Cisco announced the appointment of Hani Raad as General Manager for its West Region in the Middle East. In his new role, Hani Raad will focus on leading Cisco’s digital transformation initiatives in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the Levant and Iraq, and will work closely with its partner ecosystem to support government and private sector customers on their digitization journeys, while helping them drive desired business outcomes.

Read more: Cisco appoints Hani Raad as GM for the Middle East’s West Region

Etisalat unveiled its new ultramodern'Open Innovation Center' in Dubai on December 20, featuring digital showcases dedicated to areas of Etisalat Digital's portfolio. Etisalat Digital SVP, Francisco Salcedo, led a press tour through the innovation center, which he said is devoted to showing Etisalat customers all of the digital solutions it can offer.

Read more: Etisalat lures customers with new digital innovation center

Blockchain venture studio ConsenSys focused on Ethereum, has announced the opening of its office in the Dubai Design District (d3) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The office will be the company's second largest operation globally. In March 2017, Smart Dubai announced the selection of ConsenSys, as well as IBM, to implement blockchain technology.

Read more: Smart Dubai’s blockchain advisor ConsenSys opens Dubai office

The UAE's Ministry of state for Higher Education, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, the ICT Fund, Dubai Investments, and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry have partnered with Huawei to launch Seeds for the Future 2018 Program, an educational challenge that offers university students a platform to present their ideas and turn them into viable projects.

Read more: Huawei partners with TRA among others to launch educational challenge in UAE

In a step that represents an actual initiation of a new era of telecommunications in the UAE, the TRA announced the initiation of IMT2020 technology, also known as the 5G technology, as the licensees from mobile operators in the UAE will start the deployment of 5G networks in several phases starting from early 2018, allowing the use of harmonized spectrum bands and the development of the ICT infrastructure.

Read more: TRA launches 5G in the UAE

The Middle East region has embraced the digital revolution and witnessed an increased comfort in ‘going digital’, which comes naturally to the region’s dominant young demographics and good quality infrastructure. At a consumer level, there is a high level of technology adoption in countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE that are considered the most penetrated countries in the world with a mobile subscriber rate of over 90%. Nevertheless, Middle Eastern companies are still in the process of adoption in comparison to the West when it comes to digitisation.

Read more: PwC: Private Equity houses need to keep up with the digital revolution engulfing the Middle East

Sterlite Tech, a global specialist in smart digital networks, has won the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) Industry Award 2017 for the successful deployment of India's First Live Smart Services City in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Read more: Sterlite Tech awarded for deploying India’s First Live Smart Services City

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has successfully completed the tests of the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) on the Federal Network (FedNet), as well as conducting all internal assessments and practical tests to ensure the readiness of FedNet in terms of hardware and software requirements. The tests were conducted in cooperation with the UAE accredited service providers Etisalat and du.

Read more: TRA confirms operators’ ability to switch to IPV6

The ICT progress that we have witnessed in the last decade has forced governments and companies worldwide to adopt the digital alternative as the ultimate way to achieve the development at both economic and social levels. Thus, the world is becoming more and more hyper-connected and complex with the emergence of many new trends, like: cloud computing, big data, open data, Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, e-currency, etc.

Read more: The first interregional standardization forum for PKI and eTrust

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