Displaying items by tag: Qatar

Ooredoo announced that the company has reached another world-first milestone, with the delivery of the first live 5G home broadband devices.

The devices, which are currently being tested on Ooredoo’s 5G network before distribution, will work on both the Ooredoo 4G and 5G network and can achieve speeds of up to 2 Gbps, that’s 20 times the speeds of Ooredoo’s 100Mbps fibre.

With an Ooredoo 5G connection via the 5G home broadband device, Ooredoo customers will be able to download movies in seconds, seamlessly stream VR gaming experiences and video call like never before.

The company has announced that currently there are only a few 5G home broadband devices in the world, however Ooredoo is working to acquire more stock in the very near future.  As commercial production increases alongside the 5G roll-out, Ooredoo will aim to ensure Qatar is the first country to enable this next-generation technology for its customers.

Talking about the milestone, Waleed Al Sayed, Ooredoo’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ooredoo is ecstatic to announce that last night, we became the first in the world to have a live commercial 5G home broadband device. This is another amazing world-first milestone for Ooredoo and Qatar and demonstrates that we are on track to offering 5G mega speeds for everyone in the very near future. I look forward to seeing how this technology will benefit all sectors in Qatar, from businesses, to education and beyond.”

Since the announcement of the first live 5G network in May 2018, Ooredoo has begun an intense 5G network roll-out plan across Qatar, with the aim to update 100 network stations to 5G, in the 3.5GHz spectrum band, within the next three months. 

The current live 5G sites, which include West Bay and Katara, have demonstrated an impressive speed of 2.51 Gbps with an extremely high throughput and low latency. Thanks to these results, Ooredoo is working to find 5G compatible devices from across the world to test them on the network, including next-generation Internet of Things applications such as smart cars, VR, AR and drones. 

Published in Telecom Operators

At the 17th Dubai Airport Show, in Dubai, UAE, Huawei and Hamad International Airport (HIA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalizing a strategic partnership to enable the airport’s digital transformation.

The MoU provides a broad framework for collaboration between HIA and Huawei for co-creation of innovative concepts, prototypes and solutions using cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the areas of IoT and autonomous machines, to address real business challenges and opportunities.

The objective is to accelerate digital transformation at Hamad International Airport and to share the solutions with the community for wider benefit of the air transport industry. Through this cooperation, HIA aims to improve the passenger experience, enhance security and communication, and increase operational efficiency.

Hamad International Airport, located in Doha, Qatar, recently joined the exclusive ranks of global airports awarded the prestigious ‘5-Star Airport’ designation by Skytrax, the London-based aviation institute and the gold standard for conveying the passenger’s voice in airport and airline rankings.

This makes HIA the first airport in the Middle East to earn this acclaimed title and the 6th airport globally to be rewarded that accreditation. Also, Hamad International Airport won the “West Asia-Best Airport” award for two consecutive years 2015 and 2016 by “Future Travel Experience Awards – Asia”.

With digital technology transforming the airport experience, HIA aims to implement cutting-edge ICT solutions to continue offering a modern and efficient environment for a growing number of passengers.

Commenting on the cooperation with Huawei, Eng. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA said: “Innovative technology will continue to drive digital transformation at Hamad International Airport. Through this strategic alliance with Huawei, which also provides access to its eco-system of niche partners, we aim to accelerate our journey and to demonstrate our commitment to the industry by sharing viable concepts and solutions that may be developed through this partnership”.

Xilin Yuan, President of the Transportation Sector of Huawei's Enterprise Business Group, commented: "It is a great pleasure for Huawei to collaborate with Hamad International Airport to enable a Smart Airport that can meet the future demands of passenger flows as well as the needs of digital-savvy customers. By placing digital transformation at the heart of its commercial strategy, HIA will deliver a user-centric connected experience to continue delighting its customers."

Huawei has provided a wide range of ICT solutions for airports, airlines, and air traffic control authorities across the world, enabling them to achieve digital transformation and improve their service capabilities, operational efficiency, and revenue growth. These ICT solutions include indoor/outdoor modular data centers, servers and storage devices, converged cloud platforms, Big Data analytics platforms, and integrated wired/wireless communications solutions.

By the end of 2016, Huawei provided ICT products, solutions, and services for more than 40 airports, airlines, and air traffic control authorities worldwide. That includes more than 15 global airports with more than 30 million annual passengers and the 10 busiest airports in China by passenger traffic.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei shares its vision for future cities in Qatar

Written on Thursday, 13 April 2017 13:36

In line with the Qatari government’s National Vision Strategy 2030, Global ICT leader Huawei shared its vision for future cities during the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar that was held in Doha on April 11 – 12, 2017.

Held under the theme ‘Advanced Technology Transforming Qatar’s Future’, the Summit highlighted the impact of technology on tomorrow’s urban developments, with a particular focus on Qatar. The two-day event saw the participation of global and regional industry leaders, including Huawei, who discussed the various aspects of future cities such as connected transport, smart stadiums, cyber security, airport technology, security, government technology and smart economic zones.

“Cities around the world are evolving when it comes to providing services and safety to ever-growing populations,” said Zong Yan, CEO of Huawei Qatar.  “Huawei continues to invest heavily in innovation for these future cities, spending annually on research and development to a tune of USD 11 billion in 2016. Huawei believes in having an agile and innovative ICT platform that relies on ROADS (Real Time, On Demand, Always Online, DIY, Social) in order to provide all stakeholders with solutions needed in establishing Safe and Smart City capability under one umbrella.”

“Smart City development extends over 3 mega waves, which are technology trends, service portfolio and digital ROADS,” said Safder Nazir, VP of Huawei Digital Industries Middle East, during his keynote speech. “The role of government is to build an open and smart platform to enable massive innovation to enrich the quality of citizen life. To deploy and maintain a comprehensive ecosystem, governments need to aggregate the diversified strengths of its ICT vendors which is critical to future city success, while overcoming the main challenge of ensuring integration.”

Huawei also showcased its next-generation technologies during the event including Smart City Platform, Safe City (Intelligent Operation Center), Intelligent Video Surveillance and Intelligent Transportation (Fleet Management, NBI and OceanConnect), which illustrated Huawei’s expertise in defining a complete Smart City framework, as well as its on ground implementation based on Qatar’s unique smart city requirements.

Huawei’s extensive smart and safe city expertise is critical to the public safety and protection of over 400 million people in more than 100 cities across 30 countries. Huawei will demonstrate its leadership in safety prevention and response across four key areas, which include social security and unrest, accident disaster, public health and natural disaster.

Huawei is set to host its Global Safe City Summit in the UAE later this month, with participation by over 400 public safety and law enforcement agencies, telecom providers and ICT experts. The two-day event will serve as a platform for insights and best practices on safe city solutions that are empowering governments around the world.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Investment in technology and innovation in the online financial services sector is now essential in the Middle East, according to research on digital use and e-commerce in the region conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social. The findings show that in the UAE, 62 percent of people bought something online in the last month, a 25 percent year on year rise, and 47 percent of people made a purchase using their mobile in that period.

Research by Hootsuite, a platform for managing social media, and We Are Social, a global social media agency, confirms that consumers in the Middle East now demand online solutions that they can access through their mobile phones on social media platforms. Therefore, it’s essential that the online financial sector invests in the appropriate technology or risks being left behind.

Hootsuite and We Are Social recently released ‘Digital in 2017’, a report of social media and digital trends around the world, examining data from 238 countries. The report revealed interesting figures from the more affluent nations in the GCC, revealing that 99 percent of people in the UAE use the internet, 70 percent in Saudi Arabia, and 93 percent in Bahrain.

What’s more, the research shows that Qatar and the UAE have the highest social media penetration of any country in the world (both 99 percent), while Saudi Arabia has seen the highest growth in penetration with a 73 percent rise resulting in 59 percent of the Saudi population using social channels.

The research also reveals that of the 246 million people living in the Middle East, 60 percent (147 million) now use the internet, which is up 15 percent from 2016. In addition, 34 percent (93 million) are active on social media, representing a 47 percent year on year rise, and there are an incredible 312 million mobile phone subscriptions in the region.

On a global scale, the amount of web traffic on mobile devices has soared in recent years, with just over half (50.3 percent) now being accessed this way, a significant rise from 2013 (35 percent) and from the first figure recorded in 2009 of 0.7 percent.

The research revealed interesting findings on e-commerce, with 1.61 billion people buying online in 2016 (22 percent of the global population). This equates to a total business to consumer market of US$1.915 trillion in 2016, which is US$1,189 on average per person.  

In the UAE alone, 62 percent of people bought something online in the last month, according to the research, which is a 25 percent year on year rise, and 47 percent of people made a purchase using their mobile in that period. In Saudi Arabia, 39 percent of people made online purchases, an increase of 57 percent from last year, and 33 percent of people bought online using their mobiles.

Real-time digital transactions will transform Middle East e-commerce by 2020, said Souq.com recently, the region’s largest e-commerce platform, when it confirmed a tie-up with SAP. In line with this prediction, the partnership between Souq.com and SAP will help accelerate real-time transactions to support the scaling up of Middle East small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and further drive the e-commerce market. 

According to a recent report by online payment provider Payfort, the Middle East’s e-commerce market is set to nearly triple in value, from US$25 billion in 2015 to US$69 billion by 2020. Most of the Middle East’s e-commerce growth, the research shows, will come in a massive shift from business-to-consumer transactions in items such as mobile phones, clothes, and watches, to business-to-business items.

“The region is poised to become a key player in the global e-commerce market and today’s tech savvy and connected consumers expect access to everything wherever, whenever and in real-time,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO and co-founder of Souq.com, discussing the company’s partnership with SAP, which he says will “further scale up our platform and provide real-time, robust, and secure e-commerce platform for SMEs to grow exponentially and sell thousands of items effortlessly at one time directly to large enterprises.”

In late January 2017, US online retail giant Amazon ended negotiations to acquire Souq.com for a speculated US$1 billion. Amazon reportedly began discussions to acquire the company in November 2016, after the Dubai-based e-commerce site had appointed Goldman Sachs to find buyers for a stake earlier in the year. Souq.com’s current investors include Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers.

Amazon reportedly caught on to the rapid digital growth in the region and hoped to make a big footprint, hence its interest in acquiring Souq.com. The company was said to be looking to acquire all of Souq.com, which initially only planned to sell about a 30 percent stake. Souq.com runs on a similar model to Amazon, and became the highest-valued internet company in the Middle East after a US$275 million round in February 2016, according to Standard Chartered, which has invested in Souq.com.

However, Souq.com’s position in the regional e-commerce market is being challenged by well-funded competitor Noon.com, which is backed by UAE billionaire Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi’s Arabia Public Investment Fund. Alabbar promised to dominate Middle East e-commerce with the firm, which was expected to launch in January.

“We expect to become a world player but will concentrate firstly on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” said Alabbar last year at a press conference. His company Emaar was behind the construction of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai – the Burj Khalifa. Eventually, Alabbar expects the online retail site to reach Egypt, the most populous Arab state, by the end of 2017 or in early 2018.

IoT spending driving regional growth

Research by IDC (International Data Corporation) suggests that with e-commerce and cloud driving Middle East digital transformation, the UAE and Saudi Arabia – the two largest economies in the region – will spend a combined US$14 billion on IT in 2017. In particular, security spending in the wider Middle East, Africa, and Turkey will reach USD 2 billion in 2017, IDC adds.

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) Internet of Things (IoT) market is forecast to defy the region's moderate economic outlook by growing 19.6 percent year on year in 2017 to total $7.8 billion, according to the Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide’from IDC. This compares favorably to the healthy 18.1 percent growth seen in 2016, with IDC attributing the market's performance to the proliferation of digital transformation initiatives across the region as businesses and government entities strive to boost productivity and improve efficiency.

“The MEA IoT market is becoming increasingly competitive, enabling organizations to source a range of innovative digital solutions aimed at transforming business operations, improving the customer experience, and enhancing employee engagement,” says Wale Babalola, research analyst for telecommunications, IoT, and digital media at IDC MEA. “Indeed, IoT now offers a myriad of industry-specific solutions that can be easily deployed by organizations in a bid to stay ahead of competition.

"Numerous smart city projects are already underway across the region, and the propagation of such initiatives will continue to fuel IoT adoption by both public and private sector organizations," Babalola added. "Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the charge when it comes to smart cities, so it makes sense that these two countries will account for the highest contributions to overall IoT investment in MEA during 2017, with a combined value of more than $1.6 billion."

Published in Featured

In preparation for the mega sports events Qatar is set to host, and which are set to attract millions of visitors, the country is rapidly developing public-private partnerships for the construction of connected stadiums and the enhancement of national team competitiveness, youth development, technology and communications infrastructure.

Enterprise application software company SAP, German record football champion FC Bayern Munich and Qatar’s Aspire Academy have announced that Qatar is set to enjoy the world’s most technologically advanced fan experience thanks to the innovative use of real-time technology.

“Worldwide, we are entering the age of the Digital Fan. Football fans are passionate and want instant connections with their favorite teams on mobile apps and social media,” said Andreas Jung, Member of the Executive Board at FC Bayern Munich, one of the world’s most successful and valuable football clubs, with more than 400 million fans worldwide.

“Qatar has the opportunity to deliver the ultimate fan experience – from planning their trip beforehand, to providing exclusive media content, and ordering and delivering concessions to their seats.”

FC Bayern Munich has used real-time technology to react more rapidly to its 30,000 hourly fan dialogues through digital channels, keep players healthy, and deliver new products and services in response to fan demands.

Qatar’s Aspire Academy is also using SAP HANA, the real-time analytics platform, to drive youth development by sharing data from a network of clubs around the world with coaches, sports scientists, athletes, and management.

“Sports teams have long known the benefits of using real-time data during matches to enhance lineups and strategies. As the Middle East’s first youth sport academy to partner with a leading technology company, Aspire Academy is dedicated to using big data analytics to develop young talent in Qatar and enhance Qatar’s competitiveness,” said Ivan Bravo, Director General, Aspire Academy.

Driving innovation in sports thanks to real-time data analytics with the in-memory platform SAP HANA, SAP enables teams and organizations to manage players and engage more efficiently with their fans.

“Qatar’s vision and infrastructure puts it in an ideal position to deliver some of the most technologically advanced events. With the help of real-time technology, sports teams can deliver personalized and seamless fan experiences, proactively engage with fans on social media, and enhance training and performance,” said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board, SAP SE, Products & Innovation.

Published in Infrastructure

Ooredoo just launched its new 1Gbps Fibre plan, the fastest fibre service available in Qatar, as the company continues to upgrade its nationwide Ooredoo Supernet. Thanks to Ooredoo launching 1Gbps Fibre, Qatar has become one of only 10 countries in the world able to provide this fastest-ever Fibre connection for homes.

With the new fibre connection, customers can download a 30 minute 4K quality movie in three minutes and a two hour HD movie in two minutes. Households can expect to see a smoother and faster experience for all users, as the speed will enable more people to enjoy being connected to the internet at the same time.

Ooredoo announced this historic achievement at a special VIP event in Doha, where Waleed Al Sayed, chief executive officer, Ooredoo Qatar, presented the incredible speeds of the service for the first time. In addition, the company premiered its all-new Platinum Homezone service, which provides comprehensive Wi-Fi coverage for large villas.

Waleed Al Sayed said: “Ooredoo continues to set new records with our big, fast network, and our on-going investment in our state-of-the-art Fibre network means that our customers can enjoy incredible 1Gbps Fibre speeds for the first time.”

“We are one of the first operators in the world to launch 1Gbps Fibre home services and the very first in Qatar. Ooredoo believes in future-proofing our network, and we continue to strive to bring our country the latest technology first,” he added.

To celebrate the launch, every customer who upgrades their current Fibre plan to the new breakthrough 1Gbps plan will get two months at no extra charge, before they start to pay the standard monthly price of QR 1,900. While only compatible devices will be able to access speeds of up to 1Gbps, customers using the 1Gbps plan will be able to deploy more devices to their full potential in their homes.

As well as the 1Gbps Fibre launch, Ooredoo announced the launch of the luxury ‘Platinum HomeZone’ – a first-of-its-kind service that offers full Wi-Fi internet coverage for customers with large villas and mansions.

By providing additional internet points for Ooredoo customers with large houses or estates, Ooredoo ensures that Wi-Fi connectivity is strong and consistent throughout the entire home, as well as across outdoor spaces. Customers can even enjoy Wi-Fi coverage in their gardens and swimming pools by deploying the service.  

The Platinum HomeZone is custom-made for each house and customer’s needs, and works in all settings, providing strong signals even when faced with stubborn internet conductor materials such as marble or oak.

The service has been designed in cooperation with HPE Aruba and GBM, and ensures that customers can access the Ooredoo Supernet at top speeds across their homes. HPE Aruba provides smart networking infrastructures to customers who are looking for faster reliable network performance and easier yet secure access. GBM will act as Ooredoo's service partner to ensure trouble free installation and operation.

Waleed Al Sayed said: “Ooredoo is striving to introduce new services and products that fully meet the needs of our customers. We heard from our VIP customers that they wanted comprehensive Wi-Fi coverage in their villas, and have partnered with companies who can deliver the additional hardware and ensure it blends seamlessly into their home environments. Again, we are showing our ambition to be the leading technology provider for homes and businesses in Qatar.”

Published in Telecom Operators

Qatari telecom operator Ooredoo recently announced the completion of a major Supernet upgrade, adding the new Category 9 LTE-Advanced standard to its mobile network, which brings multiple 4G frequencies together to support download speeds of up to 325Mbps for customers.

The mobile network upgrade, which is part of the on-going Ooredoo Supernet enhancement programme, will be available for all customers who have compatible devices at no extra cost.

A range of leading mobile devices can utilize this advanced speed, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Ooredoo’s Netgear My-Fi device. With the upgrade, customers will be able to enjoy browsing speeds of up to 45 percent more than the current 4G LTE.

“We are making huge strides to provide the best possible customer experience on our Supernet, with superfast browsing speeds,” said Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar.

“Since the launch of the Ooredoo Supernet, we have continued to deploy world-class technologies so that Qatar can be positioned among the leading countries in the world for network performance,” Al Sayed added.

“We are laying the foundations for a future-proof network, ready to deliver the fastest speeds. In addition, this new standard will reduce pressure on our 4G network, improving performance for a wide range of customers.”

This major mobile network upgrade is set to free significant bandwidth for the company, as more high capacity users enjoy this boosted Supernet standard. Ooredoo is confident that overall 4G performance will improve even further as more compatible mobile devices come onto the market.

Ooredoo continues to enhance and upgrade the Ooredoo Supernet as part of its vision to make Qatar the best-connected country. Its evolutionary approach to the Ooredoo Supernet, which sees the company continue to introduce cutting-edge technology and expand capacity, delivers a superior experience, and a bigger network every month.

Published in Telecom Operators