks. As

a scripting language, PowerShell evades

countermeasures focused on executables.

We also see more attacks using penetration

testing and other administrative tools that

may already exist on the network, need not

be infiltrated, and may not be suspected.

These powerful tools require equally strong

controls.

Ransomware evolves. As more users

recognize the risks of ransomware attack via

email, criminals are exploring other vectors.

Some are experimenting with malware that

reinfects later, long after a ransom is paid,

January 2017

47


and some are starting to use built-in tools

and no executable malware at all to avoid

detection by endpoint protection code

that focuses on executable files. Recent

examples have offered to decrypt files

after the victim shared the ransomware

with two friends, and those friends paid to

decrypt their files. Ransomware authors

are also starting to use techniques other

than encryption, for example deleting or

corrupting file headers. And finally, with

“old” ransomware still floating around the

web, users may fall victim to attacks that

can’t be “cured” because payment locations

no longer work.

Emergence of personal IoT attacks.

Users of home IoT devices may not notice

or even care if their baby monitors are

hijacked to attack someone else’s website.

But once attackers “own” a device on a

home network, they can compromise

other devices, such as laptops containing

important personal data. We expect to see

more of this as well asmore attacks that

use cameras and microphonesto spy on

households. Cyber criminals always find a

way to profit.

Growth of malvertising and corruption

of online advertising ecosystems:

Malvertising, which spreads malware

through online ad networks and web pages,

has been around for years. But in 2016,

we saw much more of it. These attacks

highlight larger problems throughout the

advertising ecosystem, such as click fraud,

which generates paying clicks that don’t

correspond to real customer interest.

Malvertising has actually generated click

fraud, compromising users and stealing

from advertisers at the same time.

The downside of encryption. As encryption

becomes ubiquitous, it has become much

harder for security products to inspect

traffic, making it easier for criminals to

sneak through undetected. Unsurprisingly,

cybercriminals are using encryption in

creative new ways. Security products will

need to tightly integrate network and client

capabilities, to rapidly recognize security

events after code is decrypted on the

endpoint.

Rising focus on exploits against virtualized

and cloud systems. Attacks against

physical hardware (e.g. Rowhammer)

raise the possibility of dangerous new

exploits against virtualized cloud systems.

Attackers might abuse the host or other

guests running on a shared host, attack

privilege models, and conceivably access

others ‘data. And, as Docker and the entire

container (or ‘serverless’) eco-system

become more popular, attackers will

increasingly seek to discover and exploit

vulnerabilities in this relatively new trend in

computing. We expect active attempts to

operationalize such attacks.

Technical attacks against states and

societies. Technology-based attacks have

become increasingly political. Societies face

growing risks from both disinformation(e.g.,

“fake news”) and voting system

compromise. For instance, researchers have

demonstrated attacks that might allow a

local voter to fraudulently vote repeatedly

Users of home IoT

devices may not notice

or even care if their baby

monitors are hijacked

to attack someone

else’s website. But once

attackers “own” a device

on a home network, they

can compromise other

devices, such as laptops

containing important

personal data.

without detection. Even if states never

engage in attacks against their adversaries’

elections, the perception that these attacks

are possible is itself a powerful weapon.

What can organisations do to protect

against new threats?

Unfortunately, many organizations still

don’t have their security basics right. We

offer six measures organizations should put

in place to help keep more complex threats

at bay.

Moving from layered to integrated

security. Many organizations now possess

multiple solutions that were once bestin-breed

but are now too costly and

difficult to manage. Moving towards

integrated solutions where all components

communicate and work together will help to

solve this. For example, if malware knocks

an endpoint’s security software offline,

network security should automatically

quarantine that device, reducing the risk to

your entire environment.

Deploying next-generation endpoint

protection. As ransomware becomes

ubiquitous and endpoints grow more

diverse, organizations must refocus on

endpoint protection. But signature-based

solutions are no longer enough on their

own, and can miss zero-day attacks. Choose

solutions that recognize and prevent the

techniques and behaviors used in nearly all

exploits.

Prioritizing risk-based security. No

organization possesses the resources to

systematically protect everything, and

100% prevention is no longer realistic.

Clarify the risks associated with each

system, and focus your efforts accordingly.

Risks change fast: look for tools that track

them dynamically, and respond accordingly.

But make sure those tools are easy and

practical enough to use.

Automating the basics. You can’t afford to

waste time running the same reports and

performing the same security tasks you

always have. Automate wherever it can be

done simply and easily, so you can focus

scarce resources on serious risks and highvalue

tasks.

Building staff and process to deter and

mitigate social attacks. Since social attacks

now predominate, educating users and

involving them in prevention is now even

more important. Focus education on the

threats each group is likeliest to encounter.

Make sure it’s up-to-date: outdated

guidance on topics such as phishing can be

counterproductive, offering a false sense of

security.

Improving defender coordination.

Cybercrime is organized crime: defense

must be organized, too. That means

choosing tools and processes that eliminate

barriers within your organization, so

everyone can respond quickly to the same

attack. It may also mean looking for legal

and practical opportunities to collaborate

with other companies and the government,

so you can mitigate widespread attacks and

learn from others’ postmortems.

48 January 2017


The App is Dead. And IoT Killed It

What’s the last app you downloaded?

Did you download it “willingly,” or were you “forced” to download it to be able to operate a new device?

Shiny

Like millions of people around the world,

you may have received a shiny new device

as a holiday gift at the end of last year. But

it wasn’t just any device. It was a smart

device, connected to the internet and

controlled and managed through an app.

Wait? What?! I have to stop everything

just to download (and then keep updated)

another app on my smart phone just to use,

just to “talk” to my device? Why?

Faster

Over the past 12 months, I have seen the

world change — yes, for the better.

Full disclosure: My company created

technology which enables people to talk

to their things as easily as they talk to

each other (and depending on your family,

maybe even easier).

Easier

The world has changed for the better

because WE NO LONGER NEED A

SEPARATE APP to use our things, the

“things” in the Internet of Things (IoT). We

simply communicate with our devices —

including appliances, machines, equipment,

software, and databases — with the

communications platforms we already like

to use.

It’s an easy guess that the apps you

use most on your smart phone are

communications apps. It’s how you

communicate with the people in your

life.

You text people. You email people.

You tweet, snap, and Facebook people.

And, depending on the country in which

you live (and also your age!), you may also

WhatsApp, Viber, and WeChat people.

Cheaper

How exactly did IoT kill the app? You can

now text your air conditioner. You can email

your city garage’s parking camera. You can

have your fitness tracker tweet, snap and

Facebook your run or swim. And you can

even WhatsApp, Viber, and WeChat your

robot floor cleaner to finish vacuuming

before you get home from work.

But what about voice?

Text is still superior to voice, as anyone who

has used Google Home or Amazon Echo

(yes, I have one, and I love it) and/or tried to

use voice while waiting in an airport security

line without having other people overhear:

1) your proprietary business information,

2) your squeeze’s silly nickname, or 3) your

holiday weight gain. can tell you.

So what’s next?

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show

here in Las Vegas, arguably the Super Bowl

(or World Cup if you’re from outside of the

US) of technology, the trend line is clear.

IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural

Language Processing (NLP), and Virtual/

Augmented/Mixed Reality (VR, AR, and MR

respectively) are rapidly, and permanently,

changing the capabilities of the products we

use at home, at work, and on the go.

Manufacturers who “zap the app”

reduce their costs (how much did your

company spend on its apps in 2016?),

increase product usability (no apps to

learn, even grandmothers can message,

especially when they get to choose their

own channel), and focus on what they

do best (i.e., I have yet to meet a product

engineer who loves managing dozens of

communications platforms’ constantly

changing Application Processing Interfaces

(APIs)).

January 2017

49


GLOBAL ICT, TELECOM & SATCOM EVENTS

PTC January & February 2017

15 - 18 January Honolulu, Hawaii, US

SCWS MENA 16 January Dubai, UAE

Customer Experience Management 23 - 26 January London, UK

Global Space Congress 31 Jan - 01 Feb Abu Dhabi, UAE

MEET ICT Bahrain & BITEX 2017 07 - 09 February Manama, Bahrain

Convergence India 08 - 10 February New Delhi, India

GTX-i 15 - 20 February Baghdad, Iraq

Milsatcom 21 - 22 February Abu Dhabi, UAE

GTI Summit 23 February Barcelona, Spain

GSMA Mobile World Congress 27 Feb - 02 March Barcelona, Spain

March & April 2017

Satellite 2017 06 - 09 March Washington Dc, USA

Capacity Middle East 07 - 09 March Dubai, UAE

Beyond Connectivity 16 March Oman, Muscat

Telecom World Asia 21 - 22 March Bangkok, Thailand

CeBIT Germany 20 - 24 March Hannover, Germany

CABSAT 21 - 23 March Dubai, UAE

NFV & SDN MENA Forum 27 - 28 March Dubai, UAE

Australian OTT Summit 27 - 28 March Abu Dhabi, UAE

MEFTECH 28 - 29 March Abu Dhabi, UAE

TV Connect 28 - 30 March London, UK

Convergence Africa World 05 - 07 April Nairobi, Kenya

Broadband TV Connect Asia 11 - 12 April Hong Kong

ITC FEST 11 - 12 April Dubai, UAE

SCWA Asia 11 April Singapore

Financial Inclusion Summit Asia 18 - 19 April Singapore

NAB Show 22 - 27 April Las Vegas, US

MVNOs World Congress 24 - 27 April Acropolis Nice, France

50 January 2017


March & April 2017

5G Latin America 25 - 27 April RIO de Janeiro, Brazil

Expo Comm Russia 25 - 27 April Moscow, Russia

Broadband Latin America 25 - 27 April RIO de Janeiro, Brazil

5G MENA 30 April - 02 May Dubai, UAE

Seamless Middle East

May 2017

01 - 02 May Dubai, UAE

Cloud MENA 01 - 02 May Dubai, UAE

The Mobile Show ME 01 - 02 May Dubai, UAE

Transform Africa Summit 2017 10 - 12 May Kigali, Rwanda

SAMENA Telecom Leader Summit 11 May Dubai, UAE

MilsatCom Asia Pacific 15 - 16 May Singapore

Critical Communications 16 - 18 May Hong Kong

GISEC & GEMEC 21 - 23 May Dubai, UAE

Future Technology Week 21 - 23 May Dubai, UAE

IoTx 21 - 23 May Dubai, UAE

Casbaa Satellite Industry Forum 22 May Singapore

CommunicAsia 2017 23 - 25 May Singapore

SCWS Forum 23 May London, UK

June to October 2017

West Africa Com 06 - 08 June Lagos, Nigeria

5G World 13 - 15 June London, UK

GSMA Mobile World Congress 28 June - 01 July Shanghai, China

IBC 14 - 19 September Amsterdam, Netherlands

Telecom World ME 18 - 19 September Dubai, UAE

ITU Telecom World 25 - 28 September Busan, Korea

PT/EXPO China 2017 27 - 30 September Beijing, China

5G Asia 02 - 04 October Singapore

GITEX Technology Week 08 - 12 October Dubai, UAE

Broadband World Forum 24 - 26 October Messe Berlin, Germany

CommUnic Indonesia 25 - 27 October Jakarta, Indonesia

January 2017

51


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