The Minister of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt, H.E. Yasser ElKady,  received the German Ambassador to Egypt Julius Luy on March 15, where they discussed enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the ICT field, especially in the projects of digital transformation, smart cities, electronics manufacturing and technological innovation.

Read more: Egypt and Germany to enhance cooperation in ICT

The Middle East and North Africa IT spending are projected to reach $155 billion in 2018, a 3.4 percent increase from 2017, research firm Gartner predicts. Speaking at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Dubai on March 5, Smart Dubai's Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr highlighted the challenges in making confident decisions in an "increasingly indispensable" and disruptive ICT sector.

Read more: Digital disruption and the effect on legacy business

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia saw spending on telecommunications and information technology services in 2017 reaching more than 146 billion Saudi riyals ($36 billion), according to the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC). The revenues from telecommunications services amounted to about 70 billion riyals in 2017.

Read more: Saudi telecom services spending reached $36bn in 2017

Egypt's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, H.E. Yasser ElKady, inaugurated the first phase of HitekNOFAL- Hengtong Optic, an optical fiber cables factory in Badr city, on 6 March, with joint Egyptian-Chinese investments, amounting to $30 million, within three years, between the Egyptian company HitekNOFAL and the Chinese Hengtong Group.

Read more: Egypt launches optical-fiber cable factory with Chinese investment

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has joined the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a partner. DEWA is the first government utility to join the San Francisco-based center, which includes international organizations such as Microsoft, SAP, and ABB. This is part of DEWA’s efforts to keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and develop disruptive technologies in power and water.

Read more: Dubai utility joins WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Center

Huawei delivered a comprehensive vision for fifth-generation (5G) networks, in addition to cloud, video, IoT, and more at Mobile World Congress 2018. The Chinese ICT solutions provider shared its vision for a collaborative ecosystem that could stimulate innovation and the development of these emerging technologies. The company launched over 20 new products and solutions at the event, underlining its commitment to industry innovation.

Read more: Huawei delivers 5G vision at MWC 2018

In the framework of the Mobile World Congress 2018, TELUS organized an exclusive breakfast briefing in collaboration with STL Partners, on February 27th, 2018, to discuss the role of telcos in the healthcare sector and highlight TELUS's journey in this regard.

Read more: TELUS discusses the perspective of healthcare opportunities

Despite privacy concerns, more than a billion smartphones will feature facial recognition capabilities by 2020, Counterpoint Research estimates. But the technology will have a much wider range of use cases beyond smartphone authentication, including augmented reality and other applications such as security. The technology is already being implemented by police in China and the UAE.

Read more: Face ID expanding beyond smartphones

The former president and CEO of Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES has been appointed chief executive officer of UAE cyber-security firm DarkMatter. Karim Sabbagh will become CEO of DarkMatter starting in April, while the company's founder, Faisal Al Bannai, will assume the role of Managing Director, and will continue to lead its strategic direction and oversight.

Read more: Former SES chief joins UAE cyber-security firm as CEO

Saudi Arabia, a Kingdom famous for its conservative policies, made the bold move in September 2017 to lift a ban on internet video calling services, following coordination between the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) and local telecom providers to allow apps that provide VoIP. Now, Saudi's telecom providers are feeling the financial pinch.

Read more: Saudi’s bold move to open up the internet

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