Technology – Daily News Egypt https://www.dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Mon, 17 Dec 2018 08:00:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Spotify EMEA officials to DNE: 191 million users, youth, internet client growth attracted us https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/spotify-emea-officials-to-dne-191-million-users-youth-internet-client-growth-attracted-us/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/spotify-emea-officials-to-dne-191-million-users-youth-internet-client-growth-attracted-us/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 17:10:23 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=682026 App includes over 40m songs, 3bn lists, 20,000 songs added daily, 87 million users pay subscriptions

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The total number of Spotify users reached over 191 million around the world. The company was prompted by the increasing number of internet users and youth under 30-years-old to enter the local market. The app has over 40m songs and 3bn lists. The platform receives revenues through subscriptions and ads.

Michael Krause, general manager of Spotify in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), said that the focus on the Egyptian market was due to the growing number of youth under 30-years-old compared to Europe, as well as the increasing number of internet and mobile users.

He noted that Spotify was interested to enter the local market through an Arabic and Egyptian content, along with an Arabic version of the app, website, and customer service.

Spotify enjoys a huge user base with over 191 million listeners around the world per month. The app provides live broadcast service and free usage with ads, as well as premium ad-free experience. Users can also listen to music for free, or register for the Spotify Premium service for EGP 49.99 per month.

He noted that Spotify can suggest similar songs and help users explore new genres, along with a number of tailored lists.

The Spotify service allows users to browse, discover, and build music lists and collections and share them with friends. The app now has over 40m songs and 3bn lists available for free and premium users. Spotify for the Middle East and North African (MENA) comes with the best local and international music.

Claudius Boller – Managing Director of ME&A for Spotify, said that the free version of the app enables more people to use the app. The same thing has helped producers to profit from listing to their music on the app, noting that the app collects revenues from subscriptions and ads.

He pointed out that Spotify is distinguished with by personalised experience, where it analyses users’ behaviour to give them tailored results, adding that Spotify receives billions of data from users and analyses them to do so.

Boller pointed out that they go beyond borders to Arabs outside the Middle East, with 67 million Arab users outside of the Middle East.

Tamim Fares, head of marketing and operations strategy at Spotify Middle East, said that the company signed deals and contracts with Egyptian artists, adding that they [artists] get revenues from these contracts.

Spotify has helped the music industry realize €10bn in profits since 2008. It recently launched in 13 countries in the Middle East and Africa, boosting its availability to 78 markets around the world.

“20,000 songs are added every day to the platform. We studied the pricing of similar apps in Egypt to be the cheapest around the world to match users’ purchasing power. We have over 87 million premium users per month and over 100 million free users,” Fares indicated.

He explained that Spotify provides the suitable music to all its users. MENA users will be able to listen to a distinguished list of local music, which will be periodically updated by the app’s team, including top hits, EDM, and tailored lists.

He explained that the feature of customisation enables users to easily find the music they like and explore new trends. Spotify users are encouraged to use the recognise taste feature which enables the app to customise the recommendations to fit each user’s taste.

Personal Discovery features include “Daily Mix” (a collection of music lists that bring together the user’s favourite songs with some new songs that we think they’ll like) and “New Music” (a list of new songs that are formatted based on the singers the user follows and listens to their music).

Most often, this list is updated every Friday. Furthermore, there is the “Discover This Week” menu (a list organised according to user’s listening patterns – soon to be released).

All this means that you are just a moment away from the music you love.

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Etisalat Misr to launch landline services end-November  https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/etisalat-misr-to-launch-landline-services-end-november/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/etisalat-misr-to-launch-landline-services-end-november/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 13:00:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681972 Company raised investments up to EGP 4.5bn to develop network next year

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Etisalat Misr will start operating its landline services this week, turning into an integrated communications company. It also increased its investments to EGP 3.5-4.5bn to develop its network next year.

Hazem Metwally, CEO of Etisalat Misr, said that the data transfer service is ​​the largest compared to the company’s telecommunications services, although voice services still designate the largest percentage in revenues.

Metwally stressed that the company is working on several axes to enhance revenues and maintain profitability, including providing better products to customers and declining costs, as the number of customers has been stable for some time.

Furthermore, he said that the company does not need additional frequency bands for two years ahead, and that the market has not yet reached full operation of the 4G.

The telecommunications sector is growing steadily thanks to the economic development in Egypt, and the companies operating in the field are directing their plans and expansions according to the development programme in the country, indicated Metwally.

The CEO pointed out that more investments are directed to data transfer, having the highest potential in smartphone uses, while voice calls have dropped to second.

“We are working to expand and spread mobile stations through two factors: coverage and growing the capacity of stations,” he added.

Etisalat Misr is investing in the mobile network and not only in the stations.

Metwally said that the company has increased its investment for the next year to reach EGP 3.5-4.5bn annually due to the high demand for data transfer.

Etisalat Misr has previous investments which reached EGP 2.5-3.5bn per year, and is now providing its services to Telecom Egypt as part of a local roaming agreement between the two companies.

“We have an agreement with Telecom Egypt for five years to provide local roaming services on our network and we are ready to absorb any growth in Telecom Egypt network,” he noted.

“The local roaming agreement with Telecom Egypt has been amended to become more satisfactory for both parties, and has been extended to five years instead of three.”

Etisalat Misr increased its capital in February by EGP 4.5bn to reach EGP 19.4bn.

The company injected part of its capital increase into restructuring and financing new expansions.

According to Metwally, the company seeks to compensate the decline in selling mobile lines through opening new branches. The company is also in talks with the ministry of communications and information technology (MCIT) to launch a service centre in one of the new technological parks.

Regarding the landline license obtained by Etisalat Misr, Metwally said that Telecom Egypt has signed a commercial agreement with the company to provide its customers with fixed voice services over the fixed line incumbent’s nationwide network.

Etisalat Misr paid $11m for the virtual landline service. The main target is to provide integrated services to consumers.

He expected the sales of new lines to fall, due to the recent increase in prices to EGP 70 up from EGP 15 per mobile line.

Metwally said that these changes limited the growth of the sector, which forced companies to find solutions so as not to affect their profitability and financial performance.

Etisalat Misr does not need any additional frequency bands over the next two years, Metwally stressed.

He noted that the company’s existing bands are enough to achieve its plans. For the 4G license, Etisalat has obtained 10 MW of frequencies, including 5 MW in the 900 band and 5 MW in 1,800 band.

“The new technological services such as Internet, mobile money transfer, and smart city management solutions are the future, and we as a telecommunications company are interested in providing these services,” Metwally said.

“Egypt has been late in providing mobile money transfer services, but has started to take quick steps in this file. The bad market conditions caused that delay. For example, mobile companies got approval for mobile money transfer services in October 2009, and when it started in 2011, the uprising happened. The companies then launched the service in mid-June 2013, but two weeks later the 30 June revolution erupted.”

“This service requires raising awareness of consumers so that companies can achieve profits.”

Etisalat Misr is set to launch Etisalat Services in the field of intelligent solutions for companies during the Cairo ICT 2018.

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Orange Egypt is in global consortium to participate in communications projects in NAC: CEO https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/orange-egypt-is-in-global-consortium-to-participate-in-communications-projects-in-nac-ceo/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/orange-egypt-is-in-global-consortium-to-participate-in-communications-projects-in-nac-ceo/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 12:30:32 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681968 Company is betting on share of branches, improving network to regain its mobile market leadership

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Orange Egypt is betting on its branches network, which is the largest among other companies with 700 outlets, in addition to improving the network to regain the leadership of the mobile market, which was lost in recent years. The company sees it as the most powerful network, according to Speedtest.net, and still works to improve the services to move to profitability.

Orange Egypt expects to recover profitability again next year, as it works with a global consortium to participate in telecommunications projects in the New Administrative Capital.

The company’s CEO, Yasser Shaker, attributed the decline in the company’s profits to the loans interest and the high rate of investment depreciation, noting that Orange has a credit facility of EGP 7bn from eight local banks, most of which are still untapped.

Shaker said that the margins of profitability are under the pressure of economic difficulties to provide good service to customers, revealing that his company invested EGP 4bn in the development of its network before the end of this year.

The company’s losses for the third quarter of 2018 declined by 83.71% according to its published financial statements. Net losses reached EGP 269m at the end of September against EGP 1.654bn in the same period in 2017, thanks to the high cost of operation and the fuel price hikes, as well as the cost of importing equipment.

Meanwhile, he revealed that Orange joined a global alliance to participate in telecommunications projects in the New Administrative Capital.

He pointed out that Orange is present in 28 countries around the world, 19 of them in the Middle East and Africa, such as Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco, adding that Orange Egypt is working under its umbrella Orange International Services and Orange Labs.

He added that his company fully believes in the potential of the market and continues its work in Egypt, as evidenced by the fact that Orange International, last December, increased the capital of its unit in Egypt by about €750m (EGP 15bn).

Stéphane Richard, chairperson of the board of directors of the parent group, has been selected as president of Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), confirming the company’s global standing.

He pointed out that the company is constantly seeking to develop the customer experience through over 700 stores in the country. The network is also the best in Egypt, based on data from Speedtest.net. The company won awards for that in 2017 and 2018.

He pointed out that the company will play a major role in the dissemination of financial inclusion services, in cooperation with the government, out of its belief that mobiles are the fastest way to reach clients, adding that the revenues on investing in mobile money transfer (Orange Money) is still low compared to the cost.

He added that Orange’s strategy also seeks to focus on Smart Cities, such as the New Administrative Capital and El Gouna by providing triple play services in 16 compounds until now.

Bassem Iskander, the company’s Internet of Things (IoT) director, said that the role of Orange in supporting the digital transformation of the country is to offer secure smart city management solutions, ensuring customers’ privacy through technical consultation and implementation.

He added that his company has qualified experts in the network and IT solutions, and has strong partnerships with local and global service providers, based on clear criteria to meet the users’ needs.

Hisham Siblini, chief officer of Technology at Orange, announced the launch of over 300 new mobile stations and 1,000 4G towers, in addition to 2,000 3G service towers this year.

“Improving customer experience is not only by raising the service quality. It is an integrated experience,” he said, noting that the company reaped Speedtest.net awards in 2017 and 2018 for the strength of its network, coverage, and browsing speed.

He pointed out that Ookla’s Internet Research index show that the average Internet speed on the Orange network is 22 MB, up by 4 MB from its nearest competitor, which recorded 18 MB,. He estimated the total number of mobile stations owned by the company at 7,000 stations, 70% of which supports 4G technology services.

Shaker said 40% of Egypt’s population is under 18, and the company is always working to support start-ups and mobile application developers financially and technically.

Furthermore, he indicated that the beginning of next year will see the company’s launch of virtual landline services, to become an integrated telecommunication service provider. He pointed out that the business to business (B2B) subscriptions are where investment opportunities are.

Moreover, Shaker added that the company’s decision to buy any new frequency bands depends on four factors: the location, selling price, size and frequency range. Orange has several alternatives to improve service, such as increasing the number of towers, according to him.

Maha Nagy, executive vice president of advertising at the company, spoke about the details of Orange’s participation in this year’s Cairo ICT Conference 2018, which includes three points, such as smart city solutions and Orange Money services.

Shaker noted that Egypt has a promising opportunity to provide IT offshore services, highlighting the company’s plan to increase the value-added service to customers by 20% next year.

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TE expands outwardly, establishes largest data centre for foreign investors in 2019: CEO https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/te-expands-outwardly-establishes-largest-data-centre-for-foreign-investors-in-2019-ceo/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/te-expands-outwardly-establishes-largest-data-centre-for-foreign-investors-in-2019-ceo/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 12:00:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681965 Vodafone Egypt owes TE EGP 6bn in retained profits

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Telecom Egypt (TE) believes 2019 will witness external expansion and attractive investment opportunities for the company. TE seeks to provide integrated telecommunications services to new cities, especially after the agreement with Banque Misr to provide mobile payment and money transfer services to the company’s customers.

Ahmed El-Beheiry, CEO of Telecom Egypt, said that launching the mobile network, WE, was the company’s main objective in 2017, along with attracting more technological investments in cables and data centres.

He added that this year witnessed the development of ADSL services, noting that the company will complete 50% of the development plan by the end of 2018, and 75% by the end of 2019.

El-Beheiry said that there are many investment opportunities outside Egypt, but the company will not move in this direction until a real investment opportunity emerges. He added that 2019 will be the year of foreign investment in mobile and large data centres, noting that the company is currently negotiating with a number of foreign investors in this sphere.

ADSL development requires massive financing as the company allocated 50% of its total EGP 7bn investments in 2018 for this purpose. The total spending on the ADSL development reached about EGP 6bn in two years, with plans to increase that figure further next year, pointed out TE’s CEO.

El-Beheiry said that WE’s Internet services have changed the shape of the Internet market in Egypt because of its multiple features. The company’s strategy for the Fibre To The Home (FTTH) focuses on new urban communities, as it is difficult to install fibre optics at old cities, he added.

According to the TE’s plan, the company aims to offer FTTH in association with the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) for all types of housing in new cities, including luxury, middle-income, and social housing.

El-Beheiry pointed out that the company’s entry in the mobile market contributed to the restructuring of the retail market for telecommunications services in Egypt. The company also sought to focus on making Egypt a digital corridor, which was done through the acquisition of MENA Cables.

Furthermore, he added that the company recovered the value of its investment in MENA Cables after six months, in addition to improving the reputation of TE in the marine cables market.

Notably, El-Beheiry pointed out that the company is working on a new plan to invest in submarine cable activity, which includes the provision of Internet services to Europe crossing the Red Sea to two stations, the first in France and the second in Italy under the name of Red to Europe.

The company is working to capitalise the site of Egypt to attract new investments in 2019, especially in the activities of Data Centre and outsourcing, noting that Data Centre projects rely heavily on secured marine cables, indicated the CEO.

In addition, he highlighted that in 2018 the company installed about 5,800 new fibre cabins, noting that the total number of cabins until 2017 was up to 12,000.

Regarding the 4G Internet services in Egypt, TE’s CEO said that about 40% of mobile users in Egypt are subscribers to mobile Internet services, but that a clear separate share of 4G services cannot be identified.

El-Beheiry remarked that the number of the company’s mobile service stations exceeds 1,000 so far, and that the company’s network bears about 18% of mobile data traffic.

During the first year, the company faced some problems in providing mobile services due to the imposition of an EGP 50 development fee on new lines, however the company attracted over 3.6 million users.

El-Beheiry added that TE has about EGP 6bn in dues from Vodafone Egypt’s retained profits as they have not distributed dividends for years.

Some changes will be made in the Vodafone Egypt’s board of directors, and the TE’s representatives in Vodafone will be replaced to ensure governance before the end of this year, he declared.

El-Beheiry asserted that TE was the fastest growing communications company in the market this year.

On the company’s participation in the Cairo ICT 2018, he said that the company’s strategy this year is to highlight the company as the first integrated telecom operator in Egypt, as well as to focus on Smart Cities, Data Centres, and communications infrastructure.

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E-finance to increase its capital by 30%, reaching EGP650m before end of 2018 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/e-finance-to-increase-its-capital-by-30-reaching-egp650m-before-end-of-2018/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/e-finance-to-increase-its-capital-by-30-reaching-egp650m-before-end-of-2018/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 11:30:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681961 Company to launch new product in cooperation with Egypt Post during ICT conference

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E-finance’s chairperson Ibrahim Sarhan told Daily News Egypt that the company decided to raise its capital by EGP150m, reaching EGP650m, before the end of 2018, up from 500m, an increase of 30%, in order to invest more in the technological infrastructure.

He added that the company has investment plans, with the aim of improving, enhancing and developing

its services, in order to align with the government’s plan towards a cashless society.

E-finance’s chairperson explained that e-finance is currently operating and managing the financial network of the Egyptian government, which includes three systems, namely the payment and electronic collection centre and the Treasury Single Account (TSA), and the Government Fiscal Management Information System (GFMIS), which was able to absorb all electronic collections and payments in coordination with the CBE, banks, and Egypt Post.

   He added that the company also implemented the electronic system to rationalise the subsidy of petroleum, Takaful and Karama project, pension cards, and other similar projects.

Sarhan also declared that the company will launch a new product related to the mobile payment, in cooperation with Egypt post during the 25th International Conference on Telecommunications (ICT 2018), that kicked off on 25 November and will run till 28 November on Cairo.

He explained that the company seeks to develop its work with Egypt Post, noting that there are 6,500 million common clients between e-finance and Egypt Post, divided among over 2 million clients from Takaful and Karama projects and 4,000 clients, from those who take pensions.

Earlier, Sarhan told DNE that e-finance is running about 20m payment cards in Egypt, noting that it aims to increase business size by 50% by the end of the year.

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EGP 4.5bn to develop network during current FY: Vodafone Egypt officials https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/egp-4-5bn-to-develop-network-during-current-fy-vodafone-egypt-officials/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/egp-4-5bn-to-develop-network-during-current-fy-vodafone-egypt-officials/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 11:00:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681958 Investing in infrastructure is our top priority, becoming cashless society is among our chief objectives 

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Vodafone Egypt has set its strategic plans for the coming three years to accelerate the digital transformation in Egypt through their solutions and services, infrastructure, and fibre optics development. Vodafone is investing more than €200m (EGP 4.5bn) in the current fiscal year (FY) to improve its network. Their goal is to invest in infrastructure and it is ready to spend more on it.

Alexandre Froment-Curtil, Vodafone Egypt CEO, said that the Cairo ICT Exhibition 2018 this year coincides with the company’s 20-year anniversary in Egypt, making it a great chance for them to affirm their contributions towards shifting towards technology and thinking about the company’s future.

Concerning the company’s vision and plans for the next three years, Froment-Curtil said that they’re focused on helping customers connect with a plan to speed up digital transformation in Egypt through their products and services.

“We are providing diverse solutions for individuals, and large and small companies, which contribute to digital transformation in Egypt,” he stated.

He pointed out that one of the most important things that help in achieving digital transformation is the development of infrastructure and fibre optics, which he believes to be foundational for the country, noting that Vodafone invests in infrastructure in all the countries it works in.

Vodafone supports the government in its vision towards the strategy of financial inclusion and that the transformation of the society into a cashless society. The company has the Vodafone Cash service with over 5 million users now, which reflects the digital transformation vision. “The mobile industry is capable of achieving financial inclusion,” declared the company’s CEO.

Commenting on the remarks of Vodafone International CEO regarding laying off some employees in several countries, Froment-Curtil said that Vodafone Egypt has a leading position in the field of information technology, among other Vodafone units, with highly qualified employees and experts in artificial intelligence and robots. “We have some 3,000 employees in Vodafone International Services and we hired 1,000 employees in the field of AI and Big Data. We are also reviewing our work system continuously, to discuss the updates and the products that can be introduced,” he replied.

Remarking on the landline services and the date of introducing them, Ayman Essam, head of the foreign relations, government and legal affairs department of the company, said that from the company’s point of view, the households are the ones that currently need the landline services, so it takes more time to study them to get the best results.

On the repayment of the real estate tax on the facilities used by the company, Froment-Curtil stressed that his company is committed to the laws and that it has always paid this tax.

On the impact of the decision to impose development fees on the company’s sales, Essam said that this decision, whatever its impact on sales, has contributed to controlling the market and prevented the smuggling of international calls.

Regarding the size of the company’s investments, Froment-Curtil said that Vodafone invested over €200m (EGP 4.5bn) in the current FY to develop its network. This is part of the company’s investment, and that their real desire is to invest in infrastructure in the fibre optics, signalling his company’s readiness to invest more. He estimated the investments the company made in Egypt at EGP 45bn.

He elaborated that Vodafone invests in the fibre optics in all 26 countries it operates in except Egypt, and that one of the tasks of Vodafone Egypt management is to convince shareholders of the importance of investment in fibre optics.

On the company’s social responsibility, he said that employees of the Vodafone Community Development Foundation are looking at how to influence and provide their services to schools, education, literacy, and integration of the needs and others. Essam said that the annual budget of the institution ranges between EGP 25m and EGP 30m, noting that they invested over EGP 450m in development projects since its establishment, in partnership with Egyptian civil society organisations.

Concerning the status of Telecom Egypt in the company’s board of directors, Froment-Curtil said that there is no problem in the long-standing partnership with Telecom Egypt, stressing the confidence of his company in finding a governance that protects the rights of all.

“Customers are our top priority. We currently serve about 44 million users in Egypt, and we are keen to gain access to all the provinces, not just Cairo,” he said.

Froment-Curtil added that they will participate in Cairo ICT this year with a focus on spreading 4G services, as well as Vodafone Cash. He noted that the company will sign a new partnership with E-finance during the exhibition in this regard.

Regarding the distribution of dividends, he said that the decision is up to Vodafone International. He noted that they were pleased with the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) as an independent entity to measure the service quality, adding that his company has been the best in the last the years, and is ready to welcome more frequency bands at the appropriate prices to better serve their clients.

And on the sale of the company’s outlets scattered across the republic, he said that they currently have some 500 branches. Commenting on the investment in research and development, the company invests 1.5% of their total revenue per year in this field, partially through the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) while another part is spent directly on apps, Big Data, and AI.

As for the latest developments in the investment fund “Vodafone Ventures” launched by the company to invest in emerging companies, Froment-Curtil said that they previously entered into partnerships with start-ups through a model of buying shares or helping in the establishment. He added that this has changed, as the company believes that its role should be helping these companies through partnerships and not by buying stakes.

Vodafone Egypt has launched an investment fund, Vodafone Ventures, with a capital of EGP 20m, to invest in the development of small businesses operating in the field of the Internet, to support young people, and to encourage their innovations and technological creativity, as well as to develop the Egyptian economy.

The fund has invested in several companies, including Ogra to book taxis online, and Gyrolabs that connects TV services.

As for continued liberalisation of the price of fuel and its impact on the price of mobile services in the future, and whether the company will ask the NTRA to increase prices after that, he said that fuel prices impact operational costs, but the company will try to absorb these increases, so they do not impact users.

In another context, Froment-Curtil said that his company has the intention to always enter into partnerships with companies and entities that offer credit rating services to customers, as long as ther are within the NTRA’s framework.

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The Egyptian market is promising: IBM Egypt General Manager https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/the-egyptian-market-is-promising-ibm-egypt-general-manager/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/the-egyptian-market-is-promising-ibm-egypt-general-manager/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 08:00:46 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681870 We believe this that the Blockchain technology will revolutionize business and we are ready to avail it in the local market

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Wael Abdoush, the general manager of IBM Egypt, expressed his optimism about the economic reforms in Egypt, and the opportunities it can create for companies, citing that as the main reason behind their continuous investment and progress in the local market.

He noted that IBM services go beyond Egypt, as it exports technological solutions through its six major centres to the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, adding that they are ready to offer Blockchain technology in the local market.

IBM has been operating in the local market since 1954 with several bodies, Abdoush said, explaining that the government sector is essential for the company, including banks and telecommunication, besides the private sector.

“Our strategy focuses on contributing to developing IT in banking and telecommunication sectors to help those working in these sectors improve work at higher speed and control,” he added.

IBM seeks to develop its technological solutions in the coming period to meet the needs of customers in line with the government’s economic development plan, he elaborated.

The company supports the government’s 2030 plan of digital transformation, Abdoush went on to explain, stressing that the government has been taking serious steps in this respect for a long time, noting that his company is working within its framework.

Abdoush expected the financial sector and different services offered to citizens will see major digital transformation in the coming period. However, the IT sector will face a major challenge in building the skills and expertise required for digital transformation. This is why IBM, according to Abdoush, gives special attention for continuous training of graduates as well its employees.

IBM offers an online training platform called IBM Digital Nation Africa. It provides the required skills and training to deal with the latest technologies, such as AI, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics.

He explained that infrastructure in Egypt has witnessed recently major investments, with more yet to come in the coming period.

“Our business is not limited to the local market but is also exported. We export from Egypt technological solutions through six major centres, which offer their services in developing software, technical support, programming, computers, and outsourcing. The US, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa benefit from these centres,” he said.

He explained that the Digital Sales Centre serves the Middle East and Africa from Egypt. The main mission focus is to spread the digital transformation and lead more of our clients on the path to becoming Cloud and Cognitive digital businesses. To facilitate  mission execution, the center houses an end to end team responsible to ensure that the sales & marketing funnel is efficiently producing volume business across the Enterprise and Commercial segments across Middle East & Africa with strong emphasis on commercial, small & medium business clients.

The company works with many entities for the development of existing projects, including the Administrative Capital and other projects, and provides IT programmes, tools, solutions, and services to the entire world. “We are, of course, one of the major companies specialised in cloud computing, AI, and blockchain,” He pointed out.

Regarding IBM’s possible offering of Blockchain solutions in the local market as is the case in the UAE, Abdoush said the entire world talks about this technology, so it is natural that it receives attention in Egypt. There are many bodies which can benefit from these solutions and applications, and several generations can use the Blockchain technology. He explained that IBM is a global leader in Blockchain, as we believe this technology will revolutionize business like the Internet did in the 1990s; and there are several authorities in Egypt that have already taken steps towards relying on this technology in their work.

He pointed out that the technology itself is available and ready to be offered, noting that the Egyptian market is still accommodating the idea and the regions that could benefit from it. Regarding the possibilities of the ministry of finance using that technology, Abdoush said that the applications are convenient for the financial field in general.

Answering a question on data protection, Abdoush said: “IBM is one of the largest companies in the world that pays attention to confidentiality of information, the technology of securing information and its solutions,” he added, noting that his company is continuously investing in data security.

Regarding the laws that he believes must see the light in the local market, he stressed that the local market needs to develop the existing legislations and laws in order for them to keep up with the continuous technological developments rather than create new laws.

As for the company’s vision of the Egyptian economy, he explained that the economic development conducted in Egypt is perfect and was necessary, noting that the government is interested in managing the reform and that it is aware it is a continuous process, noting that the results of that are starting to become clear, and that more time will be needed to see all of the rest of the results.

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Egypt’s Fintech venture, carrying hopes for inclusions, stumbled by lack of awareness https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/egypts-fintech-venture-carrying-hopes-for-inclusions-stumbled-by-lack-of-awareness/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/egypts-fintech-venture-carrying-hopes-for-inclusions-stumbled-by-lack-of-awareness/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 07:00:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681853 There is no denying that the world has revolutionised every aspect of modern society, from business to communication to entertainment. With the spread of high-speed internet throughout the entire globe, information is more accessible than ever before. All these lead to increasing numbers of mobile devices and cloud services, cross border payments, decreasing trust in …

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There is no denying that the world has revolutionised every aspect of modern society, from business to communication to entertainment. With the spread of high-speed internet throughout the entire globe, information is more accessible than ever before.

All these lead to increasing numbers of mobile devices and cloud services, cross border payments, decreasing trust in traditional payment methods, which consequently lead to the appearance of significant numbers of new payment services and service providers, and subsequently the emergence of technology for peer-to-peer payment maturing.

However, there are still about 2.5 billion people worldwide and over 200m businesses excluded from access to banking and other financial services, according to McKinsey, the global management firm.

According to recent data, as much as 54.0% of the world’s population have no access to financial services of any kind. For developing countries, the percentage is as high as 70% of the population.

Thus, the world focuses on financial inclusion which includes using e payment methods and consequently focuses on implementing blockchain that powers financial inclusion towards a cashless society, in addition to focusing on the digital transformation which empowers both financial inclusion and the block chain.

As defined by the World Bank Group (WBG), financial inclusion entails that “individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs—transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance—delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.”

Notably, the first cashless payment was introduced in the 1950s, since then, various e-payment instruments have been introduced. SMS payment, plastic cards (debit, credit and ATM Cards), electronic transfer (e-transfer), internet banking, virtual wallet (Google wallet) and virtual currency (Bitcoin) are the key innovations of the past few decades, which contribute to the emergence of a cashless society. Technological revolutions, especially in the fields of information and communication, expedited the development and improvement of cashless applications and instruments for both individuals and organisations.

Daily News Egypt (DNE) dug into this matter with a couple of industry experts, to learn more about where Egypt stands from the digitisation world in terms of being a cashless society and in operating on blockchain technology, in addition to the advantages of being a cashless society and of having a blockchain.

Also, it delved deeper into understanding the obstacles which impede the transformation of the society to a digital society, in terms of having a cashless society and in having blockchain, as well as knowing the government’s target through interviewing the two industry experts, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity.

Where Egypt stands in terms of its targets

The most important thing is to first understand where Egypt stands from the digitised world. Notably, Egypt realises the risks and the impact of cash transactions on economic development and growth, thus it has taken significant moves towards achieving financial inclusion, by launching a number of initiatives with the aim of building a cashless economy and enhancing financial inclusion.

In November 2016, President Abdel Fatah Al- Sisi launched the National Council for Payments (NCP), which he chairs himself, in an aim to lead Egypt toward a cashless society.

Moreover, in February 2017, Al- Sisi issued a decree establishing the council and delineating the scope of its responsibilities. The council aims to reduce the use of banknotes outside the banking system, impelling electronic payments and modernising the national payments systems.

Speaking at the opening of the Financial Inclusion Forum held in Sharm El-Sheikh in September 2017, Al Sisi announced that financial inclusion is considered one of Egypt’s main targets.

In that context, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) also took part in various local, regional and global initiatives to indicate financial inclusion as a top priority during the last few years, particularly widening the scale of financial inclusion in Egypt.

In July 2017, Egypt, China and Mexico were selected as model countries in the World Bank’s (WB) Financial Inclusion Global Initiative. The three countries are already part of the Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA2020) initiative, led by the WB, aiming to bring 2 billion unbanked adults in 25 countries into the formal financial systems.

Noteworthy, financial inclusion occurs at many levels, starting from bank accounts to e-banking and mobile banking services, and promoting financial services.

Thus, the Egyptian government also focused on digital transformation as one of the most prominent files, aiming to provide excellent services to the citizens electronically.

In that term, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Yasser El- Kady, declared earlier that by the end of 2020, Egypt’s digital transformation will be announced after the implementation of the strategy to digitise the country, known as “Digital Egypt”, pointing out that by the end of 2019, all government services will be offered electronically.

Moreover, Egypt stopped accepting checks in all governmental transactions since November 2018.

Over and above, Egypt also issued a law to combat cybercrimes and parliament is currently discussing a law to combat electronic trading crimes.

e-finance’s chairperson Ibrahim Sarhan

Advantages and obstacles of being a cashless society

According to the McKinsey report, financial inclusion based on deployment of digital finance could add some $3.7tn to the GDP of emerging economies by 2025, amounting to about 6% of the GDP. An additional job-creation for 95 million people could also be created by deploying digital financial solutions while widening access to financial services.

For his part, e-finance’s chairperson Ibrahim Sarhan told DNE that developing a cashless society will not only help in the development of an individual but also help in producing a progressive society, highlighting that in the presence of a cashless society, people can enjoy both social and personal benefits.

He explained that using e payment methods and financial inclusion will reflect positively on Egypt’s economy and society, explaining that it will help in achieving fairness among citizens, as there will be centralised data bases which have all the person’s information.

Sarhan also mentioned that it will help in eradicating corruption due to the absence of a middle person.

“It will also allow Egypt to conduct business in a more efficient way, which will lead to the investments in the state,” he said, adding, “Also, the turnover of the government’s capital will be faster, so the state’s deficit will decrease, as the faster the turnover of the government’s capital, the better the country’s economy will be.”

E-finance’s chairperson, stated that Egypt now faces fewer obstacles than before in terms of being a cashless society, due to the implementation of the NCP, which led to taking a group of decisions instead of having a decision that only one institution agrees on.

He also noted that peoples’ lack of awareness was a great obstacle before, elaborating that currently people have become more aware than before, explaining that for the first time in Ramadan, Egypt launched awareness advertisements to encourage citizens to open bank accounts, and also to use mobile payment methods.

He continued by saying that there are four pillars which guarantee the success of implementing a cashless society, including the method of encouraging the people in order to become a cashless society which should be both mandatory and motivational, registering that Egypt previously used the mandatory approach only but currently it is using both, urging people to open bank accounts as this will benefit both the individuals personal’s financial standing as well as the country’s economy, as the majority of the population are still unaware of the benefits and impacts of cashless transactions upon their personal economy.

He maintained that it is also crucial to improve the technological infrastructure, in addition to preparing the infrastructure.

Waleed Hagag, an IT expert

Digital transformation is foundation of financial inclusion

As financial inclusion is based on the development of digital finance, thus leads to the emanation of inquiries of what are the obstacles the digital transformation in general in Egypt, Waleed Hagag, an IT expert, told DNE that Egypt is working ahead towards digital transformation.

Unfortunately, the educational curriculum is not suitable for digitisation, noting that also the educational cadres present in schools are not qualified to explain the curriculum of digital transformation, if it is present.

He ascertained the importance of designing a subject in schools which helps in raising the awareness of students regarding digital transformation, including how to deal with social media, information security, ways of research, etc.


Hagag proceeded to say that people still do not know how to smoothly and safely deal with technology.

“Egypt is in great need of awareness raising and transforming the culture of Egyptian citizens towards using technology in general and towards digital transformation in specific,” he specified.

He also insisted on that as soon as Egypt transforms into a digital society, there will be a centralised data base, hence, by entering the citizen’s ID number, all the person’s information will appear to you, which will consequently eliminate many crimes, including bribery, cheating, counterfeiting, etc.

Hagag added that it will also provide a censorship on citizens, ending corruption, giving the example that in a digitally transformed society, if a state employee bought anything worth EGP 10,000, and since his information is interconnected, once he enters his ID number, we will find out that his salary is only EGP 20,000, so this will raise suspicion as to whether he accepts bribes or not.

He noted also that by knowing all the citizens’ income, the country could calculate, and fairly estimating taxes, which will also end tax evasion crimes.

Hagag pointed out that this will additionally help in offering subsides to the really needy people, which will consequently increase Egypt’s national income, because there is a lot of money which is wasted, as there are tax evasions, whereas some people took subsidies where they do not need it.

“It will also of course eliminate bureaucracy and routine,” he stated.

Blockchain makes sense for financial inclusion, but challenges remain

As Internet users are most concerned with the security of their money and financial information online, therefore countries operate via blockchain technology that constantly verifies each transaction, purchase data through a system.

So, talking about digital transformation and financial inclusion leads DNE towards the topic of also having a blockchain technology.

For his part, Hagag explained that the blockchain is an advanced level of the digital transformation, expounding in simple words that the blockchain acts like a big notary office, in which all the people in the blockchain are witnesses for the operations that take place in it.

He continued to say that the blockchain is very crucial in real estate, as it helps buyers know the sequence of the property’s ownership.

“Thus, the presence of the blockchain increases the credibility, and it also allows the possibility of border-crossing between countries, for example someone in China can buy property in Egypt without visiting Egypt, which will lead to more flexibility in the real estate sector,” he said.

The IT expert added that buyers will have increased trust that the item they will purchase is valid and its papers are proper without embezzlement.

“Egyptian citizens still do not have experience, talent, privacy or knowledge about information security, so it will take time for them to operate on the blockchain technology,” he asserted.

He insisted on the need for increasing raising of people on many scales including the public, governmental, students, parents, and teachers, in order to create a foundation that will contribute to fostering the technology, and information security awareness through short-terms plan.

During that time, we could use this foundation, building on capabilities of the new generation to enable to innovate and be creative in technology.

Finally, what DNE concluded after conducting these interviews, is that Egypt is heading in the right direction towards digital transformation, yet there still is a great need to raise citizen awareness on how to smoothly and safely use technology.

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ICT sector grows by 16% in Q1 of FY 2018/19, minister says https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/24/ict-sector-grows-by-16-in-q1-of-fy-2018-19-minister-says/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/24/ict-sector-grows-by-16-in-q1-of-fy-2018-19-minister-says/#respond Sat, 24 Nov 2018 14:14:15 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681864 Ministry will provide new government services next year through five outlets

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In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Amr Talaat, the minister of communications and information technology (MCIT), said that the information and communications technology (ICT) sector grew by about 16% in the first quarter (Q1) of this fiscal year (FY) 2018/19, and technological exports reached $3.2bn, stressing that MCIT has prioritised digital transformation.

Talaat added that his ministry aims to launch the unified card in Q2 of 2019, which will provide subsidy services. The minister pointed out that the Cairo ICT Exhibition 2018 is an annual event, where we review the sector’s progress during the year, and inform users about the coming year’s plan.

This event delivers a strong message that the ICT industry in Egypt is well-established, and has the capabilities that can be solidified, Talaat said. “The exhibition provides an opportunity for foreign companies to share with us the latest developments related to communications and information technology.”

Talaat explained that resources are limited, which begs the need to be selective to achieve the greatest returns and benefits to the society. He pointed out that the exhibition is an important opportunity for local companies to offer their products to local and regional markets.

Cairo ICT also represents an opportunity for government agencies to showcase the services and solutions that have been developed, and what will be achieved in the future.

Talaat said this year’s exhibition will witness the representation of a number of ministries across different pavilions, and this is due to the fact that the telecommunications industry has become a fundamental pillar for all state sectors as no field can now grow without relying on ICT.

The ministry will also host representatives from the ministry of interior to present the new technological solutions that both ministries have cooperated to complete.

He added that the exhibition is based on two pillars: the first is developing the Egyptian citizen within this important strategic objective with several insights in this framework.

The second is derived from the speech of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, when he said that digital transformation is a responsibility shared among all sectors.

Talaat noted that foreign ministers of several countries will participate in the exhibition to learn about the latest technological developments in Egypt, and the progress of the sector.

Regarding the unified smart card system, Talaat said that a meeting was held recently with the prime minister, in the presence of all concerned bodies, including the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE); the ministers of supply and CIT, and officials of a number of bodies to discuss the progress of implementing the new system.

He stressed that the aim of the unified card system is to facilitate providing services for citizens, along with delivering subsidies to its real beneficiaries, in addition to providing instantaneous data for the aspects of disbursement of subsidies to the decision-maker.

The minister noted that each card will be linked to a bank account or an Egypt Post account, based on citizen’s desire, which is the first step towards financial inclusion. He noted that some 28 million people use government services, so opening new bank accounts for them will push financial inclusion forward.

The meeting witnessed agreement on implementing the project on three phases. They also decided to form a supreme committee chaired by the prime minister, to take all the necessary strategic decisions to implement the project. The governor of the CBE and the head of the technical secretariat of the National Council of Payments (NCP) will form a steering committee for the project. Its members will be representatives of the ministries and entities concerned with the implementation of the project. It is responsible for following up the implementation of the project, as well as the decisions and assignments issued by the project’s higher committee.

Talaat revealed that they aim to launch the unified card in Q2 of 2019, noting that the first service to offer will be subsidies.

Regarding a previous meeting with Ahmed Badawy, head of the parliament’s CIT committee, Talaat said they discussed a number of topics on the legislative agenda prepared by the MCIT, and the most important projects currently being implemented by the ministry to achieve the transformation to a digital society.

The meeting dealt with the legislation and laws related to the ICT sector, including legislation to combat cybercrimes, regulate electronic transactions, and protect personal data. They discussed the global trend towards protecting personal data in the wake of issuing the EU regulations, which impose obligations on data processors, and the importance of informing citizens about the optimal use of their data when dealing with the digital environment.

The meeting witnessed a review of the projects implemented by the MICT in cooperation with various state sectors, to develop technological solutions and to provide excellent services to citizens. These efforts also aim to develop and modernise the infrastructure of communication networks in the country to improve the quality of services within the framework of the government’s programme, to improve citizens’ standards of living.

Talaat said that his ministry is preparing a draft law on e-commerce in coordination with the concerned authorities in the state, and it will be likely submitted to parliament before the end of the current legislative session.

He pointed out that the law of electronic signature is linked to activating the digital transformation, and there is a tendency to benefit from the technology which contributes to the activation of this service, indicating that it is not necessary to amend the law.

Government services are important in the digital transformation, and a number of new government services will be announced at the exhibition, Talaat said. The services will be launched through five outlets: Egypt Post, government services’ offices of the ministry of planning, call centres, electronic platforms, and mobile applications.

As for the volume of technological exports, the minister revealed that it reached about $3.2bn so far, noting that the sector has achieved 16% growth in Q1 of this fiscal year.

For the latest developments in the Technology Parks project, Talaat said that they are among the most important mechanisms for developing the ICT industry, where they have developed four parks so far in Borg El Arab, Assiut, Beni Suef, and Sadat City.

As for the company that will measure the quality of mobile services, he said that the ministry has a contract with them and they are likely to offer their services next year.

On Egypt’s membership in the International Telecommunication Union, he stressed that this reflects Egypt’s pioneering role in the telecommunications sector and the confidence of the international community in the Egyptian competencies and expertise.

On the importance of this step, he said that next year will witness the beginning of developing the standards and the foundations for launching the 5G network.

Regarding the ministry’s efforts to boost local electronics industry, Talaat highlighted the importance of value-added, which would contribute to localising the ICT industry and solidifying it to be capable of absorbing any shocks in the global economy.

He pointed out that the ministry is currently in serious discussions with a number of international companies in this field.

On his evaluation of SICO’s experience in manufacturing cell phones, Talaat said it was very good, where they were able to manufacture phones and compete in the local market within one year.

The MCIT’s indicators showed a decline in the number of mobile users during the past months affected by the imposition of the development fee on a number of subscribers. The minister said that the amendment of development fees is under study. “Laws cannot be changed overnight. The decline in the number of sales is due to unofficial sales of mobile lines. Reaching 95 million subscribers is more realistic.”

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Budget phone review: Soda S1 specs, performance, good bargain for the price https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/18/budget-phone-review-soda-s1-specs-performance-good-bargain-for-the-price/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/18/budget-phone-review-soda-s1-specs-performance-good-bargain-for-the-price/#respond Sun, 18 Nov 2018 17:56:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681350 Soda S1 is a budget-friendly smartphone, that the company made as an upgrade to their previous the Soda Fire. Daily News Egypt tested the product, and below is our review: Design and Display of Soda S1 The Soda S1 are dimensions are, 148.3 x 71.76 x 8.1 mm. Moreover, the mobile-phone weighs around 142 grams. …

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Soda S1 is a budget-friendly smartphone, that the company made as an upgrade to their previous the Soda Fire. Daily News Egypt tested the product, and below is our review:

Design and Display of Soda S1

The Soda S1 are dimensions are, 148.3 x 71.76 x 8.1 mm. Moreover, the mobile-phone weighs around 142 grams. Which is very common for a handset. However, the phone’s screen doesn’t support secondary display, and the Soda S1 is not water resistant.

The display 5.5 inches screen size, supporting HD+ IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen. The resolution is 1440 x 720 with 16 million colours. While the screen’s pixel density is 295 pixels per inch, and the screen to body ratio is 82%. Aspect ratio stands at 18:9. The screen is made with scratch-resisting Corning Gorilla Glass.

Camera Features

The phone comes with 13 MP rear shooter which produces good quality – not so astounding – images with flash. The video capacity is FHD recording of 1080p@30fps. Although the phone falls within the budget-phones category, the camera, include various features such as autofocus, continuous shooting, digital zoom, exposure compensation, face detection, geo-tagging, HDR, ISO settings, panorama and more.

In regards to the front camera, the phone comes with a meagre 8 MP, that supports flash but in general, has fewer features than the back camera.

Hardware and software of Soda S1

There is Android 8.0 Oreo software which makes for a smooth running of Soda S1. It has a modified user interface. Additionally, the Soda S1 comes with MediaTek MT6737 SoC chipset with 28nm process technology. The CPU is Quad-core 1.3 GHz 4-Cores 64-bit architecture. The GPU is ARM Mali-T720. All of which are okay, however, what is really different about this phone that the Soda S1 comes with 3GB of RAM

During our test, the phone performance was above average, not so impressive yet there were no glitches, or freezes even with heavy multitasking.

The internal storage of 32GB, it can be extended using  microSD card up to 256GB.

In regards to the network and connection capabilities, Soda S1 offers provision for 2G, 3G, and 4G. In view of this, two SIM card slots can be found on the smartphone for making use of internet connections.

When it comes to battery, things get better, as it comes with a 3000 mAh non-removable battery. However, the battery doesn’t support either fast, or wireless charging.

Price and Availability

The real edge of this phone is the price, Soda S1 is placed at about EGP2799, and in this holiday – already started –  season, it is expected to be offered at about EGP1799 for a limited time.

In conclusion, Soda S1 is a phone that checks all the budget smartphone boxes, taking into consideration it’s low price, the phone’s performance, appearance, durability, and technology are all very satisfactory.

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World’s data, privacy, balancing risks with benefits https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/14/worlds-data-privacy-balancing-risks-with-benefits/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/14/worlds-data-privacy-balancing-risks-with-benefits/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 13:23:23 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=681034 Balanced, inclusive, accountable data policies, fundamental in addressing growing trust concerns seen throughout today’s world, says WEF

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“Oil changed the world in the 1900s. It drove cars, it drove the whole chemical industry” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, adding that “Data, I look at it as the new oil. It’s going to change most industries across the board.”

Data is the latest commodity, spawns a lucrative, booming industry, prompting antitrust regulators to intervene to restrain those who control its flow. One can argue that, just few years shy from a century ago, control of oil was a key factor in who won World War II.  In this day and age, similar concerns are being raised by the giants who deal in data, the oil of the digital era. These tech-titans—Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—look invincible.

The need to regulate privacy, and setting new data policies across the globe, is thoroughly studied in the report entitled ‘Data Policy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Insights on personal data’ by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, the United Arab Emirates.

Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the data question

Many believe that we are on the cusp of The Fourth Industrial Revolution, unlike its predecessors —steam and water power, electricity and assembly lines, and computerisation— it will pose a more radical change to the way we live, work and relate to one another, or might even challenge our concepts of what we consider human.

With the fast-paced adoption of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the Internet of Systems. This revolution is expected to impact all disciplines, industries, and economies.

In his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, describes the enormous potential for the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as the possible risks: “The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril. My concern, however, is that decision-makers are too often caught in traditional, linear (and non-disruptive) thinking, or too absorbed by immediate concerns to think strategically about the forces of disruption, and innovation shaping our future.”

These advancements promise to help countries boost economic growth, create jobs, reduce poverty, promote trade, and improve the quality of people’s lives.

However, the same technologies that can be used to improve health and medicine, enable personal interaction and engagement, and streamline the way governments provide services, can also be used to limit access to information, justify discrimination, restrict opportunity, and magnify an array of other harmful practices.

According to the WEF report, data is the centre of this broad digital transformation, as it is collected, created, used, processed, analysed, shared, transferred, copied and stored in unprecedented ways and at an extraordinary speed and volume. By 2020, an estimated 50bn devices will be wirelessly connected to the internet.

Understanding the ways data is generated, has become crucial, for any effective governance, the report states, taking into consideration that billions of sensors come online that passively collect data (without individuals being aware of it) and as computer analytics generate and synthesise more ‘bits about bytes’.

Data collection, creation, processing and sharing became inevitable, despite its source, whether it is volunteered by individuals, observed from behaviour, inferred by organisations or obtained from third parties.

Despite that, the global regulatory landscape for data is increasingly complex, and regulations remain unclear. Currently, there are more than 120 different national laws governing the collection and use of data, with new laws imminent in the EU, China and Brazil. Set to go into effect in 2020, a new data-protection law was recently passed in California, the home state of many major technology companies, and national privacy law is now being seriously contemplated in the US.

“It’s important to note the potential impact of conflicting regulation and data-localisation requirements on digital trade and commerce, which is reliant upon cross-border data flows, and which helps distribute economic benefits across the globe,” the report indicates.

Hence, rises the dilemma of how to address recent technologies that fall outside existing regulatory frameworks, as regulators around the world are experimenting with new approaches to data policy.

The pace of technological advances means that existing laws and regulations can quickly become obsolete, frustrating both customers and businesses seeking to access new innovations. However, individuals can also become concerned if they feel governments are not sufficiently protecting them from new risks.

“One of the greatest individual challenges posed by new information technologies is privacy.

We instinctively understand why it is so essential, yet the tracking and sharing of information about us is a crucial part of the new connectivity. Debates about fundamental issues such as the impact on our inner lives and of the loss of control over our data will only intensify in the years ahead,” according to Schwab.

Privacy complexity: data protection versus security

Against this backdrop, a range of issues and concerns frames the modern privacy debate, which raises ethical, technological, legal, economic, cultural and even philosophical questions. The complexity of the challenges do not mean that solutions cannot be developed. It does mean that the solutions are unlikely to be simple and straightforward.

The report summarises the four main directions for confusion and tension surrounding the issue of privacy:

First are the semantics of privacy, as privacy conveys a variety of overlapping harms, including, for example, the appropriation of a person’s picture or name for commercial advantage, surveillance of individual affairs, and public disclosure of private facts.

Second, are the power asymmetries, the fact that the ability to understand complex and inscrutable data flows within many global platforms is increasingly impractical.

Third are the macro approaches to privacy, as jurisdictions, countries, and cultures take different approaches to address the identified harms without any coordinated global policy approach.

Finally, are the micro perceptions of privacy, as individuals display a range of inconsistent behaviours driven by individual choice and economic rationales, often saying one thing and doing another.

The report indicates that new approaches are needed to help policy-makers address this complexity, and to understand, navigate and simplify the challenges. Policy protocols must be considered together to understand how each decision interacts with, or influences, other decisions within a single data policy framework.

Stressing the importance of the notion of privacy – the right to private life, data protection ,and confidentiality of communications – and the characterisation of privacy as a right, necessarily implicates a range of values and norms that may vary from country to country.

“A country that places less emphasis on individual autonomy may not value “the right to privacy” to the same extent as other nations, particularly with respect to the relationship between the individual and the state,” the report indicates.

Furthermore, the WEF believes that clear and cohesive data protection frameworks will provide commercial actors with regulatory certainty, as policies that are flexible, iterative, and adaptive can address some of the differing stakeholder perspectives.

On the other hand, the relationship between privacy and security also warrants clarification. Despite the fact that these two terms are overlapping and complementary, yet they are fundamentally different.

According to the report, information security concerns the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Privacy risks may result from authorised activity that is beyond the scope of information

security.

Thus, protecting individuals’ privacy cannot be achieved solely by securing personal data.

Security involves protecting information from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction.

Privacy, on the other hand, is concerned with managing the risks to individuals associated with the creation, collection, use, processing, storage, maintenance, dissemination, disclosure or disposal of personal data.

The way forward, revisiting FIPPs, dimensions of trust

Nearly 40 years ago, Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) were published, as an early attempt at developing a shared vocabulary and a common set of principles. The FIPPs are the basis of most privacy laws and data-protection frameworks in effect today.

The report believes that the FIPPs require further consideration and refinement. As machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) find new ways to leverage data in larger volumes, along with new forms of ubiquitous and ambient data collection through IoT and connected devices, models of consent must change and adapt.

“Reinterpreting the FIPPs, or simply evaluating them in light of new technologies, may serve to effectively modernize any FIPPs-based regulation currently in effect,” the report states.

Moreover, the WEF identifies the increasing trust gap, as one of the barriers toward the fast-paced adoption of the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In the recent years, trust concerns within the digital ecosystem have been on the rise. Security breaches, identity theft and fraud; concern from individuals and organisations about the accuracy and use of personal data; companies confused about what they can and cannot do; and increasing attention and sanctions from regulators are just some of the indicators.

In September for example, Facebook notified users of a massive data breach affecting over 50 million people. In the same month, Google announced that it allow third-party apps to access and share data from Gmail accounts, which has over 1.4 billion users globally.

In fact, in 2017, the global Edelman Trust Barometer had its biggest drop in trust ever across the institutions surveyed of government, business, media and NGOs compared to the previous year. In 2018, though outliers to this trend persist, little had improved, and some important markers were even worse.

What can be done?

The report concludes that one of the directions that needs to be adopted is the risk-based approach to data, which means going well beyond legal compliance and embracing rigorous analysis, deliberation and, at times, confronting issues of ethical uncertainty.

The aim is to fully inform decision-makers of potential risks, so they are not intentionally, or accidentally, ignored. The process is designed to render decisions that are informed, deliberate, and human.

Moreover, the report specifies three potential outcomes:

First, is that decision-makers agree the initiative has a high probability that a material set of adverse consequences could occur, so the initiative is terminated regardless of the potential benefits.

Second, is that decision-makers consider all of the potential risks and decide that the initiative will go forward as proposed. No changes to mitigate risk are taken as the risks are viewed as insignificant or the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Third, is the scenario where decision-makers take some steps to mitigate some risk and the project goes forward with full knowledge and acceptance of any residual risks.

Consequently, identifying and setting specific rules for categories of sensitive data is now a core part of nearly every data protection framework, according to the report.

The report highlights the importance the sensitivity of the data in a given context, and the potential risk of adverse consequences or harms to individuals from the processing of that data, whether it is labelled as personal or not.

“Understanding the sensitivity of a data element, or given category, is important not only in the context of privacy but for data security, information governance, and risk management more generally. Once categories of sensitive data are identified, a framework must identify the implications of being labelled as such within a given framework. Higher standards regarding consent, security, and legitimate use may be appropriate. In some cases, the collection and use of certain sensitive information may be prohibited outright,” the report concludes.

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The Rise of Artificial Intelligence – Part 2.2: From Augmenting BI to Aiming AGI https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/the-rise-of-artificial-intelligence-part-2-2-from-augmenting-bi-to-aiming-agi/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/the-rise-of-artificial-intelligence-part-2-2-from-augmenting-bi-to-aiming-agi/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 10:00:30 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=680462 In the last Part 2.1, we dove a little deeper into the meaning of AI, and explained in a simple manner how the most advanced techniques of AI (deep neural networks) were originally an inspiration of how the human brain works (biological neural networks). In this part, we will move one step forward to highlight …

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In the last Part 2.1, we dove a little deeper into the meaning of AI, and explained in a simple manner how the most advanced techniques of AI (deep neural networks) were originally an inspiration of how the human brain works (biological neural networks).

In this part, we will move one step forward to highlight the similarities and differences between AI and other overlapping terms.

AI is a colloquial term that is generally used to refer to the ability of computers to stimulate intellectual tasks, and provide a human like output without being specifically programmed. The term is very much less used in the technical fields of computer and data sciences.

During a discussion initiated by computer and data scientists addressing certain AI-powered applications, terms such as machine learning, deep learning, topic modelling, knowledge representation and expert systems are more likely to be used than AI. Nevertheless, AI is still a dominant term that refers to all underlying techniques and algorithms capable of stimulating some intelligent tasks.

Some argue that when computers are capable of completely performing intelligent tasks and generating a human-like output, the task is no longer intelligent and loses the quality of being qualified as an AI-generated output. This is because the computer does it seamlessly and regularly. While the argument may seem academic to a certain extent, its practical demonstration could be very interesting. The fact that an intellectual task can be performed by a computer with no margin of error, and without being specifically programmed means that computer is likely capable of performing, or at least ready to learn, a far more intelligence new task while building on the previous one. This point will later take us to the meaning of Artificial General Intelligence. 

The term AI is also confused with other terms such as Business Intelligence (BI) and such confusion is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why AI is sometimes overhyped and oversold in the business world. That is why it would be important to draw the line between the two fields and shed some light on how AI can help augment BI.

Artificial Intelligence vs. Business Intelligence

BI refers to the set of tools and technologies that are used to collect, store, access, analyse and transform data into actionable analytics in order to help businesses make decisions in a faster and more efficient manner. BI enables organisations to improve the quality of data they collect, and the consistency with which they collect it. BI tools also streamline the tasks that employees need to carry out in order to search for, collect, merge and analyse data to obtain the information they need to take sound business decisions.

One of the key benefits of BI is that the collected data can be broken down into a multitude of ways to support different roles, tasks or decisions.

Take the example of an organisation (such as a law or an auditing firm) that charges its customers based on an hourly rate. Each employee (lawyer or auditor) has a role to be performed in the form of deliverables, such as legal review of documents or providing audit reports based on their time. These employees are called fee earners. With BI tools, fee-earners can look at their own billing by matter, over time, and against their targets, and can compare their performance with others whereas the head of the department (such as a senior partner) could look at billing or other indicators for their whole department, and then break it down by sector matter, client, team or fee-earner.

Meanwhile, business support departments within the firm, such as HR and finance, could focus on different metrics according to their strategic priorities. 

BI tools could also be very helpful for retail businesses with seasonal business cycles. Such businesses find it challenging to optimise their stocks to cope with seasonal demands. With BI tools of decision support systems, analysis of historical sales and stocktaking data for warehouse products, such businesses have been able to significantly increase their profitability and efficiently meet market demands. 

There are many leading BI service providers such as Microsoft, Qlik, Tableau, IBM, Oracle and SAS. Organisations choose their BI platforms based on various factors depending on the size and complexity of its operations.

Nevertheless, BI is good as far as providing tools to let the organisation take the right decision. It does not make any recommendation or bridge this causal link between the analysed data and the decision to be taken.

As one of the leading decision science professors put it “BI does not tell you what to do; it tells you what was and what it is”. Simply put, by way of analogy, BI cleans and organizes your dressing room, but it does not tell you what to wear on a given occasion.

But AI is different. It can bridge that causal link between the data (even in its raw forms), and the decision to be made. AI can make the decision the way of finding the patterns in the data and applying the right algorithmic operations to such patterns. A computer trained on a hundred thousand photos of dogs and cats, can tell you whether a new photo is a cat or a dog. AI does not only cluster the historical photos of cats and dogs (like BI) but also decides what object in a new photo is.

AI is a perfect fit to help augment BI tools to offer organisations integrated platforms that do not only analyse data, but also generate human-like outputs using such data. AI is a great interface that could help businesses optimise the efficiency of their time and expenditures, as well as direct their human resources towards smarter and career-progressive roles.

Next Article Part 2.3: AI and AGI

Hani A. Rasoul Chief Executive Officer & Chief of Legal Tech. & Analytics at Brightiom

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50% decline in mobile sales since pound flotation: Mostafa https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/50-decline-in-mobile-sales-since-pound-flotation-mostafa/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/50-decline-in-mobile-sales-since-pound-flotation-mostafa/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 09:30:59 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=680458 Past years have proven success of small companies, market is not monopolised

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Ahmed Mostafa, head of the Mobile and Communications Division at the Chamber of Commerce in Alexandria, said that mobile trade has seen a decline in sales estimated at nearly 50% since the flotation of the Egyptian pound.

He told Daily News Egypt that the share of the mobile market sales in Alexandria represents 18% of total sales, explaining that the mobile market is not monopolised by specific brands anymore. The past years have seen the success of many companies who have been in the market for no more than three years. The head of the division divided the market into two generations: Pre-2010 and post-2010.

The market is witnessing a variety in brands and a competition that makes monopolisation difficult. Additionally, the sector has attracted more people who are passionate about technology, and who are graduates of universities, looking for proper work opportunities.

Mostafa believes that halting the sale of new mobile lines is impossible, and limiting sales to companies is not the end, considering the upcoming period is one that requires more thinking outside the box.

Additionally, investment and profit should not be solely dependent on top-up cards with mobile companies providing payment services, including Vodafone Cash, Fawry, and Aman.

He stressed the importance of meeting with the officials responsible for VAT issuance in order to raise awareness about it, and discuss the mechanisms of its application, especially that its calculation is different from the buying and selling value. Additionally, a guide should be prepared regarding calculating tax in the sector of mobile and communications.

Mostafa estimated the share of the mobile market in Alexandria to be 18% of the total mobile market size in Egypt, explaining that the share of Alexandria and Giza represents over 50% of the total market.

He pointed out that the market is no longer monopolised by a single famous brand, as now new brands can be found—who have only been in the market for no more than three years—and they achieved good sales. The difference between the share of a company and another would only be 1% or 2%. A company does not account for more than 20-25% of the market.

Mostafa described the mobile market as one that has “issues in expenses and costs”, as traders bear great costs to start their activities, starting from the purchase value or rent value of a place, to the cost of preparing it, in addition to regular expenses for services and wages, as well as the value of the devices whose average prices are estimated to be EGP 3,000. This means that the cost of a single shop is nearly EGP 800,000, which is very expensive for a trader who has just started his work, especially that there is a decline by 50% in the volume of sales after the flotation decision.

The head of the division pointed out that he is working with the board of directors of the division on three main axes and goals during the short upcoming period, represented in protection, development and improvement, considering protection the missing link among mobile traders.

“We are facing major issues with the Consumer Protection Agency which overlooked traders and their awareness of the correct ways to preserve their rights, unlike the case with consumers, as it advises them on the correct steps to take to preserve their rights, which is a point that needs to be addressed when the laws of the sector are discussed,” he added.

He pointed out that it does not make sense to have a mechanism to categorise mobile traders and shops, especially that they are subject to fines and violations imposed by certain bodies without a real formulate to legalize practicing the activity. He demanded that traders are provided by a guide with the commercial register in order to help them avoid being subject to fines.

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24 million Facebook users in Egypt: head of public policies in MENA https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/24-million-facebook-users-in-egypt-head-of-public-policies-in-mena/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/24-million-facebook-users-in-egypt-head-of-public-policies-in-mena/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 09:00:03 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=680459 100 billion messages through our applications daily, says Ali

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Nashwa Ali, the head of Public Policies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region at Facebook, said that there are about 24 million people using the website daily in Egypt, while the number of users who access it through mobile phones is nearly 37 million people on a monthly basis.

Ali told Daily News Egypt that her company has recently hosted the ‘Boost Your Business’ event for the very first time in Egypt this year, within the framework of its vision for the growth of start-ups.

Over 250 owners of medium and small enterprises participated to benefit from the experiences of companies which used Facebook to develop their work, communicate with others, meet website experts and take part in the training.

Globally, Facebook is helping local companies create over 60% new jobs. “We exerted great efforts to help local companies grow, hence, create more jobs and enhance communities,” she indicated.

Ali explained that the work team is constantly working to find free solutions, such as ‘pages’, ‘Facebook jobs’ which is the tool used to look for jobs, and training programmes such as ‘community boots’ and e-learning tools, including ‘blueprint’.

Regarding Facebook’s vision of the local market in terms of investment opportunities and having more present in the future, Ali said that Egypt is a country rich with talents. “These major successes achieved by entrepreneurs and owners of start-ups have inspired us, which encouraged us to host the ‘Boost Your Business’ event in Egypt this year, as this country has so much talent and potential,” she said.

Technology has offered so much support to the economy, and managed to help many discover local companies and communicate with them. Today, millions of local companies use Facebook and Instagram to start their businesses to start their work and communicate with clients in order to grow and increase trade and employment, remarked Ali.

There are also plans to invest in more people, technologies and programmes to help local companies grow and support them in terms of gaining digital skills and finding new jobs.

“We are well-aware that this advancement serves our communities, our economies, and each and every one of us,” she stressed.

Earlier this year, Facebook launched the ‘marketplace’ service in Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco to help people who use Facebook to explore, purchase, and sell items.

Concerning the total number of active users at the present time, Ali explained that there are over 2.6 billion Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger users.

“In the past quarter, the number reached about 2.5 billion, but currently, on average, there are more than 2 billion people at least using one of our services on a daily basis,” she elaborated.

Users currently send nearly 100 billion messages daily, and the company’s ‘messenger’ service is ranked the second most popular, in terms of the number of daily correspondences through it.

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New development will help Fawry to reach 6m daily transactions https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/31/new-development-will-help-fawry-to-reach-6m-daily-transactions/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/31/new-development-will-help-fawry-to-reach-6m-daily-transactions/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 08:30:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=679690 Company’s e-payment injected EGP 90m last year to improve technological structure efficiency, guarantee electronic services quality

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Mohamed Okasha, managing director of Fawry e-payments, said that the company injected EGP 90m last year to improve the efficiency of its technological structure, to guarantee the quality of its electronic payment services which it provides.

I a press statement, Okasha announced that Fawry’s network sees about 2m e-payment transactions, while the new development will help Fawry to reach 6m transactions every day.

Fawry’s network provides electronic payment services for several sectors, including the telecom sector, WE, and Internet companies, as well as utility bills’ payments, and social housing instalments.

An international alliance composed of several investment companies bought most of Fawry’s shares in 2015, in a deal worth $100m.

Fawry was founded in 2010 to offer e-payment services for all four mobile operators: Vodafone, Orange, Etisalat, and WE, as well as electricity companies, nine water distribution companies, along with the traffic prosecution department through providing online payment services and license renewal, among other services in the Egyptian market.

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Aman, WE, agree on collecting bills, balance recharge https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/31/aman-we-agree-on-collecting-bills-balance-recharge/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/31/aman-we-agree-on-collecting-bills-balance-recharge/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 08:00:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=679685 Company's expansion plan includes reaching 70 points of sale, adding 400 branches

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Aman Financial Services, a subsidiary of Raya Holding Group, has agreed with Telecom Egypt, currently known as WE, to provide billing and charging services for WE lines, through its outlets and branches.

This new service comes after Aman successfully added WE’s landline and internet bills’ payment service.

Aman’s outlets and branches are presently offering bill payments and balance recharges for all four operators in the market: Vodafone, Orange, Etisalat, and WE, which reflects the company’s strong strategy and its confidence in reaching more clients.

Aman also agreed with WE to provide the latter’s services in order to reach more clients through its 25,000 outlets and 140 branches in Greater Cairo. The company’s expansion plan includes reaching 70 points of sale (POS) and adding 400 branches.

El-Sayed Mohamed Wahby, CEO of Aman Electronic Payment Company, said that the company is taking steady steps to increase the number of offered services, through its electronic platform and branches, in all governorates, to meet customer needs. He added that Aman also target to increase the number of merchants who accept electronic payments through POS and various applications, in addition to partnering with businesses and banking communities, so as to facilitate payments, and contribute to boosting e-payments in the local market.

Aman is constantly on the lookout for partnerships with local market players as it develops, becoming the leading e-payment company in Egypt in the coming years, based on the country’s determination to transform itself into a society that is less dependent on cash transactions. The company currents transacts 85 deals per second, stressed Wahby.

Aman’s CEO said that the Non-Cash Transactions Development Law passed by the Supreme Council of Payments by the government during its previous meeting, is a very important step towards effective measures towards increasing electronic payment rates in Egypt. This will increase the number of merchants with POS, and will facilitate the steps customers perform to conduct electronic payments, such as mobile wallets.

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Jumia meets MCIT to discuss remarks on new e-commerce law https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/31/jumia-meets-mcit-to-discuss-remarks-on-new-e-commerce-law/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/31/jumia-meets-mcit-to-discuss-remarks-on-new-e-commerce-law/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 07:30:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=679647 Company expects 30 million customers on Black Friday: Safwat

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Jumia, an e-commerce company, will meet with officials of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to discuss their demands and technical comments on the new e-commerce law, according to CEO of Jumia, Hesham Safwat.

He pointed out that there are different types of e-commerce platforms. Some platforms provide e-commerce services among customers, while others like Jumia showcase companies’ products, along with online stores. Each of these types have different roles that must be regulated by the law.

The company always seeks to protect its investments through regulated legislation, which are necessary to support the spread of electronic commerce and protect investments, highlighted Safwat.

Furthermore, Safwat remarked that the number of products exhibited on Jumia’s platform exceeded 2m products from 7,000 exhibitors, up by 170% in business size, noting that the company aims to have 20,000 exhibitors in the coming period.

It comes on the sidelines of the press conference held on Monday by Jumia to announce the launch of the Black Friday offers between 2 and 30 November. The company aims to attract 30 million customers during this sales period, Safwat declared.

During the press conference, Nisreen Wahba, head of the company’s Commercial Sector, said that Jumia plans to conclude 200,000 transactions, through 7,000 exhibitors, offering 2m products on its electronic platform.

She explained that the Jumia will provide discounts up to 80% on appliances in the first week of the Black Friday campaign, then fashion followed by electronics. The company will conclude by offering top selling products in campaign’s last week.

Wahba added that Jumia will also offer discounts every Sunday on a certain product, beginning with groceries, followed by children’s items as well as automotive-related products.

Moreover, she indicated that 12 flash sales will be offered every Friday, as well as 1,000 discount coupons.

Jumia’s partners in this campaign include L’Oreal, Andorra, Town Team, Braun, Samsung, and Infinix.

Black Friday started in the US when customers noticed a surge in purchases in the day following Thanksgiving Day, so they allocated this day to offer big deals and discounts, making it the biggest shopping day of the year. With traders offering unprecedented discounts, Black Friday is a global event where the people worldwide chase the best deals and offers.

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Coordination with telecoms, regulation companies necessary to take market-related decisions: Essam https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/31/coordination-with-telecoms-regulation-companies-necessary-to-take-market-related-decisions-essam/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/31/coordination-with-telecoms-regulation-companies-necessary-to-take-market-related-decisions-essam/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 07:00:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=679653 Parliament imposed an EGP 50 fee for buying a new mobile line, a monthly EGP 10 on mobile bills

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Opinions varied about withdrawing from imposing a development fee on mobile lines, after newspapers quoted government statements saying that studying the withdrawal option is taking place.

Ayman Essam, head of Vodafone Egypt’s Foreign and Legal Affairs Department, said that the Ministry of Finance must cooperate with companies working in the market, as well as the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), in order to regulate communications, before taking a market decision.

He added in a statement in June: “We were surprised to hear the decision of the Ministry of Finance to impose a development fee of EGP 50 on new mobile lines without coordinating or conducting studies with mobile phone operators, all of which negatively impacted market sales. This also does not mean that it is acceptable to make a decision to withdraw from enforcing the decision without any coordination with the companies working in the market or the NTRA, because this all affects the market stability .”

Imposing the development fee has contributed towards reaching better control over the mobile line sales’ process, as sales declined, this helped ensure accurate registered data, whichs is an important issue as it involves national security, Essam believes.

He also called for coordination with companies before making any market-related decisions in order to avoid negative repercussions.

Parliament passed the amendments to the provisions of the law of resources development fees, including imposing a new fee for EGP 50 on buying a new mobile phone line, in addition to a monthly EGP 10 on mobile bills. Imposing the new fees began since the start of the current fiscal year (FY).

Telecom Egypt (TE) was the exceedingly harmed by the decision to impose the development fee, because it is the new provider of mobile services, and is still in the phase where it is attempting to expand.

For his part, a TE official said that the company suffered from the negative repercussions of the development fee imposed on mobile lines because TE is a new mobile operator, and what happened reduced the chances of growing their customer base. The Ministry of Finance’s decision to revoke that decision is a positive step, but more official steps are still expected in that direction.

Some newspapers have quoted government statements about the possibility to look into cancelling the fees imposed on new mobile lines, and the implementation of the decision started earlier this FY.

The mobile market in Egypt lost about 764,700 subscribers in June, compared to May 2018, reducing the number of subscribers from 96,400 in May to 95,400 in June.

According to the indicators from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the three companies, Vodafone, Orange, and Etisalat have lost many customers this month.

Vodafone recorded the highest rate of customer loss among the three companies in June, losing about 345,800, with subscribers dropping from 42 million in May, to 41.7 million in June.

Orange lost about 225,600 customers in June, down from 31.3 million in May to 31.1 million in June.

As for Etisalat, it lost about 193,100 customers in June, making the number of its customers drop from 19.9 million in May 2018 to 19.7 million in June.

The Internet market lost about 1.6 million in June compared to May 2018.

For his part, Khaled Hegazy, the executive head of the Institutional Sector at Etisalat, said that imposing this fee on such an important service as the communications service is hard to understand. It is not a luxurious commodity, but a rather a basic service. Additionally, the development fee was imposed on government services offered by the state to citizens, so why are mobile line fees included in this law?

The new claw caused a significant increase in the price of mobile lines, as their prices reached nearly EGP 77, compared to only EGP 15 before the new development fee. This is expected to have a further negative effect on the sale of new lines.

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Suez Canal signs agreement with South Korea’s KT, GGTT to speed internet service to 1 GBps https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/30/suez-canal-signs-agreement-with-south-koreas-kt-ggtt-to-speed-internet-service-to-1-gbps/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/30/suez-canal-signs-agreement-with-south-koreas-kt-ggtt-to-speed-internet-service-to-1-gbps/#respond Tue, 30 Oct 2018 17:04:53 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=679650 Partnership will help provide better internet services for all business sectors in area: Yassin

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Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with KT Corporation, South Korea’s largest telecommunications service provider, and Giga Global for Telecom and Technology (GGTT) to install new technology system that will increase Internet speed in the area to 1 GBps. The two sides provided no details on the value nor the contract’s timeline.

KT’s chairperson and CEO Hwang Chang-Gyu and Mohab Mameesh, chairman of SCA, attended the signing ceremony held on Monday.

Chang-Gyu said that the partnership will not only improve Egypt’s information and communications technology (ICT) services, but also help KT expand its global presence. He added that the MoU is part of a large project to promote the ICT infrastructure of the Suez Canal.

Chairperson of GGTT Mohamed Roshdy said that this project will contribute towards transferring modern technology to Egypt, and increase its gross domestic product (GDP). He pointed out that a number of field tests have been conducted in the areas that require faster internet speed service.

CEO of GGTT Osama Yassin said that this partnership will help provide better internet services for all business sectors in the area.

South Korean ambassador to Egypt Yoon Yeocheol said that the new partnership will provide the Egyptian market with innovative ICT solutions.

This is the first agreement between the two countries since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi visited South Korea in March 2016 to promote cooperation between the two countries.

“Egypt is one of the largest countries in the Middle East in terms of using Internet services, and has a large number of users, mostly young people,” the ambassador said.

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Temenos, AUC Venture Lab and CIB cooperate to promote fintech in Egypt https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/25/temenos-auc-venture-lab-and-cib-cooperate-to-promote-fintech-in-egypt/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/25/temenos-auc-venture-lab-and-cib-cooperate-to-promote-fintech-in-egypt/#respond Thu, 25 Oct 2018 12:53:06 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=679091 Technological solutions, applications will contribute to integration of parallel economy

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Mohamed Farag, chief digital officer at CIB Egypt, said that the cooperation between the bank, AUC’s Venture Lab, and the Temenos Group contributes to the launch of innovative technological products for banking services that will help achieve financial inclusion.

Farag said that there are 60 million Egyptians eligible to deal with banks, but only 14 million of them have bank accounts, since banking activity started 125 years ago, leaving 46 million people relying on cash transactions only.

He believes that this is contrary to the vision of the state for GDP development, and therefore the parallel economy should be integrated into the formal economy to increase it.

Farag demonstrated the ability of technology to evolve. The electronic portfolio services over the last four years provided by banks has been able to attract 9.5 million customers, many of whom do not have bank accounts.

Over the last few years, the banking sector has witnessed substantial increases both in the operations and the facilities of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), or in the Presidency’s efforts to establish the National Payments Council, followed by the decisions of the Ministry of Finance to cancel government’s cash payments and launch the ‘Miza’ card.

Farag believes that the Temenos Group launch of the Marketplace platform for innovative ideas and fintech companies, will enable start-ups that provide innovative financial services to banks, will help banks to launch new products.

Marketplace aims to enable start-ups link their products and services to the banks’ technological systems.

Ayman Ismail, founder of the AUC’s Venture Lab, said that the agreement with the Temenos Group and the CIB aims to help start-ups reach the banking and financial sector, which will contribute to the growth of emerging companies, and provide them with strong growth opportunities.

This came during the conference held to announce the new cooperation between the AUC Venture Lab, the Temenos Group, and the CIB.

This alliance was strengthened in the Meet the Marketplace event held at the American University in Cairo.

The event provided an opportunity for companies specialising in financial technology, and members of the Temenos Marketplace to review the solutions they propose, and submit them to a number of Egyptian financial institutions. These specialised companies explained solutions that can accommodate the opportunities available, and face the challenges associated with the Egyptian market ,such as financial inclusion, literacy, digital participation, security, risk and compliance with the provisions of the law.

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Nokia 6.1 Plus now available in Egypt https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/nokia-6-1-plus-now-available-in-egypt/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/nokia-6-1-plus-now-available-in-egypt/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 10:30:50 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=678914 It is unique in providing intelligent content creation features, smart story telling

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Nokia 6.1 Plus, features, specifications

HMD, Nokia phones’ developer, announced the launch of its Nokia smartphone 6.1Plus in Egypt towards the end of last month. It is unique in providing intelligent content creation features and smart story telling. The screen is perfect for watching videos, chatting, and following news on social media websites. Thus, Nokia 6.1 Plus is unique in helping users share their stories. Nokia 6.1 is operated by Android One.

Design

Nokia 6.1 Plus provides a good viewing experience with a large screen, and a larger smartphone design, thanks to its screen with an aspect ratio of 19:9.

It also provides full HD + experience in 5.8 inches to give a vibrant experience. The phone has curves covered with the Gorilla screen.

Specifications

The phone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon ™ 636 processor, which is 40% faster than its predecessor, making the smartphone the best in terms of live streaming and online gaming.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is also equipped with a fast charging USB Type C port.

Camera 

The phone comes with a rear camera of 16MP- 5MP with dual sensors for high-quality rendering and accurate image details. It is also possible to enliven the images with the HDR feature.

Device Availability:

The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes in three colors: glossy black, glossy white, and bright blue. It is now available in Egypt with a price tag of EGP 4,999.

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Jumia One offers 5% cash back on all airtime, mobile bills purchases https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/jumia-one-offers-5-cash-back-on-all-airtime-mobile-bills-purchases/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/jumia-one-offers-5-cash-back-on-all-airtime-mobile-bills-purchases/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 10:00:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=678879 Application is specialised in paying bills and credit recharging

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As smartphone becomes an important part of our life, Jumia, an e-commerce company, launched the Jumia One – the first all-in-one application – that aims to facilitate bills payment and credit recharge via mobile by using trusted electronic methods.

Jumia is one of the first companies to support digital transformation system and financial inclusion to reduce depending on cash payment and transfer into a non-cash community.

The mobile app operates on all operation systems – Android and iOS – for free. As Jumia launched this new app to provide customers with a trusted payment method at reasonable prices, the services presented by the app include mobile credit recharge, mobile, electricity, gas, water, landline phone and internet bills payment, and donation.

Jumia’s CEO Hesham Safwat expressed his happiness for launching the new app in cooperation with its partners, stressing that the company gives the priority to its customers in facilitating access to various services from anywhere and at any time, especially electricity and water bills and mobile credit recharge in an easy and reliable method.

The new application users must submit their e-payment code in case of paying electricity, water and landline phone bills. As the app provides its customer with secure various payment methods, either by using a debit card or bank account.

One of the services that Jumia One provides is mobile credit recharge as you can use this service at any time and any place, this service is available for the different mobile networks: Vodafone, Orange, Etisalat and We.

If you used Jumia One to recharge your mobile credit, you will get 5% cash back. The cash back is also applicable to other services.

The app also offers online donation services as it provides simple donation methods to charity institutions, such as Misr EL Khier, 57357 Hospital, and Egyptian Food Bank.

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Spectra Technology aims to supply 90,000 POS for banks, ministries, e-payment companies https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/spectra-technology-aims-to-supply-90000-pos-for-banks-ministries-e-payment-companies/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/spectra-technology-aims-to-supply-90000-pos-for-banks-ministries-e-payment-companies/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 09:30:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=678877 Interviews underway with electronic collection companies to agree on smart applications final form for banks’ electronic payment cards

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Spectra Technology, which operates in the field of electronic payment, collection, and POS manufacturing, aims to supply about 90,000 POS for several banks, ministries, and e-payment companies in 2018/19, according to the company’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Mostafa Morad.

Morad stressed that there is close cooperation with Egyptian companies working in the field of collection, and electronic payment and banks, in order to accelerate the financial inclusion initiative, adopted by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the government, to convert into a cashless community.

He added that the company coordinates with a number of electronic collection companies such as Bee and Khadamaty for the supply of machines and intelligent systems for electronic payment, which enhances the provision of the best services to citizens, and to maintain their rights and facilitate payments from anywhere through the company’s DRM system.

Furthermore, there is further coordination processes with the largest Egyptian banks to strengthen cooperation in the field of POS which support the Mezah national card, which the government aims to issue soon, according to Morad

He also indicated that interviews are underway with some electronic collection companies in order to agree on the final form of smart applications for electronic payment cards in banks.

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BOGO plus discount coupons includes 170 brands https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/bogo-plus-discount-coupons-includes-170-brands/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/bogo-plus-discount-coupons-includes-170-brands/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 09:00:54 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=678874 We launched new service via WhatsApp, says company’s CEO

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The BOGO plus team is aiming at providing more useful solutions through a booklet that contains many coupons that allow the customer to buy a product and get another for free, with plans to include 200 brands, after having included 170 brands already.

Medhat Yassin, CEO of BOGO plus, said that customers’ demand for the BOGO plus booklet has doubled significantly during the current period compared to last year due to the large number of offers and discounts offered by the company to the customer, amid ongoing price hikes.

He explained that BOGO plus includes five categories: restaurants and cafes, toys for children, beauty and health, hotels and products, clothing and fashion. The booklet contains over 1,000 offers and will expire by the end of next year.

Yassin confirmed that the company agreed with 170 brands so far, including restaurants, cafeterias, taverns, clinics, etc., aiming to reach 200 brands next year.

The company also launched a WhatsApp service to allow clients to stay updated with all the offers on daily basis or through the company’s Facebook page, which is now being followed by 300,000 people.

Yassin said that a committee had been assigned by the company to find out all the details of the products, before entering the booklet to ensure the quality of products they provide to clients.

On the number of customers, he explained that BOGO plus has been able to spread significantly during the past four years, especially in the Greater Cairo governorates.

He explained that all governorates are covered in terms of tourist offers, available through the BOGO plus booklet.

BOGO plus was initiated in December 2012 and was founded Medhat Yassin.

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Accept begins its foreign expansion with Jordan https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/accept-begins-its-foreign-expansion-with-jordan/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/accept-begins-its-foreign-expansion-with-jordan/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 08:30:13 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=678829 Company believes Jordan is a promising market and has sustainable opportunities

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Accept, a company specialising in the provision of smart solutions for digital payments, began its services in the Jordanian market in partnership with Middle East Payment Services (MEPS), which is based in Jordan and specialised in the field of electronic payment services.

The partnership aims to provide products and services covering the needs of small and medium enterprises in Jordan.

Accept believes Jordan is a promising market and has sustainable opportunities.

Shady El-Tohfa, CCO of Accept, said that many businesses fail to secure sales because they don’t support easy means of payment. In the digital age, it is important not only to digitise payments but also to ensure that the company provides all the market needs, El-Tohfa explained.

Accept has decided to continue expanding in the Middle East and North Africa, along with the Gulf states to enter new markets by the end of 2018.

Accept was founded in 2018 to provide smart solutions for payments to give the ability to traders to accept the various means of payment, which helps them in the development of their business.

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57% increase in TE’s debts in H1 2018 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/57-increase-in-tes-debts-in-h1-2018/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/24/57-increase-in-tes-debts-in-h1-2018/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 08:00:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=678870 EGP 8.3bn net debts of the company

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The net debts of Telecom Egypt (TE) during the first half of this year were estimated to be EGP 8.3bn compared to EGP 4.7bn in the same period of 2017, marking an increase of 43.4%.

The liquidity of the company during the first half of this year reached EGP 925m compared to EGP 2.2bn during the comparison period of last year.

The retail revenues at the company from the sector of home consumers during the first half of this year grew by 45% compared to the same period last year, according to an official at TE, as the revenues of home and consumer sector reached EGP 3.7bn during the first half of 2018 compared to EGP 2.5bn during the comparison period in 2017.

As for the enterprise sector of TE, a weak growth of 2% took place during the first half of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017. According to the official, the revenues of the sector reached EGP 1.2bn during the first half of this year compared to EGP 1.1bn in the comparison period in 2017.

As for the wholesale revenues from the domestic sector, there was also a growth by 17% during the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year, making revenues grow from EGP 1.6bn in 2017 to EGP 1.9bn during this year.

According to the figures of TE, the company managed to achieve operational growths estimated to have reached EGP 2.1bn during the first half of 2018, compared to EGP 1.9bn during the comparison period of last year with a growth of 11%.

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ITIDA represents Egypt, partakes in 38th GITEX Technology Week https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/itida-represents-egypt-partakes-in-38th-gitex-technology-week/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/itida-represents-egypt-partakes-in-38th-gitex-technology-week/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 19:57:28 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=677675 32 local ICT companies to participate in week

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Egypt, represented by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), has kick started its participation at the 38th GITEX Technology Week 2018, scheduled to take place from 14 to 18 October 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre in UAE.

The event will explore the latest trends, showcasing products and innovations from across the world. GITEX aims to bring together the most innovative, exciting, and ambitious tech giants and start-ups to exhibit products, innovative solutions, and ideas to an audience of thousands of visitors and hand-picked international investors.

ITIDA will also support the participation of 32 ICT local companies in two different pavilions around the GITEX venue aiming to create new partnerships opportunities, boost investments, expand their presence in the Gulf market, and promote Egypt’s potential. 

ITIDA has an ambition of building and championing a world-class IT industry that will play an increasingly important role in Egypt’s economic growth, as well as increasing the volume of its digital and IT services’ exports to $4bn by the end of this fiscal year, with a growth rate of 13.4%, compared with $3.25bn in 2017.

The Egyptian government capitalises on the vibrant ICT sector and aspires to increase its contribution to the country’s GDP from 3.1% to 5% within three years, particularly with the nationwide plan that drives all state sectors and ministries to digitalise.

According to ITIDA’s Export IT 2017programme, a state fund and cash rebate on ICT exports, the UAE comes on top of the Gulf countries in terms of importing and buying services of the Egyptian ICT companies, with 56%, followed by Saudi Arabia with 22%.

Maha Rasha, ITIDA acting CEO, said that the decision-makers in the UAE and the MENA region in general, show confidence in Egypt as a destination of choice for IT outsourcing services and technology innovations. She added that the Egyptian talent is very well recognised for its unique technical capabilities, where it also provides a highly qualified and multi-lingual skilled labour pool of workers at a competitive cost.

For the past years, GITEX has been offering a unique opportunity for Egypt and Egyptian companies to showcase their cutting-edge solutions and technologies, in order to penetrate one of the world’s fastest growing regions.

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Communications minister witnessed launch of ‘Developing Comprehensive, Creative Economies’ programme https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/communications-minister-witnessed-launch-of-developing-comprehensive-creative-economies-programme/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/communications-minister-witnessed-launch-of-developing-comprehensive-creative-economies-programme/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 10:15:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=677487 MCIT carrying out study with programme on cooperation aspects to use communication, information technology tools to contribute towards reaching an integrated creative economy

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The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat, said that digital technology has greatly contributed to developing the economy based on creative industries, which is witnessing growth across the globe. This makes investing in the fields of technological innovation and entrepreneurship a necessity in order to achieve sustainable development. Talaat noted that creative economy and reaching an inclusive society is one of the Egyptian government’s priorities to implement in its 2030 vision.

This came during his speech at the ceremony organised by the British Council to launch the programme of ‘Developing Comprehensive and Creative Economies’, within the framework of reinforcing the partnership between Egypt and Britain, and supporting the creative economy in Egypt. This took place in the presence of Alistair Burt, the British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to Sir Geoffrey Adams, Britain’s Ambassador in Egypt, as well as Elizabeth White, the director of the British Council in Egypt, as well as several representatives from government bodies, local agencies and organisations.

In his speech, Talaat noted that the ministry is contributing towards achieving Egypt’s 2030 vision through several projects which include encouraging young people to innovate and create, as well as develop their skills and spread the entrepreneurship culture with the protection of intellectual property, in addition to implementing several programmes to adapt technology in order to merge and empower several segments of the society, including distance treatment, technological development of societal schools, building young people’s abilities in rural and underprivileged areas, and providing technological accessibility for persons with disabilities.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is working to increase the ability of persons with disabilities to enter the labour market through highly accessible training programmes in the field of communications and information technology, aiming to provide decent and diverse employment opportunities which guarantee their freedom of choice and independence in performance through an integrated work environment. It also supports youth innovation in the development of assisting technologies, to enable disabled people to become integrated and active members of their community.

Noteworthy, creative economy provides promising opportunities to entrepreneurs in various fields, especially young people, women and marginalised groups in society. Within that framework, the ministry is carrying out a study of the cooperation aspects with the British government and the British council through this programme to use the tools of communications and information technology to contribute towards reaching an integrated creative economy.   

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Mobile subscribers in Egypt down 3.4%, mobile internet users up 4.2% in Q2 2018 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/mobile-subscribers-in-egypt-down-3-4-mobile-internet-users-up-4-2-in-q2-2018/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/mobile-subscribers-in-egypt-down-3-4-mobile-internet-users-up-4-2-in-q2-2018/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 10:00:12 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=677474 Internet market added 3 million new consumers in Q2, number of internet users reached 42 million in Q2 compared to 39 million in Q1

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The number of mobile subscribers in Egypt decreased in the second quarter (Q2) of this year by 3.4% compared to Q1 (q-o-q).

According to a report issued by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the number of mobile subscribers in Egypt declined from 99.1 million in Q1 to 95.7 million in Q2 of 2018, a decrease of 3.4 million consumers.

The report added that the penetration rate of mobile services compared to the population has decreased from 108.8% in Q1 to 104.6% in Q2 of this year.

Meanwhile, the number of landline subscribers increased by 2.26% to register 7.4 million subscribers in Q2, up from 7.2% in Q1 of 2018.

The report showed that the internet market added 3 million new consumers in Q2, where the number of internet users reached 42 million in Q2 compared to 39 million in Q1.

The number of mobile phone internet users also increased by 4.2% in Q2 to grow from 31.4 million users in Q1 to 32.8 million.

The number of USB modem internet users increased by 3.4% in Q2 to 3.4 million from 2.1 million in Q1.

The number of high-speed ADSL users increased by 5.2% to reach 5.8 million in Q2 against 5.5 million in Q1 of this year.

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Network International banks integrate Egypt’s Meeza payment scheme https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/13/network-international-banks-integrate-egypts-meeza-payment-scheme/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/13/network-international-banks-integrate-egypts-meeza-payment-scheme/#respond Sat, 13 Oct 2018 20:21:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=677293 NI partner banks among first acquiring banks in Egypt to integrate national payments scheme

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Network International (NI) Egypt, a leader in payments solutions in Africa, announced today that the banks with which the company partners are now fully integrated and certified to process transactions under Meeza, the new Egyptian national payments scheme.

The latest development complements NI’s ongoing efforts to support the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) initiatives to reduce dependence on cash, and advance the local payments infrastructure.

Meeza is the national debit card that the CBE is rolling out before the end of the year, as part of its push towards financial inclusion, and a cashless society.

A CBE official informed last month through press statements that pensioners would be among the first to access state benefits through the cards, which would also be used to electronically deliver payments to civil servants, and subsidy recipients.

For his part, Hany Fekry, managing director of NI Egypt explained that being among the first to integrate with the national payment scheme reinforces NI’s collective efforts to streamline operations, improve profitability for its customers, and support the government’s initiatives to boost electronic payments in the country.

“Our commitment to Egypt, the Middle East, and Africa to provide entrepreneurs, corporations and government bodies with intuitive, secure, and smart payment solutions is central to our work at Network International,” Fekry assured.

Meanwhile, Rafik El Raheb, chief information officer of NI Africa, stated that businesses in the region need increasingly sophisticated solutions that are versatile.

“With the technology-led focus of Network International, we plan and design solutions that our customers need, and we make them a reality,” he indicated.

“The latest cloud technology and data centre facilities, automated resource allocation, scalable IT and network capacity is what we offer, as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience gained throughout Africa, the Middle East, and beyond,” El Raheb concluded.

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