The GCC mobile phone market is expected to recover next year, following a stagnant 2016 and 2017, according to IDC's newly released Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker results. IDC predicts the mobile market to close 2017 relatively flat and forecasts that 2018 will see recovery of 9 percent growth year-on-year.

Read more: GCC mobile market poised for recovery in 2018

In a move that would encourage Saudi Arabia's telecom sector, His Excellency the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah Alswaha recently visited the headquarters of both Zain Saudi Arabia and Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) in Riyadh, where he honored the companies for their efforts during Hajj season.

Read more: Saudi ICT Minister Abdullah Alswaha honors telcos for Hajj efforts

Internet video calling services like WhatsApp, Skype and Viber, will be available to use in Saudi Arabia next week, after coordination between the Communications and Information Technology Commission and telecommunications service providers to allow applications that provide voice communications over the internet.

Read more: Saudi Arabia to lift block on internet video calling

Egypt's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, H.E. Eng. Yasser El Kady, told Reuters on Sept. 11, that Egypt will launch commercial 4G services by the end of September. The Minister also said the government will release additional frequencies to operators in the future without committing to a timeline.

Read more: Egypt’s Minister for ICT says 4G will launch this month

Artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data and robotics are keys to shaping a positive future. Networked and sustainable cities, autonomous vehicles, intelligent factories and personalized health services are determining our everyday lives. With these technological innovations, the way we live and work will change fundamentally. They bear enormous potential for economic prosperity and social progress. But how can society successfully carry out this transformation?

Read more: Driving prosperity through digital talent, innovation and entrepreneurship

France is leading a push to increase the taxation of tech giants in Europe, backed by Germany, Italy and Spain. The countries' finance ministers said in a joint letter that they want multinational technology companies like Google and Amazon to be taxed based on their revenues in Europe, rather than only profits as now.

Read more: European ministers push for higher tax on tech giants’ revenues

Dubai never fails to impress with its forward-thinking approach to technological innovation. Dubai Police recently unveiled the emirate's ambitious approach to law enforcement: a robot policeman equipped with cameras and facial recognition software. China is taking a similar approach, with companies developing artificial intelligence designed to predict crimes before they occur.

Read more: Crime-predicting AI: The future of law enforcement

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has revealed statistics for the second quarter of 2017 on the nation's most popular mobile phone handsets. Investigating the current state of the market, the report reveals the market share of mobile phones in the UAE by manufacturer and model.

Read more: TRA reveals data for second quarter of 2017 on UAE market shares of mobile handsets, smartphones

Alphabet-owned Google is fighting back against the $2.8 billion antitrust fine it was given by the European Commission in June this year. The Californian tech giant has filed an appeal against the fine, which was the largest penalty ever given by the European Union's regulator.

Read more: Google files appeal against $2.8bn EU antitrust fine

Virgin Mobile UAE's mobile plans are "totally customer-centric" said Product Manager Juraj Cangar speaking at the brand's Design District HQ in Dubai on September 6. Customers can have their SIM card delivered to them "within an hour", personalize their monthly mobile plan, and choose their own phone number, all via an in-house built app.

Read more: Virgin Mobile UAE’s ‘customer-centric’ approach

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