Technology – Daily News Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:28:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Slight growth in internet user numbers supported by new ADSL subscriptions  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/slight-growth-internet-user-numbers-supported-new-adsl-subscriptions/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/slight-growth-internet-user-numbers-supported-new-adsl-subscriptions/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:00:36 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615936 Amount of mobile internet users declined by 1.6% in November

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 The number of fixed internet ADSL users increased slightly, by 90,000 new clients, in November, reaching 4.6m clients, up from 4.51m customers in October, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

Meanwhile, the total number of internet users in Egypt also slightly increased in the same month to reach 37m clients, up from 36.9m in October.

According to the report, the number of mobile internet users declined from 29.12m users in October to reach 28.65m in November, a decrease of 1.6%.

Currently, five internet companies compete in the market: Telecom Egypt’s subsidiary TE Data, Orange ADSL, Vodafone Data, Etisalat, and Noor ADSL.

The report stated that the number of USB internet users fell from 3.33m users in October to 3.3m users in November, a small decline of about 0.90%.

The mobile communication services sector had increased its client base by about 970,100 new subscribers in October, rising from around 96.2m subscribers in September to roughly 97.2m subscribers in October. Etisalat recorded the biggest gains with over 671,400 new subscribers in that month, registering around 23.67m subscribers in October, up from 23m in September.

 

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Google tops World’s Most Valuable Brand list  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/615924/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/615924/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:30:32 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615924 Apple drops to second place compared to last year, says Brand Finance

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The US company Google topped the World’s Most Valuable Brand list in terms of communications and information technology companies for 2017, according to the Brand Finance classification.

The list states that Google’s monetary value increased to $109.4bn in 2017, compared to $88.17bn in 2016.

Apple dropped to the second place, falling from its 2016 number one spot. The company’s monetary value declined to $107.1bn in 2017, compared to $145.9bn in 2016.

Amazon.com came in third with a monetary value of $106.3bn in 2017 compared to $69.6bn in 2016.

AT&T took the fourth place, with a monetary value of $87.01bn in 2017, marking an increase from its $59.9bn in 2016, followed by Microsoft, valued at $76.2bn in 2017 compared to $67.2bn in the last year.

According to the list, Samsung Group ranked sixth among the world’s most valuable brands with a monetary value of $66.2bn in 2017 compared to $58.6bn in 2016, followed by Verizon in seventh place with a monetary value worth $65.8bn in 2017 compared to $ 63.1bn in 2016.

Facebook came in eighth with a monetary value estimated at $61.9bn in 2017 compared to $34bn in 2016.

China Mobile came in ninth place with a monetary value estimated at $46.7bn in 2017 compared to $9.8bn last year, followed by T (Deutsche Telekom) with a monetary value of $36.4bn in 2017, compared to $33.1bn in 2016.

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3% decline in iPhone prices, 4% in iPads this month http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/3-decline-iphone-prices-4-ipads-month/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/3-decline-iphone-prices-4-ipads-month/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:00:39 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615930 The price of iPhones declined by 3% in February, where according to the new price list of Apple products, the iPhone 7 Plus has declined by 3%, from EGP 19,999 to EGP 19,399, whereas the price of the iPhone 7 Plus-28GB declined from EGP 22,699 to EGP 22,018. The iPhone Plus 7-256GB declined from EGP …

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The price of iPhones declined by 3% in February, where according to the new price list of Apple products, the iPhone 7 Plus has declined by 3%, from EGP 19,999 to EGP 19,399, whereas the price of the iPhone 7 Plus-28GB declined from EGP 22,699 to EGP 22,018. The iPhone Plus 7-256GB declined from EGP 25,299 to EGP 24,540.

The iPhone 6S Plus-16GB declined from EGP 14,999 to EGP 14,249, while the iPhone 6S Plus-32GB declined from 16,899 to EGP 16,054.

iPads also declined by 4%, where the iPad Pro-32GB declined from EGP 17,299 to EGP 16,607. The iPad Pro-128GB declined from EGP 19,599 to EGP 18,815.

For his part, Waleed Ramadan, head of the mobile communications division in the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, said that the prices of phones will decline by 10% to 18% this month if the dollar’s exchange rate continues to decline.

The price list of Samsung has declined by 8%-19%. The dollar decline this week led Samsung agents to reduce the prices on each device by EGP 300 to EGP 2,000, depending on the model.

The price of the Galaxy S7 Edge LTE declined by 19% from EGP 15,300 to EGP 12,400, while the Galaxy Note 5ds declined to EGP 10,650 from EGP 11,700—a 9% decline.

The Galaxy A7 declined by 7% to EGP 8,450 from EGP 9,100, while the Galaxy J7 declined 8.5% from EGP 4,140 to EGP 3,800.

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New increases in Huwaei and Infinix mobile phone prices this February http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/new-increases-huwaei-infinix-mobile-phone-prices-february/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/new-increases-huwaei-infinix-mobile-phone-prices-february/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:30:57 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615927 8.6% increase in Huawei prices, 7.9% increase in Infinix

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Huawei Mobile Devices increased the prices of its mobile phone and tablet products on 18 February by 8.6%, according to the price list of which Daily News Egypt obtained a copy. The Mate 9 phone’s price increased from EGP 10,010 to EGP 10,879, whereas the price of the Mate 8 increased from EGP 8,950 to EGP 9,725.

The price of the G8 increased from EGP 4,770 to EGP 5,179, the Y6 Pro-3G from EGP 2,530 to EGP 2,749, and the Y3C from EGP 935 to EGP 985. The price of the Media Pad-4G tablet increased from EGP 3,533 to EGP 3,839, while the Media Pad-3G increased from EGP 1,931 to EGP 2,099.

Infinix also increased the prices of its mobile products by 7.9%, where the Hot S-16GB increased from EGP 2,225 to EGP 2,399, while the Hot S Pro-16GB increased from EGP 2,390 to EGP 2,580.

According to the price list of Infinix for February, the price of the Note 3-16GB increased from EGP 2,515 to reach EGP 2,715, while the Note 3 Pro increased from EGP 2,720 to EGP 2,935.

The price of the Hot 4 increased from EGP 1,418 to reach EGP 1,530, while the Hot 4 Pro increased from EGP 1,687 to EGP 1,820. The Zero 4 increased from EGP 3,385 to EGP 3,655, while the Zero 4 Plus increased from EGP 4,710 to EGP 5,085.

Samsung increased the price of its own phones in January by 7-10% compared to December. The prices of mobiles, tablets, smart watches, and the “Internet of Things” devices also increased.

The sales of the mobile market declined locally during the first quarter of 2016 by 7% compared to the same period of last year, according to a report issued by market research company GfK, whereas the market sales of January, February, and March were 4m, compared to 4.3 million during the same period in 2015. The market is expected to witness a decline in growth this year, according to GfK.

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Will 2017 be the real return for Nokia phones? http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/615916/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/615916/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:00:39 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615916 Nokia to launch its smartphones in Egypt mid-May

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The Finnish phone company Nokia plans to launch the new version of its 3310 phone during the international conference for mobile phones named “Mobile World Congress,” taking place in Barcelona, Spain, between 27 February to 2 March.

HMD, which works on developing the mobile phones of the brand “Nokia,” seeks to launch the phones Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 during the conference.

About 800 telecommunications companies and more than 250 mobile phone developers, along with internet, programming, and financing companies will take part in the conference, in addition to other industrial sectors.

According to Bassem Mogahed, the CEO of Raya Trade, the affiliate of Raya Holding and exclusive agent of Nokia in Egypt, said that a delegation from the company will take part in the events of the Mobile World Congress. The company will officially launch its Android smartphones in Egypt mid-May.

He explained that the 3310 phone the company will re-launch will not be a smartphone, but rather an advanced version of a traditional mobile phone. The real bet, though, will be on the company’s smartphones.

Even though it has been 17 years since Nokia launched its 3310, many still admire its rigidity and the strength of its batteries, something you cannot easily find in modern phones, according to Mogahed. The phone has many advantages, including a calculator, large storage, and four famous games: “Snake II,” “Pairs II,” “Space Impact,” and “Bantumi.” Snake is considered one of the most popular games and is currently available on Windows, Android, and iOS phones.

The company has launched the Nokia 6 into the Chinese market, with specifications of a 5.5″ screen, 1080×1920 pixels, a Snapdragon 430 processor from Qualcomm, 4GB memory, a 16 megapixel rear camera, and the price of $270.

Nokia is working to return to the market in the age of smartphones, where Microsoft bought the shares of Nokia in 2013 and completed sales in 2014 for $5.4bn, making the name Nokia disappear from the market and being launched under the name Lumia, whereas the company continued to produce traditional phones under the name Nokia before it was resold to Chinese company Foxconn in 2016 for $350m.

The Nokia 6 has advanced features, such as a 5.5″ screen, a 16 megapixel camera, 4GB RAM, and an eight-core processor. Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 have lower specifications for a lower price.

Leaks suggest that the Nokia 5 will have a 5.2″ screen with 720 pixels, 2GB RAM, and a camera of less than 12 megapixels, whereas the Nokia 3 will have the lowest specifications of the three new smartphones.

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Huawei acquires 10% of global smartphone market sales http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/20/huawei-acquires-10-global-smartphone-market-sales/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/20/huawei-acquires-10-global-smartphone-market-sales/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:48:11 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615836 The three Chinese brands among the top five make up almost 20% of the global market share

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According to data released by the analysts at Strategy Analytics and Counterpoint Research, Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) became the third largest smartphone manufacturer by market share, commanding 10% of the global market.

The Chinese market contributed a large part of this total figure with 467 million mobile phones shipped for the year. Among the top five vendors—Samsung, Apple, Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo—the three Chinese brands account for almost 20% of the global market share. Huawei ranked third overall, with nearly 10% market share, maintaining a steady growth despite a weaker global market. In total, Huawei shipped 139.3 million units in 2016, up 30.2% from 2015.

Despite the softening of the global smartphone market, Huawei’s annual growth in shipments shows strong momentum and continues to perform above the industry average. Shipments grew from 75 million in 2014 to 108 million in 2015 and approximately140 million in 2016. This industry-defying growth consolidated Huawei’s position as the number three global vendor.

Huawei has also modified its channel strategy, growing the total number of its offline service stores to more than 460 across 45 countries worldwide. The company launched its “1,000-county plan” in China, aiming to set up 1,000 stores across the country. Huawei has also established long-term and stable partnerships with thousands of distributors and retailers all over the world. The global public channel as a share of revenue increased to 71% in 2016, up 13 percentage points from 2015. The number of retailers offering Huawei devices across the world also increased to more than 70,000.

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El Kady discusses with YOFC final steps to establish optical fibre cable factory http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/16/615629/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/16/615629/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:16:42 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615629 El Kady stressed on the importance of responding to the current increase of domestic demand for optical fibre cables

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Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El kady discussed with the Chinese company Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Joint Stock Limited Company (YOFC) the final steps for establishing a factory for optical fibre cables in one of the technological zones, in order to serve the increased domestic demand and exports to the region.

El Kady stressed on the importance of developing the telecommunication infrastructure and responding to the current increase of domestic demand for optical fibre cables—especially in light of the development of new cities and regions across the country. This is to provide further support to one of the main aspects in the strategy of the telecommunications and information technology sector, which supports creating a smart technological structure.

YOFC group (a partner of Huawei Global) owns the highest market share in the world in the field of optical fibre cables, and it is one of China ‘s largest investment entities that possesses numerous international investments.

YOFC chose Egypt as a destination to establish its new plant because of the Egyptian administration’s willingness and desire to develop and grow their country’s mature telecommunications sector. The company’s vice president emphasised on the company’s appreciation for the quality of Egyptian cadres that deal with precise modern technology.

The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) held a series of intensive meetings with YOFC in the past period to discuss the technical requirements of the plant and to provide the advisory side, which included the selection of the appropriate location of the plant in one of the new technological zones. Additionally, ITIDA offered to provide technological cadres, especially that the agency provides a technical training programme to develop the field of optical fibre cables production and maintenance.

Asmaa Hosni, CEO of ITIDA; Ahmed El-Sobky, vice president for IT markets development at ITIDA; and representatives of Huawei company in Cairo attended the meeting.

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KnockMart.com launches initiative to partner with retail outlets in Greater Cairo  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/knockmart-com-launches-initiative-partner-retail-outlets-greater-cairo/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/knockmart-com-launches-initiative-partner-retail-outlets-greater-cairo/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 07:00:57 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615500 KnockMart.com, the online supermarket, has launched an initiative to partner with retail stores. The initiative aims for KnockMart to link shops to its electronic network and provides goods at the same prices. This comes to coincide with the state’s plan to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Ahmed Taher, CEO of KnockMart.com, said that activating …

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KnockMart.com, the online supermarket, has launched an initiative to partner with retail stores. The initiative aims for KnockMart to link shops to its electronic network and provides goods at the same prices. This comes to coincide with the state’s plan to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Ahmed Taher, CEO of KnockMart.com, said that activating the initiative will contribute to achieving several goals, including providing up to 5,000 jobs for youth and meeting the needs of clients across Greater Cairo and new urban cities.

He pointed out that the initiative allows citizens access to food and household goods over the internet at the same prices and offers of major supermarket chains. He added that it will also allow companies to increase their outlets and spread to new areas.

Taher said the company began applying the initiative through a partnership with i_mart in Heliopolis, adding that KnockMart aims to sign partnerships with 35 companies as part of the initiative in 2017 and boost the figure to 350 by 2021.

KnockMart is the first comprehensive online shopping experience in Cairo. Using a streamlined ordering and delivery process, KnockMart.com delivers groceries, household goods, and other lifestyle essentials directly to clients’ doors.

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FreeTel aims to acquire 5% of Egyptian mobile market in 2017 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/freetel-aims-acquire-5-egyptian-mobile-market-2017/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/freetel-aims-acquire-5-egyptian-mobile-market-2017/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 06:30:03 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615493 Sameh Sabry, Egypt’s general manager for Unicom Trade, the dealership and distributor of FreeTel phones in Egypt, said that the company intends to acquire a 5% share of the mobile phones market in 2017. Sabry told Daily News Egypt that the competition in Egypt is not easy, adding that the company aims to meet the …

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Sameh Sabry, Egypt’s general manager for Unicom Trade, the dealership and distributor of FreeTel phones in Egypt, said that the company intends to acquire a 5% share of the mobile phones market in 2017.

Sabry told Daily News Egypt that the competition in Egypt is not easy, adding that the company aims to meet the needs of the Egyptian market, with regards to the specification of its phones and prices.

Unicom Distribution said launching FreeTel smartphones in Egypt will strengthen the new, exclusive partnership signed between the two companies and will ensure the availability of the FreeTel handsets across the country for every potential user seeking a Japanese high-quality smartphone with a premium design and an affordable price. The companies aim to launch the array of smartphones in the Egyptian market by the end of March 2017. Furthermore, Unicom Distribution manages and operates Proserve, the after-sales service centres across Egypt and will provide any assistance and repairs needed for FreeTel products.

FreeTel, the top smartphone brand in Japan, chose Egypt as their first market launch in the Middle East through partnering with Unicom Distribution, a leading distributor of mobile brands in the region. Unicom has an extensive distribution network in Egypt and has strategic partnerships with major organised retailers and independent retail channels.

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Careem targets expansion in 40 cities nationwide in 2017 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/careem-targets-expansion-40-cities-nationwide-2017/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/15/careem-targets-expansion-40-cities-nationwide-2017/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 06:00:19 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615482 We have agreed with a financing company to fund the purchase of cars for those who want to work for Careem, Shalaby says

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Careem, an online cab-booking app, aims to achieve a monthly growth rate of 30% in 2017, according to the Hadeer Shalaby, general manager of Careem Cairo.

Shalaby says that Careem agreed with financing companies to fund the purchase of new cars for those who are willing to work for Careem and do not have a car, offering financing of EGP 30,000 for each new car.

Hadeer Shalaby, general manager of Careem Egypt (Photo Handout to DNE)
Hadeer Shalaby, general manager of Careem Cairo
(Photo Handout to DNE)

Careem is one of the largest transportation service applications on the regional level, but it faces strong competition in the Egyptian market. How do you see that competition and what are your competitive advantages?

Competition is very important and motivates us to improve our services to provide high quality services for customers. Our service is growing very quickly due to being new, and we aim to increase our growth in Egypt rapidly, so we are not worried about the competition. Actually, it is in the interest of the client, because every company seeks to provide the best quality service at the lowest prices, and this contributes to enlarging the size of the market.

In regard to our competitive advantages, we are a local and regional company; therefore, we focus on Arab clients in general, and Egyptians in particular. We are looking forward to offer the service that fits with the Arab clients’ needs, and we also have the flexibility to modify and develop our application in line with the needs of the Egyptian customer.

For example, after the launch of the service in Egypt we found that most of our customers in Egypt cannot pay by credit card, since only 3% of the Egyptian population owns a credit card. Therefore, we amended the application within less than a month to allow cash payment. The same thing happened when we decided to offer taxi services. This proves our flexibility, especially as Cairo represents the largest market for Careem, amounting to 38% of the company’s total business, so Egyptian customers are a top priority for us.

What are the most prominent requirements by Egyptian customers?

Safety, quality, and affordable prices. For Egyptians, the price is one of the most important points, and it should be appropriate in order to stimulate the Egyptian customer to leave his car and use the Careem service.

Will Careem change its drivers’ commission after the change of service prices?

We did not increase or reduce the prices. We have just modified the pricing system, so as to ensure the customer has the highest benefit. We have reduced the initial fees to encourage clients who want short rides, and we raised the charges of each kilometre. Additionally, we reduced the waiting fees, making our services the cheapest during traffic jams.

How many drivers are working for Careem?

We have about 50,000 drivers and aim to increase their number to 200,000 by the end of this year, as we now recruit nearly 10,000 drivers monthly.

What is the company’s turnover rate?

There was a high turnover rate in the beginning, but it decreased significantly after the drivers now feel that they are partners in the company, as we have provided health insurance as well as discounts at many clothing stores and food markets.

What is the company’s targeted growth rate in Egypt?

We are targeting a growth rate of 30% per month during the current year.

Careem has recently obtained new investments. How do you plan to use these investments?

We obtained an investment of $350m, taking our market value to about $1bn in the fourth quarter of last year. We became the first company in the Middle East, whose market value recorded $1bn. Elsewedy Electric, owned by Egyptian businessman Mohammed Elsewedy, is the main investor in Careem.

We aim to use this investment to develop our services and ensure that they are of high quality by hiring employees who examine the quality of Careem’s service. Those employees would use the service like ordinary customers to test the quality of service provided.

We also aim to expand our services nationwide. Careem currently offer its services in seven cities, and we aim to reach 30-40 cities by the end of this year. We also plan to increase the number of our call centre staff to reach 1,000 employees by the end of this year, compared to 300 now. Additionally, we study offering a new product in the next three months.

One of your competitors has agreed with a financing firm to finance the purchase of cars for those who interested in working with them. Do you have similar plans?

We have already agreed with a financing company to fund the purchase of new cars for those willing to work for Careem and do not have cars—with EGP 30,000 per new car. In addition, we have agreements with Ghabbour Group and Kia to provide special discounts for our drivers in cases of purchase or maintenance.

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Prices of Samsung TVs fall by 8.1% in February  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/14/prices-samsung-tvs-fall-8-1-february/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/14/prices-samsung-tvs-fall-8-1-february/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:15:55 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615454 The prices of Samsung televisions saw drops in February by 3.9-8.1% as part of a plan to expand in the Egyptian market and acquire a larger share. Price lists sent to its distributors, and obtained by Daily News Egypt, indicated that the price of the 32-inch smart television decreased from EGP 5,790 in January to …

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The prices of Samsung televisions saw drops in February by 3.9-8.1% as part of a plan to expand in the Egyptian market and acquire a larger share. Price lists sent to its distributors, and obtained by Daily News Egypt, indicated that the price of the 32-inch smart television decreased from EGP 5,790 in January to about EGP 5,590 in February. The price of the regular 32-inch screen was also lowered from EGP 5,090 to EGP 4,890.

The price of the 40-inch smart television decreased from approximately EGP 10,190 to EGP 9,890 and, according to the new price list, the price of the regular 40-inch screens dropped to EGP 9,290. The price tag on the 48-inch smart television also saw a decrease to EGP 11,590 from EGP 11,900, and the price of the regular 48-inch screens fell from EGP 11,290 to EGP 10,890. Also, the price of the 55-inch television set decreased from EGP 18,900 to EGP 15,900, while the price of the smart 65-inch curve screens fell from EGP 48,900 to EGP 44,900.

Samsung serves 35% of the total television market in Egypt. The prices of Samsung televisions saw hikes in January, with some experiencing increases of more than 60%, according to the price list the company sent to its distributors on 17 January, where the price of the 32-inch smart television increased from approximately EGP 3,700 in December to about EGP 5,800 in January—an increase of 56.7%.

Also in January, Samsung raised the prices on its mobile phones, tablets, and some Internet of Things devices by 7-10% compared to December 2016. According to the January price list, the prices of Samsung’s smart watches increased as well.

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IBM invests $70m to bring digital skills to Africa through Watson platform http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/ibm-invests-70m-bring-digital-skills-africa-watson-platform/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/ibm-invests-70m-bring-digital-skills-africa-watson-platform/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 15:20:04 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615126 IBM, listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced that it will invest $70m in building and developing digital, cloud, and cognitive IT skills to help support a 21st century workforce in Africa. The initiative, “IBM Digital – Nation Africa”, provides a cloud-based learning platform designed to provide free skills development programmes for up …

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IBM, listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced that it will invest $70m in building and developing digital, cloud, and cognitive IT skills to help support a 21st century workforce in Africa.

The initiative, “IBM Digital – Nation Africa”, provides a cloud-based learning platform designed to provide free skills development programmes for up to 25 million African youths over five years, enabling digital competence and nurturing innovation in Africa.

It comes as a part of IBM’s global efforts to build the next generation of skills needed for “New Collar” careers. “New Collar” is a term used by IBM to describe new kinds of careers that do not always require a four-year college degree but rather sought-after skills in cyber-security, data science, artificial intelligence, cloud, and much more.

IBM Digital – Nation Africa is designed to help raise overall digital literacy, increase the number of skilled developers able to tap into cognitive engines, and enable entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs grow businesses around new solutions.

Based on Watson, a computer system supported by DeepQA, the cognitive online system will adapt and learn. It will review the multiple interactions the education initiative will have with students, to help direct them to the right courses and help IBM refine the courses to better adapt the material for the needs of the users.

The program will be launched from IBM’s regional offices in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, and Egypt, with the aim of equipping as many as 25 million people with sought after IT skills over the next five years.

“IBM sees effective, high quality IT education as a key driver of economic vitality in Africa. Through access to open standards, best practices, IBM tools, and course materials, the broad scope of this initiative will enable vital skills development,” says Hamilton Ratshefola, country general manager for IBM South Africa.

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Discovery Education, EKB celebrate 1st anniversary by launching Curriculum Connect http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/615113/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/615113/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 14:26:34 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615113 Curriculum Connect to deliver education to 50,000 Egyptian schools

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In partnership with the Egyptian Knowledge Bank (EKB), Discovery Education announced on Thursday the launch of Curriculum Connect to provide teachers and students with digital resources based on the lessons found in the Egyptian curriculum. The digital curriculum will enhance the lessons teachers would need to teach students in class.

Curriculum Connect will be available to 50,000 schools in Egypt, with the capacity to drive the learning path of the country’s18.5m students. The resources will cover science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education through videos, images, text, audio recordings, and interactive simulations.

Curriculum Connect was launched—after a survey conducted by Discovery Education with teachers and students—to determine how teachers will deal with the resources it presents. 67% responded that by using the resources aligned to the curriculum in every lesson, students would become more engaged.

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INJAZ Egypt launches its retailored startup programme http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/injaz-egypt-launches-retailored-startup-programme/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/injaz-egypt-launches-retailored-startup-programme/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 08:30:58 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614754 INJAZ Egypt has launched its retailored startup programme. The new improved programme, according to a press release, ensures that only the passionate, hardworking, and creative young entrepreneurs can successfully launch their businesses in a nurtured entrepreneurial environment. The statement noted that the new pipeline is being conducted in two phases. The first phase is a …

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INJAZ Egypt has launched its retailored startup programme. The new improved programme, according to a press release, ensures that only the passionate, hardworking, and creative young entrepreneurs can successfully launch their businesses in a nurtured entrepreneurial environment.

The statement noted that the new pipeline is being conducted in two phases. The first phase is a pre-incubation one, where 50 teams go through intense trainings, including business modeling and product/service development for a period of five months. Throughout this phase, the teams face a filtration process, and the final 20 of them enter INJAZ’s “Startup Egypt” competition, where they showcase their final products and services in a trade fair.

Only the seven winning teams subsequently enter the second and final phases of the pipeline.

In the second phase, the incubation one, the seven winning teams receive the necessary components to launch their business ideas into the real world. They are provided with access to an office space, as well as with legal registration, seed funding, and customised trainings, guided by assigned mentors in launching their new business. This phase lasts for four months and ends with a demo day, where all products and services are displayed for potential investors to view, giving the teams a second opportunity to receive generous funding and exposure.

The programme launched with an orientation event, attended by the 50 carefully selected participating teams. The orientation started with a motivational speech by Wael Fakharany, managing director and vice president of governmental relations at Careem, encouraging young entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and find their source of passion in their lives. Following Fakharany’s speech, the teams got to know more about the programme’s details and timeline to get a head start on the challenges they will be encountering.

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Egypt assigns legalisation of online cab-booking to Investment Ministry http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/egypt-assigns-legalisation-online-cab-booking-investment-ministry/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/egypt-assigns-legalisation-online-cab-booking-investment-ministry/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 08:00:23 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614751 The company follows up on the developments of the legalisation process to adjust its situation in the market, says Fakharany 

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Wael Fakharany, managing director of online cab-booking application Careem Egypt, said that the government has moved the legalisation of online cab-booking from the ministerial committee, which was formed for this purpose, to the Ministry of Investment.

He added that the company follows up on the developments of the legalisation process in order to adjust Careem’s situation in the market. The government has formed a committee over the past year to discuss and solve the online cab-booking issue in the country, with the participation of the ministries of transport, communications, interior, social solidarity, justice, and investment.

Careem is committed to a strict criteria for the admission of new drivers and their expansion plans, as the drivers and cars undergo a variety of examinations to ensure high-quality services for all customers.  Careem applies a comprehensive safety test on its vehicles before admission; including engine, brakes, exterior parts, and interior parts. Careem’s drivers should be tactful and friendly, and they must possess a valid driving license and national ID. The driver should also provide an updated criminal record and pass a drug and alcohol testing programme. The company provides its employees with comprehensive training for its cab-booking application as well as customer service. Their employees must then pass an integrated test dealing with customers before they are allowed to start working.

Since its establishment in 2012, Careem aims to provide high-quality, fast, and economic services for all customers in more than 50 cities in the Middle East and North Africa, from Pakistani to Moroccan cities. Careem provides millions of trips worldwide through its massive network of cars, as it has more than 150,000 drivers, of whom 50,000 operate in Egypt. The company contributes to creating thousands of job opportunities and improves the living conditions of Egyptians, by providing an alternative monthly income.

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How to benefit from e-learning initiatives? http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/benefit-e-learning-initiatives/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/benefit-e-learning-initiatives/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 07:30:06 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614747 The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has opened the door for graduates of 2006 and onwards to join its e-learning initiatives, which has been launched to train and qualify Egyptian cadres on the latest technology in the fields of telecommunications, information technology, and electronics. MCIT is leading the implementation of this initiative through …

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The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has opened the door for graduates of 2006 and onwards to join its e-learning initiatives, which has been launched to train and qualify Egyptian cadres on the latest technology in the fields of telecommunications, information technology, and electronics.

MCIT is leading the implementation of this initiative through the Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA). The initiative is set to provide a practical educational system based on high-quality partnership with prestigious universities and leading companies.

The initiative is also based on distinct platforms for e-learning and integrated by providing group studies and networks to provide evaluation and follow-ups. This results in the promotion of the value of knowledge and creativity and creates job opportunities for young graduates to prepare a generation of youth that is capable of employing the latest developments of information and communication technology in all sectors to achieve further development, productivity, and competitiveness.

The initiative provides training for students, graduates, entrepreneurs, and university staff. Trainees receive certificates accredited from distinct universities and technology companies, which promotes their chances of landing good jobs and developing their careers.

Moreover, the training provided by the initiative is done through specialised training platforms, such as Courser, EDX, and UDACITY. Applicants can apply through techleaders, which was allocated by MCIT to receive applications for training.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi launched the e-learning initiative to train Egyptian youth on the latest technology in the fields of telecommunications, information technology, and electronics.

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HTC sales increased by 40%, although overall market sales dropped by 10%: HTC Middle East & Africa President http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/614743/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/08/614743/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 07:00:38 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614743 More than 70% of our employees are focusing on R&D

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The Egyptian market is still important, despite the devaluation of local currency and monetary issues, according to Nikitas Glykas, HTC Middle East & Africa President (MEA). In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Glykas said that despite a drop in general phone sales by 10% on the Egyptian market, HTC was able to achieve an increase of 40% in its sales. He also noted that over 70% of the company’s employees are working on research and development (R&D) of products.

What are the opportunities you see in the Egyptian market?

We have studied the Egyptian market, and even though there is purchasing power in it, it is not very strong because of the currency devaluation and monetary issues. Respecting our brand, we are enjoying big growth, more than 35% last year.

What about the challenges?

They are everywhere. For us, the most important thing is how to fight the challenge. We have raised our market share in some categories to more than 20% of the local market; and this is a success.

Nikitas Glykas, President, HTC Middle East & Africa (Photo Handout to DNE)
Nikitas Glykas, President, HTC Middle East & Africa
(Photo Handout to DNE)

What is your plan for Egypt?

We are interested in having a high-end market share, but it is not big in Egypt because most consumers would not want to pay EGP 15,000 for a phone. Consumers’ needs are what matters. This is about the nature of consumers. Innovation is a part of our brand, and we will continue to innovate because what we do different than others is listening to customers regarding to what should be changed.

What are the mother company’s plans in R&D?

More than 70% of our employees are focusing on R&D. It is in the heart and soul of HTC. This is what we have been doing for the past 20 years and what we will continue to do. We are competing with big players in the market.

What is your targeted market share?

We are targeting more than 10% of the market share for all of our products.

Does HTC plan to open a factory in the local market?

In general, phones do not have a long life-cycle; so the more diverse production facilities are, the less competitive you will be. It is important to offer the consumer the products at a very reasonable price. We prefer to keep the production facilities close together.

How do you plan to compete in the Egyptian market?

Basically, our whole plan is very straightforward: we want to be visible. We want our audience to always be able to see and hear us. We have new phones, designs, and innovation, and we also have a very good availability in the market.

Do you have a plan to launch products in lower market segments which might be more suitable for the Egyptian customers’ current circumstances?

This has been our strategy for the past two years. We have released a lot of products in the lowest price range of HTC. What you need to understand is that you need to succeed on the high end, because if you do, you are able to meet other segments too. Because high-end is where innovation starts and nobody makes money from lower-end products.

Are there any strategies to bring in more service centres?

We are increasing the number of service points. In some regions, we offer better services than we have to. We take services very seriously, but I do not have specific calculations of the number of these centres; however, we cover all of Egypt.

2016 saw a drop of 10% in the market of mobile phones in Egypt. How has that affected you?

We increased our company’s sales by 40%. In order to gain more traction in the market, we need to get to the lower-end products. We enjoyed almost a 40% increase on the phones with 5.5-inch screens.

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Careem targets 30% month-on-month growth in business size in Egypt during 2017 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/07/614712/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/07/614712/#respond Tue, 07 Feb 2017 13:23:38 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614712 Careem Egypt aims to achieve a 30% month-on-month growth rate in the size of its business throughout 2017, according to Careem’s Cairo General Manager Hadeer Shalaby. Careem is an online transportation company that connects passengers with drivers via a mobile application. Shalaby told Daily News Egypt that the company also aims to increase the number …

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Careem Egypt aims to achieve a 30% month-on-month growth rate in the size of its business throughout 2017, according to Careem’s Cairo General Manager Hadeer Shalaby. Careem is an online transportation company that connects passengers with drivers via a mobile application.

Shalaby told Daily News Egypt that the company also aims to increase the number of its independent drivers in Egypt to 200,000, up from 50,000 now, to cover its expansion on the local level.

Careem has been applying a strict set of criteria to approve the entry of new drivers. Applicants and cars are subjected to a range of tests and checks to ensure the highest quality of services provided at all times. Every new car seeking to join Careem fleet undergo a comprehensive safety test before they are put into service. This test includes inspecting the engine, brakes, body, and interior. The driver must be tactful and friendly in dealing with customers. They must also hold a valid driving license and a national ID. Moreover, applicants must submit a criminal record report and conduct a blood tests to prove they are drug free. Should they join the fleet, Careem then provides comprehensive training on how to use the application and means of serving clients. By the end of the training, drivers have to pass a test before they take to the streets.

In Egypt, Careem has 100 employees working at the company’s headquarters and next to 300 call centre agents serving the Middle East region from Cairo. The company aims to boost the number of its call centre agents to 1,000 employees before the end of the year.

Shalaby said that the company is also developing its black and white traditional taxi system to attract 42,000 drivers in the coming period. Furthermore, the company has signed a number of protocols with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Addiction Treatment and Abuse Fund, and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.

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Vodafone gains 623,600 subscribers from July to September 2016 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/07/vodafone-gains-623600-subscribers-july-september-2016/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/07/vodafone-gains-623600-subscribers-july-september-2016/#respond Tue, 07 Feb 2017 12:05:36 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614709 Data usage services increased to 39.15m terabytes

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Vodafone International revealed an increase in its number of subscribers in Egypt during the second quarter of the fiscal year (FY) 2016-2017.

According to the business results, the number of subscribers to the company’s services increased from 39.043 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2016-2017 to 39.666 million subscribers in the second quarter of the FY, an increase of 623,600 customers .The company’s unit in Egypt has become one of the largest units in Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific region. Vodafone’s FY begins on 1 April and ends on 31 March.

The second quarter of the FY 2016-2017 saw the registration of 76,000 new monthly-paying customers, while the number of new prepaid customers increased by 547,000. The number of customers subscribed to the ADSL online services increased by 240,000 during the second quarter of 2016-2017, compared to an increase of 231,000 during the first quarter.

During the second quarter of FY 2016-2017, the number of minutes of voice services in Vodafone Egypt rose to 30.379m minutes, compared to 29.732m minutes in the first quarter, while the number of texts rose to 812m texts from 804m texts.

The amount of data usage of subscribers of Vodafone Egypt’s Internet services increased from 32.04m terabytes during the first quarter of FY 2016-2017 to 39.15m terabytes in the second quarter of the same FY.

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How could Sony Mobile change the future of selfies? http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/sony-mobile-change-future-selfies/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/sony-mobile-change-future-selfies/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613642 One-third of the participants in the survey would feel more secure if banks replaced passwords with selfie photos

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A report issued by Sony Mobile revealed that smartphone cameras can develop the selfie from just a means of taking photos to a technological phenomenon.

The report, conducted in collaboration with Futurizon, relied on a survey that included 6,500 European consumers. It showed that the consumers use a large number of applications that require access to cameras.

The report determined the 10 best ways to develop the use of selfie photos during the next five years. In social life, the selfie cameras can take photos with friends. In medicine, more than a quarter of the participants in the survey wanted to make video calls or use selfie photos when they called their doctors. In banking, nearly half of those aged between 25 and 34 years said that they would feel more secure if banks replaced passwords with selfies.

In entertainment, nearly half of the participants are interested in the experience of taking selfie photos while they are in amusement parks. In sports, the consumers suggested using selfies to observe their body during exercising. In fashion, the selfie camera could be used to take 3D photos of the human body for tailoring. In retail, the smartphone camera can be used to try on several clothes with just one click. In social activities, the users of smartphones can pay tickets for the cinema or tourist resorts using selfie photos.

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Egypt exports talent to the world: LinkedIn http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/613646/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/613646/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 06:30:02 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613646 33% of Egyptian professionals assume senior positions when back 

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Egypt is exporting talent to the rest of the world, with most professionals moving out of Egypt to acquire work experience in markets such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to data released by professional network LinkedIn. The data was released at the company’s first-ever event in Egypt after analysing data recorded from September 2015 to September 2016.

The LinkedIn research stated that these professionals primarily work in sectors like engineering, sales, operations, education, and IT. According to the research, Egyptian professionals who return to the country, do so with further professional experience with 33% assuming senior positions in business. About 12% of those returning professionals take up high-level roles, such as director and above.

Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn talent solutions for Southern Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, said that they aspire to be a growth engine for Egypt’s economy, assisting businesses to become more competitive and successful while helping them find, attract, and retain the best talent. “The insights from LinkedIn’s research carried out in the country shows that there is a great pool of talent, with potential and opportunities waiting to be tapped into. LinkedIn looks forward to investing in Egypt with its Talent Solutions offering, providing innovative recruiting tools to companies,” he added.

He noted that LinkedIn will provide a great boost to companies and the talent pool here giving both parties the opportunity to make the right connections.

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Samsung agrees with major outlets to enable instalment services for home appliances and mobile devices http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/613612/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/01/613612/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 06:00:43 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613612 5% expected decline in value of mobile sales in 2017

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Samsung expects the mobile market to see a slight retreat in sales value through 2017. The company expects a retreat of 5%, while the last year came to an end with a retreat of 10% year-on-year, affected by the Egyptian pound’s flotation and the retreat in the purchasing power.

According to Sherif Barakat, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics Egypt, the company is planning to begin enabling instalment payment services in February for all the company’s products whether they are home appliances or mobile devices, with the aim of minimising the effect of the reduced purchasing power of the Egyptian consumer.

After the pound’s flotation, there is a significant retreat in the purchasing power of the Egyptian consumer. How is Samsung facing that?

First, I have to stress the importance of the Egyptian market for Samsung. We are committed to our investments in it. After the pound’s flotation, a retreat has occurred in the consumers’ purchasing power, in addition to an increase in inflation rates. So, we are working on enabling our products for the consumers by offering payment facilities.

Our plan is to launch an instalment payment campaign for all devices, whether they are home appliances or mobile devices, starting February.

We are working on conducting agreements with big outlets such as Raya, B.Tech, and the outlets affiliated to Delta company—which includes Mobile Shop, Computer Shop, Radio Shack, and Compu Me—to enable the sale of our products in instalment payments. We have already started taking real steps to reach an agreement with B.Tech.

Some of these outlets already offer instalment payment services; however, through our cooperation with them in that field, we will facilitate inquiries, as well as other procedures that come before selling in instalments.

In addition, we are working to enable products with varying specifications and prices to meet the needs and financial capacities of all customers. Moreover, we are working on selecting a specific device in each price segment to offer it at a lower price in order to alleviate the retreat of the consumers’ purchasing power and absorb the price increases as much as possible.

Sherif Barakat, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics Egypt (DNE Photo)
Sherif Barakat, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics Egypt
(DNE Photo)

What are the pillars of the company’s strategy in 2017?

The Egyptian market is going through harsh economic circumstances; also, the inflation has affected all segments of society. However, we are continuing to invest in the Egyptian market whether through our screen and television factory in Beni Suef or manufacturing air conditioners in cooperation with Raya. Moreover, we are working on increasing the number of products manufactured in the local market.

In spite of these circumstances, I see that the Egyptian economy is strong and promising, especially because it is backed by a large unofficial economy; such kinds of economies have the ability to absorb crises. Moreover, floating the pound makes Egypt an attractive country for investments due to the retreat in the pound’s price against the US dollar.

In the coming period, we will work on increasing our presence and spread in all sectors; we have been discussing expanding our manufacturing activity in the Egyptian market with our parent company since mid-2016. Now, we are studying the market to look into the mechanisms of manufacturing some of our products locally, whether home appliances or mobile devices.

However, there is a major important point the state has to take into consideration to encourage manufacturing mobile phones locally: lifting customs on their components. There are customs varying between 5-10% imposed on these components, while the mobile phones are imported without customs.

Also, we are working on carrying out our plans to develop schools technologically in the next period; 35 schools were developed last year.

Recently, companies have been setting new prices for their devices almost weekly. Do you expect the prices to stabilise?

The periodic pricing of devices is a result of the fluctuation in the dollar’s price; however, we expect the prices to stabilise in the second half of this year. The dollar’s price is expected to reach EGP 15-16 by that time.

Does fixing the price of the customs dollar affect the prices’ stability?

Fixing the price of the customs dollar (the dollar’s price upon which the customs on products are calculated) positively affects the price of home appliances and will cause the prices to stabilise for a while. However, it will not affect the price of mobile phones because no customs are imposed on them, or on computers.

How do you see the Egyptian market’s growth?

The Egyptian economy is going through difficult circumstances; nevertheless, it achieved an economic growth of 4% which is an acceptable rate, while the government is targeting to increase it to 7%. If that happens, a tangible jump in the economic situation will occur. The circumstances Egypt is going through now are like the circumstances South Korea lived in the 1990s to a large extent, after which its economic boost occurred.

The Egyptian mobile market saw 5-6% retreat in sales last year until November; however, November saw a significant retreat in sales after the pound’s flotation, as the retreat rate reached 20%.

According to our expectations, the total sales of the mobile market in 2016 is expected to retreat by about 10% compared to 2015, while the market in 2017 is expected to see a similar rate of sales or a retreat by a maximum of 5%, in terms of the financial value of the market’s sales. That is because the Egyptian consumers make the buying decision in such circumstances based on the availability of a “good deal.”

What is your share in the mobile market?

December sales have not been announced yet by the specialised bodies; however, we expect that we acquired 40% of the mobile market in 2016, keeping on our position in first place. We are also targeting to increase our market share to 50% in 2017, while our share in the television market is expected to be 35%, with a plan to raise it to 40% in 2017.

You talked about manufacturing air conditioners locally in cooperation with Raya. What are your plans in that regard?

We produced about 10,000 air conditioners from October to December, and are targeting to increase sales in the next period; however, we cannot determine accurate numbers because it is a new market for us.

In addition to the flotation, what measures does the investment climate need for more improvement?

We are waiting for the investment law, which I expect to improve the investment climate a lot, based on the law’s drafts that have been published.

What are your plans to stimulate sales in the mobile market?

We restructured the incentive plans of the mobile traders: traders get commission based on their sales to customers, not the size of their purchases from the distributors.

How do you expect the competition of the A family devices in the market to be?

We launched the A family mobile phones two years ago; they aim to attract young customers by providing the specifications they need at competitive prices when compared to the specifications. So, we recently launched the A5 and A7 of 2017. We equipped these two phones with the newest in advanced technology; both of them come with water and dustproof screens, all made of Gorilla glass.

Both mobile phones are equipped with two strong cameras that suit the youths’ use, as well as the battery. Also, the design of the two phones is not less than the designs of Samsung’s first class devices.

We contracted with three Egyptian artists to lead the advertising campaign of the A family mobile phones: Aser Yassin, Maged El-Kedwani, and Yasmine Sabri.

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Internet users increase by 8.8% in October 2016 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/29/613299/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/29/613299/#respond Sun, 29 Jan 2017 15:22:11 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613299 Mobile, ADSL subscribers increase significantly 

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The number of internet users increased by 8.8% in October, compared to September—from 33.9 million customers in September to 63.9 million customers in October, an increase of approximately 3 million customers, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

The report signaled a growth in the number of ADSL internet users amounting to 4.51 million users in October compared to 4.41 million in September, an increase of 100,000 users.

According to the report, the number of mobile internet users grew from 26.18 million users in September to reach 29.12 million in October, an increase of 2.9 million users.

On the other hand, the number of USB internet users fell from 3.34 million users to 3.33 million users, a decline of about 10,000 users.

The mobile communication services sector increased its client base by about 970,100 new subscribers in October, rising from 96.2 million subscribers in September to 97.2 million subscribers in October. Etisalat was the biggest winner with over 671,400 new subscribers in that month, registering 23.69 million subscribers in October, up from 23 million in September.

Orange was able to attract 198,900 new customers during October reaching 33.69 million clients, up from 33.4 million in September. Vodafone received 100,500 new customers, increasing their customer base from 39.7 million subscribers in September to 39.8 million subscribers in October.

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Careem expands services to include 3 new Pakistani cities http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/24/careem-expands-services-include-3-new-pakistani-cities/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/24/careem-expands-services-include-3-new-pakistani-cities/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 11:30:59 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=612423 Careem, the company specialised in booking cars through a smartphone application, has announced that it will expand the range of its services to include more than 50 cities in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Turkey, as the company launched its services in three new cities in Pakistan. “Our main goal is …

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Careem, the company specialised in booking cars through a smartphone application, has announced that it will expand the range of its services to include more than 50 cities in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Turkey, as the company launched its services in three new cities in Pakistan.

“Our main goal is to focus on expanding our reach and achieving a strong presence in the region, which is supported by the company’s massive growth over the past four years,” said Mudasser Sheikha, CEO and co-founder of Careem. “Our continuous commitment to expand and our ambitions to achieve more growth are supported by the recent investment in the company estimated at $350m. This makes Careem one of the few companies in the Middle East and North Africa to have a market value of more than $1bn. Careem offers its services everyday in more than 50 cities after only four years since its launch. The company will work to make this achievement the platform from which more expansion and growth operations are launched in 2017.”

On the list of Pakistani cities, Careem will add three new cities, which are Peshawar, Hyderabad, and Faisalabad. The company will launch its “Economic” service in Hyderabad and Peshawar. The “Business” service will be launched in Faisalabad.

In all, six cities in Pakistan will benefit from their services, including Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore.

Last month, Careem announced the completion of the first part of a financing round for $500m through its obtainment of $350m from new and existing investors.

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Significant decline in quality of mobile voice services in November http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/23/significant-decline-quality-mobile-voice-services-november/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/23/significant-decline-quality-mobile-voice-services-november/#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:59:26 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=612195 Improvement in mobile internet connection, says NTRA

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A recent report published by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) for November showed a significant decline in the quality of voice services provided by the three mobile operators in Greater Cairo.

According to the NTRA report, approximately 25,226 mobile calls were examined through the networks of the three main service providers in Greater Cairo during November 2016. Out of the total calls examined, 67 calls were dropped, compared to only 29 calls in October, while the number of blocked calls amounted to six.

The NTRA’s data showed that Vodafone performed best among the three companies in terms of voice service quality. The examination placed 8,466 calls over the provider’s network, only 12 of which were dropped.

The voice services of Orange were examined through 8,427 calls, three of which were blocked, while 24 calls were dropped.

Etisalat Egypt’s voice services were examined through 8,333 calls; one call was blocked, while 31 calls were dropped.

All three mobile operators—Orange, Vodafone, and Etisalat—did not exceed the 2% maximum limit for blocked calls that the NTRA had set for the providers, while Etisalat Egypt exceeded the maximum limit for dropped calls.

Regarding mobile internet services, the NTRA report showed that there was a significant improvement in quality during November compared to October.

The service was examined through 10,369 connection attempts through the networks of the three operators, of which only one attempt was blocked compared to 17 attempts in October.

The NTRA conducted 3,385 connection attempts via the Vodafone network, of which none dropped out or were blocked. Etisalat’s network had 3,417 internet connection attempts carried out on it, with no blocks or drops. Orange’s network had one blocked attempt out of 3,567.

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We are optimistic about 2017, we will continue to grow: Xerox Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/23/optimistic-2017-will-continue-grow-xerox-egypt/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/23/optimistic-2017-will-continue-grow-xerox-egypt/#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 06:00:57 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=611700 We have over 30% share in the A3 printing and copying market, says Duffelen

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Amid the economic fluctuations in 2016, and the prospects of 2017, Xerox Egypt stands firm in its optimism about what the future holds for its business and the Egyptian economy. Mark Duffelen, vice president and general manager of Xerox Middle East and Africa, believes that Egypt will continue to expand in different sectors, considering it a major hub for Xerox in the entire region.

Duffelen sat down with Daily News Egypt in a joint interview with Haitham Abdou, the general manager of Xerox Egypt, and revealed the company’s strategy for 2017. They both shared their opinions and views about the current state of the economy as well as their expectations for Xerox Egypt throughout the few upcoming months, with a general state of excitement about what the future brings.

Haitham Abdou, the general manager of Xerox Egypt
Haitham Abdou, the general manager of Xerox Egypt

What business strategy will Xerox adopt in 2017?

Duffelen: First of all, it is worth noting that Xerox has been the top company in the sector worldwide in terms of revenues for seven years, for each quarter in a row with a revenue share of around 22%. We have a plan to continue to grow across the world in four key areas.

First, the A4 Multi-function printer, which we are already doing very well with here in Egypt, and marrying this with the managed print services, which we are number one in worldwide, will result in a great leap for growth.

The second area is the production market, which is growing by about 5%, and within that, inkjet printing is growing by about 10%. We have developed a range of inkjet devices to grow the size of the inkjet market, not just to grow our business in inkjet. This was especially true after we acquired IMPIKA company. We were able to take Xerox’s expertise in print outputs and marry that with the engines that IMPIKA has.

The third area is increased market coverage. We are doing a good job covering the market here but we are going to get even better at it. We are changing our distribution model here, and focusing on different product groups rather than a number of distributors. We will engage two major distributors, Raya and Aptech, who can cover two different product groups. We signed a contract with the two companies a couple of weeks ago to become one of our main distribution arms.

The fourth area is our document outsourcing proposition where we rationalise and control costs as well as create mobility and security.

Xerox has recently separated from Conduent Incorporated. In what way does this impact Xerox globally and in Egypt?

Duffelen: While this split had no impact on Xerox Egypt, we consider it very positive for Xerox in general, as it created two market-leading, publicly-traded companies. This allows Xerox to be completely focused on documents, workflow, and making the lives of our customers simpler, eventually enabling better workflows that drive down costs and improve processes. Now, there is a massive focus on Xerox technology. All the investments in Xerox will be directed towards Xerox technology and document outsourcing.

Mark Duffelen, vice president and general manager of Xerox Middle East and Africa
Mark Duffelen, vice president and general manager of Xerox Middle East and Africa

Where does Xerox Egypt stand in the region and on a global level?

Duffelen: With 89 countries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Xerox Egypt is the only company directly operated by Xerox, while other Xerox companies in the region are managed by our distributors, so Xerox Egypt certainly stands out and is a strategic hub for the entire region. We always make sure that Xerox Egypt is well-prepared to support anything that happens in the MEA region.

In fact, the regions of Europe and North America are now copying the Xerox Egypt model. The way we operate here is now being replicated across the rest of the Xerox world, which is a testament to how successful we have been here.

Xerox Egypt has the number one market share across virtually most parts of the portfolio. It is the market leader in the digital printing and graphic communications sector. We have almost 74% of the market share with production printers, as well as almost 34% market share in the Egyptian industry for A3 devices for small- and medium-sized businesses. We have acquired the largest share of sales in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016, nearing 31%.

Abdou: Xerox Egypt also accounts for about 90% of the managed printing services in the banking sector; some of these banks include Emirates NBD and the Arab African International Bank (AAIB).

Duffelen: On a more general level, Xerox is leading multifunction printers (MFPs), which we plan to focus on more over the upcoming period, and get multi-function devices to become part of the process rather than an output device.

What is Xerox Egypt’s target growth rate for 2017?

Abdou: Xerox Egypt is targeting a growth rate of 10% in 2017.

What are the sectors that Xerox Egypt is currently present in and plans to expand in?

Abdou: Xerox Egypt is currently investing in new business solutions and applications that help improve productivity and simplify the work process for a number of sectors, focusing mainly on the banking, health, hospitality, telecommunications, and governmental sectors.

How does Xerox Egypt contribute to these sectors?

Abdou: In the banking sector, Xerox provides innovative solutions, which we call “smart paper solutions,” in order to facilitate banking transactions, including deposits, withdrawal, opening bank accounts, and credit card services.

In the health sector, Xerox introduced “radiology” which was a major success. Our solutions and devices can carry out very accurate printing of X-rays on paper rather than the traditional film, cutting down costs for laboratories and hospitals. We have sold over 50 of the machines that offer this in 2016, while the average is usually within the range of 10 to 15. We saw a tremendous growth in this area and we expect more growth in 2017. Xerox has also launched several other services and solutions for the hospitality sector, including the automation of admission processes, including patient files and content management.

In the telecommunications sector, we offer new solutions for securely automating the purchase of telecommunication services.

We have also invested in new Arabic user interface features, which mainly target the sectors that highly depend on the Arabic language in their business, such as the governmental sector and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Are there other sectors you seek to enter in the near future?

Abdou: Yes, in fact, Xerox Egypt is planning to launch 29 new products this year. We also have a new focus on a programme in 2017 in the education sector, whether for universities or schools. We also plan to expand our business in the oil and gas sector, as well as in the manufacturing business through some new solutions. We see a lot of potential for growth in these sectors. We will certainly continue to expand in the governmental sector as well.

How has the flotation of the Egyptian pound affected your business?

Duffelen: There was a growth in the number of units we sold and managed print services contracts, as well as a growth in the business supplies, but we are not immune to the currency flotation of course.

Our revenues in Egyptian pounds increased, but they get reported in US dollars because we are a US corporation. From what the corporation sees as a contribution from Egypt, it is less than it was a year ago. This is inevitable. However, we have a highly experienced team that is incredibly good at managing the issues of currency availability, serving customers, and making sure they are properly looked after. While there may be a financial impact as we go through this, we remain very well positioned, and we believe the storm is only temporary.

What does Xerox offer to its clients to cope with the current economic conditions in Egypt? 

Abdou: “Managed print services” is one of our main offerings, where we convert the upfront capital expenditure of large organisations into an operational cost, and that is perfect for such an economy. This is why we have the 90% market share in the banking sector for example. We manage bank’s printing environment over five-year contracts rather than upfront purchases. That has been very successful for us and has expanded in 2016 even in the turbulent economic environment.

Duffelen: Our proposition is generally designed to help people streamline their processes and reduce cost. Customers work with us because we enhance their proposition whether for their organisations or taking it to the market, so they may be willing to spend more money to find a better output to sell or use within their organisations. And of course, the currency rates here are clearly a challenge, but we are still optimistic.

How do you see the future of the Egyptian economy? 

Abdou: We are generally very optimistic about 2017 and the years after. It is a long journey, but we expect that starting from the second half of 2017, all the government initiatives will start to pay off and we will start to see an upside in the economy; perhaps because of many factors , such as the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan. We will start seeing an increase in inbound tourism, some stability in the dollar rates, and an overall uplift with the new investment law. We are very excited about 2017, especially after being able, as a business, to sustain and grow in 2016. This only leaves us expecting 2017 to be better. We strongly believe the new economic reforms were right decisions that should have been made years ago.

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K5 Middle East announces construction of first manufacturing facility in Middle East http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/22/611750/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/22/611750/#respond Sun, 22 Jan 2017 16:33:13 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=611750 K5 Middle East, a firefighting products, solutions, and technologies company, announced the construction of its first manufacturing facility in the Middle East in Amman. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the company’s participation in Intersec 2017, the trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection taking place from 22-24 January at the Dubai …

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K5 Middle East, a firefighting products, solutions, and technologies company, announced the construction of its first manufacturing facility in the Middle East in Amman. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the company’s participation in Intersec 2017, the trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection taking place from 22-24 January at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). The construction of the facility is progressing with an estimated investment of $100m over the next few years.

The move complements a recent report by Frost & Sullivan that the GCC’s fire safety market is expected to grow at an average of 15% to touch $3.15bn by 2020. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) accounts for 34% or $476m of the GCC’s $1.4bn fire safety market, driven mainly by the local construction boom. Demand for fire safety systems and equipment is expected to get a major boost as World Expo 2020 draws near and as work on major construction projects progresses up to 2021. Sales of detection systems and equipment—including smoke and heat detectors and fire extinguishers—dominate the UAE’s fire safety systems and equipment market.

Alex Perfiliev, CEO of K5 Distribution, said that the company is highly excited with the construction of their first-ever manufacturing facility in the Middle East, which will address the growing demand for fire safety solutions in the region. “We foresee a high demand for innovative fire safety solutions in the UAE with Dubai Civil Defence’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021 to reduce fire incidents by 10% and the ratio of death caused by fire per 10,000 people by 15%,” he added.

Perfiliev noted that while the UAE remains their key market, the company will explore other potential markets in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman to bring their annual sales from this region to $100m per annum.

In a press release by the company, K5 Middle East stated it has very high expectations from the robust fire and safety market of the Middle East and particularly from the UAE which is a growing market. Alongside K5 SAFETY PATCH and K5 PATCHPAINT, the manufacturing facility will produce paints, foams, coatings, and construction materials.

“Our clients in the region include manufacturers of electrical equipment, developers, facilities management firms, and social care institutions. In the long-term, we have plans to enter India and China, which are large markets along with Europe,” Evgeny Gabov, director of K5 Middle East, concluded.

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ICT sector tops state’s fastest growing economic sectors http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/22/611703/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/22/611703/#respond Sun, 22 Jan 2017 15:20:45 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=611703 Sector grew by 11.2% in Q1 of FY 2016/2017

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The Economic Performance Index issued by the Ministry of Planning showed that the communications and information technology (ICT) sector topped the state’s most growing economic sector in the first quarter (Q1) of the fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017.

According to the report, the ICT sector achieved a growth rate of 11.2% in Q1 of FY 2016/2017, which put it on top of the rankings. The construction sector ranked second among the most growing sectors with a growth rate of 8.3%. The general government sector achieved a growth rate of 5.7%.

Moreover, the report stated that the ICT sector pushed its economic growth rate from 8.5% in Q1 of the FY 2015/2016, to reach 10% in the fourth quarter of FY 2015/2016, reaching 11.2% in Q1 of FY 2016/2017.

The gross domestic product for the ICT sector amounted to EGP 15.13bn in Q1 in FY 2016/2017, up from EGP 13.61bn in the same period of FY 2015/2016—an increase of EGP 1.52bn.

The sector also contributed by 3% to the GDP in Q1 of FY 2016/2017, up from 2.8% in the same period in FY 2015/2016.

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China’s Tsinghua to build $30 billion chip factory http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/20/chinas-tsinghua-to-build-30-billion-chip-factory/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/20/chinas-tsinghua-to-build-30-billion-chip-factory/#respond Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:56:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=611306 China's largest chip maker has announced it has secured state backing for a new semiconductor factory in the city of Nanjing, which is intended to reduce China's dependence on foreign chip technology.

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China’s largest chip maker has announced it has secured state backing for a new semiconductor factory in the city of Nanjing, which is intended to reduce China’s dependence on foreign chip technology.State-owned Tsinghua Unigroup said in a statement Thursday, the $30-billion (28-billion-euro) Nanjing plant would mainly produce chips used in consumer electronics such as cellphones, cameras and computers

According to the statement posted on the company’s official website, the project was of “great significance to the independent innovation, large-scale production, and marketization of China’s integrated circuit industry.”

The announcement comes after attempts by the company to acquire US chip makers Micron Technology and Sandisk were thwarted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) over national security concerns.

As a result, Tsinghua Unigroup has shifted its focus to building plants in China, launching a $24 billion memory chip factory in Wuhan city last month.

Cutting dependence

China was the largest market for semiconductors in the world in 2015. But its excessive dependence on imported chips has raised concern in Beijing over the country’s national security.

In 2014, Chinese authorities pledged 100 billion yuan ($14.6 billion, 13.6 billion euros) to support the industry, with the aim of building a globally competitive semiconductor sector by 2030.

In a speech on cyber security last April, Chinese president Xi Jinping warned that China must gain control of “core” technology, saying that leaving it in the hands of foreigners is “our greatest hidden danger.”

China’s drive to expand its role in the semiconductor market, long dominated by US firms like Intel and Qualcomm, has likewise raised concerns in Washington. Last month, a presidential science panel warned that China was set to challenge American dominance in the industry.

uhe/jd (Reuters, AFP)

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Prices of Samsung TVs increase in January http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/611079/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/611079/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:05:43 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=611079 The televisions’ prices range between EGP 5,800 and EGP 49,000

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The prices of Samsung televisions saw hikes in January, with some experiencing increases of over 60%, according to the price list the company sent to its distributers on 17 January.

The price of the 32-inch smart television increased from approximately EGP 3,700 in December to about EGP 5,800 in January—an increase of 56.7%.

The price of the 40-inch smart television increased from approximately EGP 9,000 to EGP 10,200, an increase of 13.3%, and according to the new price list, the price of the 48-inch smart television increased to EGP 12,000, while it had not exceeded EGP 10,000 in December 2016.

Also, the price of the 58-inch smart television increased to EGP 16,500, while the price of the 49-inch UHD curve television reached EGP 18,000. The price of the 49-inch SUHD curve television went up to EGP 26,500, while the price of one of Samsung’s two 55-inch smart curve SUHD televisions reached EGP 35,000 in the new price list, which will be implemented starting this month. As for the price of the 60-inch smart SUHD television, it reached EGP 38,600, while the price of one of the Samsung’s four 65-inch televisions reached EGP 49,000.

This January, Samsung raised the prices of its mobile phones, tablets, and some Internet of Things devices by 7-10% compared to December 2016. According to the January price list, the prices of Samsung’s smart watches increased as well.

Egypt is suffering a severe shortage in US dollar liquidity since 2015, which pushed the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in cooperation with the government to take many measures. These measures include setting controls for imports and customs and cancelling the majority of the maximum limits of depositing dollars, in addition to increasing the dollar’s exchange rate by 14% in the official exchange market in March 2016, before liberalising the dollar exchange rate against the Egyptian pound last November, which led to the dollar jumping to about EGP 20.

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