The Egyptian market presents a great investment opportunity particularly in the fields of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G applications, and smart city solutions, according to Ramy Osman, Director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region at MediaTek.
He said that the company is proposing to establish a strong alliance of electronics manufacturing companies in Egypt. These companies will have ties to Asian manufacturing components suppliers and a governmental manufacturing institution to be able to manufacture educational tablets locally.
In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Osman made note of the strong opportunities in the Egyptian market, and the company’s collaborations.
Can you tell us more about the company’s cooperation with the government, particularly the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI)?
Yes, we have provided our experience to the AOI on several occasions, especially during the preparation of the project to manufacture educational tablets locally, and we are ready to present it again if the government returns to this plan seriously.
Combining the capabilities of the public sector with the skills of the private sector is not easy. We propose to establish a consortium featuring private companies working in the field of consumer electronics, who also have commercial expertise and relationships with Asian supply sources, and a government manufacturing institution to carry out this project.
In general, our company continues to support national companies such as Telecom Egypt (TE), Al Safi, Al Arabi, SICO, the AOI, and others. As it is said, this is a marathon and not a speed race, and our success depends on the desire of local companies to cooperate on their side of course.
What investment opportunities does the company see in Egypt as part of the state’s digital transformation plan and building the New Administrative Capital (NAC) as a smart city?
We are now testing NB-IOT technology in Saudi Arabia as part of an important project to supply smart metres.
It is also possible to work with water, electricity, and gas companies in Egypt to connect smart metres, lights, bicycles, cars, and containers within smart cities. However, this needs to equip the NB-IOT network through telecommunications network providers.
In what areas does the company intend to cooperate with the government?
Internationally, the most important topic in the future is, of course, 5G.
We have already introduced a number of Dimensity 5G processors, and we are expecting that 5G in Egypt will become a reality. This means acceleration is needed in the strategy to develop bandwidth and offer it for investment.
Until that happens, I think we are primarily interested in the Internet of Things (IoT) and educational tablets, and we are ranked first in the world as a provider.
How does the company see the future of 5G technology in Egypt?
I think that we are still trying to optimise the use of 4G in Egypt, but that does not mean that we have to wait long before completing the studies of the fifth generation and starting the tests. We are ready to provide support. 5G doesn’t just mean downloading speed, there are tonnes of apps out there.
What factors make the Egyptian market attractive for investment? What is the order of importance of the Egyptian market to you?
Egypt is one of the most important markets in the Middle East, due to the availability of a number of important factors. This includes the large population, the increase in the number of mobile and Internet users, as well as the growth of purchasing power in the upper-middle class, which puts Egypt consistently in the top three markets in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
What are the challenges that your company faces in Egypt?
We wish to continue increasing the support of local industry, research and development.
What are the chances of your company’s growth in light of the challenge Huawei faces due to US pressure?
We value and serve all of our customers, including Huawei, but of course we adhere to all international laws governing technology export.
What are your expectations for MediaTek’s market share of smartphone processors?
Regarding the company’s growth rates in Egypt from smartphones, the market growth this year is expected to exceed 50% compared to 30% in 2019, an increase of 66%.
Can processors be manufactured in Egypt?
The manufacture of super-integrated electronic chips, such as MediaTek processor chips, depends on the availability of giant silicon chip factories that are available only in a few countries such as Taiwan and South Korea. We do not own these factories but contract with them, therefore we cannot control the manufacturing site.
As for the design, it depends on the presence of capacity and scientific research into very complex programming and chip design issues and is currently located at our Taiwan headquarters and our research centers mainly in the US, the UK, India, and China.
Who are MediaTek’s main clients?
MediaTek is the official supplier for Sony, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Realme processors. The market share varies from year to year, but it has ranged between 25% and 70% in the past three years.
As for new customers, MediaTek is negotiating to supply its processors to them during the coming period. There is rarely an electronic company that does not use our digital processors. We are present in one out of every five electronic devices in the world, and the demand is constantly increasing. Our current and upcoming customers have more new solutions every year.