ArabBrains MENA Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:10:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Vodafone completes networks enhancement across Doha Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:10:59 +0000 vodafoneVodafone Qatar announced today that it has completed its networks enhancement across the capital Doha and has now initiated the second phase of this process which will entail swapping all of the company’s remaining cell sites in the country. Vodafone began its networks enhancement activities in January 2015 and is aiming to finish such plans by September 2015.

Vodafone stated that the initiative falls strongly in line with the company’s strategy to provide the population of Qatar with state-of-the-art telecommunications services through cutting-edge technology, which in the end will result in an improved experience and faster internet speeds.

Customers in impacted areas may experience a service interruption for a number of hours. Vodafone added that it will notify the customers in impacted areas via SMS ahead of the network enhancements.

Customers may visit for more details and updates about the network enhancements.

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Mobily ranks the first in region offering international roaming services for 4G Data Tue, 28 Jul 2015 05:30:04 +0000 mobilyRiyadh- Mobily has announced that it has become the leading operator in the Middle East to partner with over 100 global telecom service providers in the world, offering high-speed data roaming services on 4G (LTE) networks. Mobily customers take advantage of high speed data roaming in major travel destinations across the US, Europe, Australasia and the Middle East.

Mobily extends its 4G coverage across roaming destinations through partnerships with renowned operators such as AT&T in the US; Vodafone in the UK, Germany and Spain; Organge in France and Switzerland; A1 Telecom in Austria; Telestra in Australia; Celcom in Malaysia, and a wide range of market leading service providers in other countries.

The announcement comes shortly after Mobile rolled-out the LTE roaming service in GCC in collaboration with Etisalat in the UAE, Oredoo in Qatar, Batelco in Bahrain.

The strong global network of LTE roaming service reflects Mobily ‘s philosophy of bringing cutting-edge solutions for customers, and also in keeping with the progress made in international markets with regards to innovative services and superior customer experience.

The first ever data roaming service was offered by Mobily in 2012 in Hong Kong after the telecom operator successfully completed the testing of XXXXXX/technical test. Mobily ‘s relentless efforts to bring the best solutions for customers have seen the company introducing some of the leading edge technology solutions in the industry.

The advancements in commercial 4G services make the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at par with global telecommunications markets. In the past few years, the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom has gone from strength to strength and the Kingdom has become a key market, competing with some of the developed economies in terms of providing advanced telecommunications services.
As a testimony to its leadership position, Mobily continues to be invited by industry associations and organizations around the world to showcase its success story in the Kingdom in relation to offering cutting-edge telecom services.

As part of the roaming offering, Mobily offers great value data roaming packages under “Connect Roaming Bundles” which is designed to provide customers with an affordable solution to meet their data roaming needs. Mobily also offers flexible data roaming package allowing customers to tailor the data usage as per requirement. For instance, Mobily customers have the freedom to choose the duration of their international roaming plan with a minimum period of one day. No additional fixed-term contract is required.

The new roaming package starts from as low as SAR 50 for 500mb for a day (Subscription Code: Trip1); SAR 150 for 2GB per week (Subscription Code: Trip2) and SAR 250 for 5GB per week (Subscription Code: Trip3); and SAR350 for unlimited usage each month (Subscription Code: Trip4).

Customers can avail of this offer through sending SMS Subscription Codes to 1100, call centres or any Mobily outlets in the Kingdom.

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MOU signed between Hire Stream and AMA International University-Bahrain Tue, 28 Jul 2015 03:06:34 +0000 amaManama- Kingdom of Bahrain: HireStream-the Middles East’s first dedicated graduate recruitment portal- is marking a new milestone by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with AMA International University Bahrain (AMAIUB) to advance the cooperation in career development and related activities of graduates.

The signing ceremony was held at the university’s premises in the presence of AMA (AMAIUB) representatives including Dr. Geraldo C. Talisic, Provost at AMA, Dr. Amin El Meligi, Head of Research and Publication at AMA and Mr. Hussam Hubail, Head of Placement Linkages at AMA who has signed the MOU along with Ms. Jennifer Yakub Regional Manager at HireStream who had represented the company.

With joint efforts between the academic sector of AMA and the professional sector of Hire Stream, a successful collaboration aims on building the desired objectives of both parties, where both agreed on various essential points such as supporting career development and related activities of graduating students, as well as sharing facilities and expertise in the related work area in addition to providing the needed empowering trainings and workshops.

The agreement has also featured conducting quality assessments of graduates besides facilitating internships and training opportunities. Moreover, the program also aims to create personal electronic profiles for the graduates to enable their smooth existence at the work force and boost their job opportunities.

“We are very proud of this collaboration; AMA International University Bahrain (AMAIUB) is one of the leading universities in the region that have massive pools of talented and bright students who could be future leaders by the technical support of Hirestream,”said, Ms. Jennifer Yakub, the Regional Manager of HireStream Company.

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MasterCard Opens its Digital Security Lab to Customers Mon, 27 Jul 2015 10:33:51 +0000 mastercardFrom EMV to biometrics protecting payments by testing the latest in security innovation.

Purchase, N.Y. – July 26, 2015 – MasterCard on Friday opened its digital security facility to its customers, driving further collaboration on key issues that can deliver greater payments peace of mind. Located in England, the MasterCard DigiSec Lab is focused on proactively testing threats to all forms of digital payments in coordination with government security agencies and leading academics.

Watch a short video about the facility here.

“The MasterCard DigiSec Lab represents our collective efforts to maximize product innovation and security investments,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard. “While payments have never been safer, criminals have never been smarter. We’ve now opened the lab to our customers as part of an ongoing commitment to share insights, solutions and best practices to deliver the highest levels of security.”

Whether testing the latest in EMV chip cards, mobile payments or biometric authentication, the MasterCard DigiSec Lab team deconstructs the technology to identify opportunities to strengthen it and continue to protect consumers, merchants and financial institutions from fraud.

Every day, they are tasked with uncovering potential threats and problems most people don’t even know exist. To aid in these efforts, the team fires lasers at payment cards, normally used in deep astronomy, and uses X-ray machines to analyze gadgets used by hackers, in addition to other activities.

The increased pace of technological change, along with the digital profile of today’s connected consumer, has created the need for greater collaboration and knowledge sharing. The broadened mandate of the lab will help jointly problem solve for fraud and risk by activating its tools, unique broad network view and technical know-how.
The MasterCard DigiSec Lab works in close partnership with other groups – including Information Security, Emerging Payments and MasterCard Labs – to deliver a multi-layered approach to address security risks and concerns wherever they may arise.

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Microsoft launches Arabic version of Office 2016 for Mac Mon, 27 Jul 2015 08:58:50 +0000 microsoftThe Arabic version of Office 2016 for Mac provides a more personalized experience with familiar and user friendly interface, featuring significant improvements in performance and stability.
26th July 2015 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Microsoft has announced the availability of the Arabic version of the recently released office 2016 for Mac to cater for its Arabic speaking customers. All new features of the software as well as its apps have been customised to help Arabic users especially in the Middle East have a more personalised experience, which will enable them to do more and achieve more.

Office 2016 for Mac is now available in 21 languages with the latest updates featuring better support for Right-to-Left languages.

The Arabic Office 2016 for Mac features significant improvements in performance and stability. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users, with the familiar Office experience paired with the best of Mac.

Ihsan Anabtawi, Regional Manager – Applications and Services, Microsoft Gulf said “Microsoft goes an extra mile to enable all its customers to fully benefit from its products and services. Our Arabic speaking customers form a significant share of the Microsoft market and we always want to give them a more personalised experience by customising our products in their local languages. The Arabic version of Office 2016 broadens our appeal to Office users especially in the Middle East and North Africa. We believe that this will enable businesses, individuals, students, government departments as well as educators to boost their services, enhance productivity and contribute to the growth of the region’s economy.”

Arabic users of Office on PCs and iPad will find Office 2016 for Mac easy to navigate with the familiar ribbon interface and powerful task panes. They will also appreciate the modernized Office experience and the integration of Mac capabilities like Full Screen view and Multi-TouchTM gestures. With full Retina display support, Office documents look sharper and more vibrant than ever.
Office for Mac is cloud-connected, so users can quickly get to the documents they recently used on other devices and pick up where they left off. New, built-in document sharing tools make it easy to invite teammates to work on a document together. Office for Mac offers unparalleled compatibility with Office on PCs, tablets, phones and online, allaying any worries about losing content or formatting. Office 2016 for Mac is imbedded with superior features that include Word for Mac, Excel for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac, Outlook for Mac and OneNote for Mac.

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Orange Jordan becomes the first operator to launch 4G/ LTE roaming services Mon, 27 Jul 2015 07:57:48 +0000 orangeOrange Jordan has announced the official launch of its 4G/ LTE data roaming services with the first two international roaming agreements signed with Saudi Operators.

Under this agreement, both Orange Jordan and the customers of Saudi operators will have access to 4G/ LTE roaming services when traveling to either nation, enjoying the many benefits of uninterrupted, high-speed internet of up to 60 Mbps on their mobile devices. The service makes it possible for travelers to easily stay in touch with families and loved ones, sharing photos and videos seamlessly, and accessing large files for business productivity.

Orange is currently in the process of signing similar 4G/ LTE roaming agreements with Orange France and Mobistar Belgium. During H2 2015, Orange Jordan plans to deliver 4G/ LTE roaming services within the top 20 destinations in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and America, signing anywhere between 20 and 25 bilateral partnerships by year-end. During 2016, the operator will continue expanding the coverage of the service to target as many locations as possible around the globe.

“The launch of our 4G/ LTE roaming services falls in line with our long-term efforts to deliver an unmatched customer experience, which is the essence of our recently-launched five-year strategy, Essentials 2020,” explained Orange Jordan ‘s CEO, Jean-Francois Thomas. “In this context, we are proud to be the first operator to allow our customers to experience unprecedented broadband speeds when traveling for either business or pleasure”.

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UBC Launches Mobile Trading App Fri, 24 Jul 2015 05:33:35 +0000 ubcUnion Brokerage Company ( UBC ), a subsidiary of Union National Bank (UNB) and one of the leading brokerage and financial services company in the UAE, announced that it has launched a ‘Mobile Trading App” to provide an innovative trading platform via smartphones and tablets.

Mr. Mohammad Ali, Executive Vice President, at UNB commented: “We are proud to launch this App and creating opportunities for our valued investors to trade with more convenience anytime and from anywhere. At UBC , we are constantly striving to enhance the trading experience in line with advancements in technology by providing our investors with innovative products and services”.

UBC has become one of the first brokerage companies to offer a Mobile trading application, a powerful tool in English & Arabic languages that gives its clients access to a number of stock exchanges including ADX, DFM Markets. With the UBC Mobile Trading App, investors have the opportunity to track the performance of the money markets, track the performance of their own portfolio in addition to buy and sell shares.

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DSCD partner with Etisalat to deliver Sharjah Census 2015 Fri, 24 Jul 2015 02:43:02 +0000 etisalatAgreement will ensure census project executed to the highest standards.

Sharjah – The Department of Statistics and Community Development (DSCD), who oversee the Sharjah Census 2015, have signed an agreement with Etisalat who will provide the ICT infrastructure for the census project. The agreement will help accelerate the pace of work on Sharjah Census 2015, ensure it is delivered in accordance with the highest international standards and assure access to target groups via the use of state-of-the-art technology.

The agreement was signed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of the DSCD and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Sharjah Census 2015 and HE Abdulaziz Hamad Taryam, CEO Advisor and General Manager Etisalat Northern Emirates. Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani said that this collaboration was a positive step which will assure high accuracy and access to all social segments, due to Etisalat ‘s advanced technology.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani said, “Sharjah Census represents a future vision for the Emirate, as it aims to provide necessary data for developmental plans and facilities needed by the community. It includes essential information for decision makers, officials and investors to plan development projects and will help develop economic, social and cultural sectors by defining demographic structure and the population status and their needs. Data collected will be put to use by all entities working towards meeting the requirements of residents and investors in the Emirate and the UAE in general.”

HE Abdulaziz Hamad Taryam said, “This collaboration allows us to be part of an ambitious national project. The census will contribute to the competitive advantages of the Emirate of Sharjah through the provision of accurate statistical information on population, facilities and buildings, thus helping ensure the quality of the future plans of the Emirate of Sharjah.”

Taryam also pointed out that the agreement will enhance collaboration between the two parties in order to meet current and future requirements of the project. He also highlighted that a joint working force will be set up to supervise the implementation of the terms of the agreement.

The signing ceremony took place at the DSCD offices and was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Director of the DSCD, Advisor Ali Mahboob Al Raisi, and Abdullah Alkaddeed, Director of Sharjah Census operations. The ceremony was also attended by Abdul Latif Abbasi, Senior Executive Director of Strategy and Project Management, Hassan Al Owais, Executive Director of Government Communications, and a number of DSCD and Etisalat officials.

The Sharjah Census 2015 comes in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to improve public services and encourage development in the emirate. It is being developed along the lines of UN recommendations and principles on planning and implementation and will help develop economic, social and cultural sectors by defining demographic structure, population status and their needs. The census will provide information about population, housing and commercial establishments.

The Sharjah Department of Statistics and Community Development is the only authorised statistical body in the emirate and the source of official statistical data, as well as the body mandated with all community development-related policies and plans. It is a corporate body with full legal capacity to carry out and direct all work and necessary actions to achieve its objectives.

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Oberthur Technologies and Etisalat Group sign a new strategic partnership on M2M and IoT services Thu, 23 Jul 2015 05:18:47 +0000 oberthurOberthur Technologies (OT), a world leader in digital security solutions for the mobility space, and Etisalat Group , the UAE-based leading global Telecommunications service provider, add a new dimension to their collaboration with their strategic partnership to offer the region’s first tailored M2M and IoT services across Middle East, Asia and Africa. Relying on OT’s M-Sense solution, Etisalat affiliates will extend their Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) service offering beyond just connectivity, enabling their Enterprise customers to fully benefit from the growing M2M and IoT market.

Following an intensive evaluation process, Etisalat has selected OT’s M-Sense solution which consists of a rich set of horizontal capabilities for both application enablement and device management. M-Sense allows the secure collection and management of various data from any M2M device over any network and their control in real time. It will enable Etisalat operators to accelerate the availability of integrated value-added vertical applications, whether they are for Smart Cities, Universities or enterprises operating in the Transport, Oil and Energy or Real Estate sectors, to name a few.

As part of this partnership, OT will deliver a comprehensive solution to Etisalat affiliates, including local support on the definition of their go-to-market strategy, marketing mix and partnerships. Etisalat operators and their local ecosystem partners will be able to leverage the platform’s ready-made components and use existing application frameworks (including sensor data visualization and reporting, business rules, off-the-shelf applications), or to easily build new ones to serve each local market requirement.

“IoT is about connecting billions of objects, but more importantly it also requires the creation of numerous IoT solutions and services that will help monetize the value associated with this connectivity. It is essential for an IoT application platform to act as an innovation accelerator for developers, while also enabling seamless integration to enterprises’ existing business applications, including Big Data and analytics,” said Arnaud de La Chapelle, RMEA President and General Manager Telecom RMEA at OT.

“With M-Sense, OT not only provides a state-of-the art technology piece that meets all of these criteria but also the required services to be successful on the IoT market including business consulting and access to local and global IoT players. This end-to-end tailored offer has been designed to help Etisalat successfully take a step forward within the M2M and IoT value chain and maintain its position as an Innovation-leading company. We are truly excited by this venture and ready to accompany Etisalat for this large-scale strategic project,” he added.

“OT has been a long-term partner for Etisalat , already supplying our affiliates with both SIM cards and secure mission-critical network application systems. Being committed to bringing the best-in-class IoT capabilities to the market, Etisalat Group has acknowledged OT’s global high expertise in the field of M2M and IoT solutions. That’s why we have chosen them as our strategic partner to provide and manage the Application Enablement Platform for our affiliates. We look forward to working with the team at OT to enable the many innovative services, which will rapidly bring tangible value to our enterprise customers,” said Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Digital Services Officer, Etisalat Group .

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UN readies tool to widen science and tech access Thu, 23 Jul 2015 04:46:51 +0000 Copyright: Flickr/UNECA
Copyright: Flickr/UNECA

By Inga Vesper – SciDev.Net

A UN programme to improve access to research funding and technology for poor nations is set for approval this week, according to sources close to the negotiations.

The Technology Facilitation Mechanism will include a website and, possibly, a mobile phone app that will unite all UN programmes related to science and research and development. It will also map global science performance and collate open access technologies and science publications to make it easier for researchers in developing countries to access them, says the draft agreement for this week’s Financing for Development conference in Ethiopia.

“Science and development are so closely related, you never see one without the other.”

Alexander De Croo, Belgian development minister

The mechanism is part of an overall deal to improve development financing and organise funding for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is being hammered out in Addis Ababa this week. At a side event on 13 July, UN staff involved in developing the mechanism said they were sure the idea would not be a stumbling block to negotiations.

The idea has received broad support, including from the Belgian government. “Science and development are so closely related, you never see one without the other,” said Alexander De Croo, the country’s development minister. “That’s why we need to open up science and technology.”

According to those involved in the negotiations, the mechanism will be crucial to implementing the SDGs. “The North cannot continue to do science, technology and innovation as usual — it would unravel the world,” said Macharia Kamau, the UN ambassador for Kenya. “The aspirations of the SDGs are calling for something different. They focus on innovation everywhere on Earth.”

Along with the online platform, the mechanism will include a team who will work with different UN agencies to join up their science activities. According to the draft agreement for negotiation, the team will also oversee matchmaking activities to connect scientists and investors, and advise on technologies that support the SDGs.

“Our discussions have already had a positive impact and have created synergies between different UN bodies,” said Irina Bokova, the director-general of UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

But some observers wonder how much the mechanism can support private innovation and small businesses, since its focus is limited to UN programmes. “Science is critical to qualitative transformation of growth, but we need to keep an eye on business,” said Mukhisa Kituyi, the secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development. “Otherwise they will simply continue to focus on resource extraction.” The mechanism’s structure was developed at the UN general assembly in 2013/14. If it were adopted along with the other proposals for the Addis Ababa deal, the programme would be launched formally during the UN summit on the SDGs in New York, United States, in September, the side event heard.

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