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The future of the 5G network in Mexico
Although the deployment of the 5G network in Mexico will only be available in limited areas, with 3% of the population, it is expected that in 2025 it will have an adoption of 14%, about 18 million connections. Although the challenges faced by Mexico in the area of telecommunications and connectivity are diverse, some specialized firms and technology providers such as Allot and GSMA detail that Mexico is one of the leading countries for the deployment of the 5G network to become possible in the Latin American region, having as the first runways to Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City. "As a result, it is expected to see the fastest adoption of 5G in Mexico, with 18 million connections (14% adoption) by 2025, followed by Brazil, with 26 million connections (11% adoption), and Peru, with 4 million connections (10% adoption)," says GSMA. One of the benefits that the 5G will give to the devices is the connection speed, which currently oscillates in 200 megabytes per second and which will pass up to 20 gigabytes per second, with a more stable connectivity. That represents a quantum leap in Internet speed, which will be between 100 and 1,000 times faster.
Information Service
On The Rails
The number of passengers using the railway system in Egypt reached 21.9  million in January, as the train remains considered an easy and comfortable means of transport for traveling round the country independently. Yet, the system does  not come without errors.  Seeking to relieve crowds at the station, and to avoid queues outside ticket kiosks, the Ministry of Transport officially launched a new application in October 2018 that would help users book their ride via mobile phones for the first  time.  Egypt’s first railway line was established in1851; and since then, booking tickets has always been through ticket booths, requiring passengers to head to the station hours before their trip’s departure time to save seats. A website was available in recent years for online bookings, but it would often crash and was criticised for  not being user-friendly.  The new free application, its name in English translating to “Egypt Trains – Booking and Inquiries,” is considered one of the latest bids in the government’s move for the digital transformation of services, aiming to relieve the ordeals often involved in the booking process, especially for people using the trains on a frequent basis to commute for work across different governorates.  Assigned to be the application’s developer, Transport Information Technology CO (TransIT) has introduced it for Android users, and is working to adapt the service to other operating systems, like IOS. The application has attracted around 80,915 users thus far, while the total number of people who installed the app hit 210,371, the company announced.  By installing the app, booking tickets will become at travelers’ fingertips, and they will conclude the process through their phones by creating profiles, following registration steps and paying by credit cards.  The new application does not replace standard ticket purchases at the stations.  Assigned to be the application’s developer, Transport Information Technology CO (TransIT) has introduced it for Android users, and is working to adapt the service to other operating systems, like IOS. The application has attracted around 80,915 users thus far, while the total number of people who installed the app hit 210,371, the company announced.  By installing the app, booking tickets will become at travelers’ fingertips, and they will conclude the process through their phones by creating profiles, following registration steps and paying by credit cards.  The new application does not replace standard ticket purchases at the stations.  E-booking experience  Currently available only in Arabic language, the application asks users to create a registered profile by entering their names and national ID numbers. Users who already have accounts on the Egyptian National Railways Authority’s website will not need to sign up again.  Users need to enter their visa card number, through which they will electronically purchase the tickets, after selecting precise dates and seat numbers.  The application allows users to make complaints and to leave recommendations for better service. Each passenger can book up to four tickets, with their names added to the tickets.  The application asks users to approve a list of conditions and regulations, which include that the main passenger should be the owner of the visa card used in the booking process, or that the ticket holder should be one of his/her relatives. Then users determine the arrival and departure stations, the date and time of travel, the train class and the number of seats.    Source:https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/15/73230/On-The-Rails
Energy
Power stations to be sold
Plans are afoot to sell three power stations to foreign investors to ease debt burdens on the electricity sector, reports Safeya Mounir The Ministry of Electricity has recently received offers from a company owned by Blackstone, an alternative investment firm, and Malaysian Edra Power to buy three power stations co-established by Siemens AG. If one of the offers is accepted, Egypt will buy electricity from the winning bidder according to a power-purchasing agreement. Selling the three power stations, inaugurated a year ago and located in Beni Sweif, Borollos, and the New Administrative Capital, will ease the financial burden on the electricity sector, which is heavy with “debts due to be paid in installments from the building costs,” said Mohamed Salah Al-Sobki, former head of the Renewable Energy Authority. In September, Egypt signed a $352 million contract with Siemens AG and Siemens Technologie in Germany to manage the three plants. Payments for the eight-year deal to operate, maintain and manage the three plants were scheduled to start after four years. The cost was agreed to be split into a LE2.6 billion local currency tranche and a 176 billion euros foreign tranche, the equivalent of LE3.7 billion. In 2017, the Ministry of Electricity planned for the three plants to be sold on the stock exchange as part of the government’s initial public offerings (IPOs) programme. The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company announced a tender for the management and maintenance of the three stations, which involved 10 companies including Siemens, an Orascom-ADERA Energy consortium, an Al-Sewidi-EDF consortium, Germany’s STEAG, Hassan Allam, a Triangle-GD France consortium, Korea’s Doosan and Japan’s Mitsubishi. The plants cost six billion euros ($6.7 billion) to build and were mainly financed by a consortium of lenders led by Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings and KfW-IPEX Bank. According to Bloomberg, Siemens Egypt, which operates the three plants under an eight-year contract, said that “power-purchase agreements between utilities and private power companies or investors are common worldwide. Chief executive officer Emad Ghaly said his firm is committed to operating and maintaining them until 2024.” Al-Sobki does not believe the sale of the power plants falls within the frame of privatisation, however. “This is a competitive market. Whether the plants are state-owned or belong to a foreign investor, competition is taking place in a free market,” he said, adding that privatisation occurred chiefly when an establishment operating in the framework of subsidies was sold. That was not the case here, he said, since the electricity sector was already open to all. The Siemens plants produce 20 per cent of Egypt’s power-generation capacity, he said, adding that the maximum power consumption in Egypt was less than 32 gigawatts (GW), whereas total power generation stood at 54 GW. The three plants of Beni Sweif, Borollos and the New Administrative Capital have a total capacity of 14.4 GW. Al-Sobki said that opportunities were thus abundant to export electricity and the chances of the sector’s growth were high. According to Hafez Al-Salmawi, former head of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection and Regulatory Authority (EgyptERA) and professor of power engineering at Zagazig University, the presence of the private sector as a player in the electricity sector guarantees better operation, management and maintenance. Usually, private electricity plants are better operated than public-sector ones, he added. He said that power plants could “sell like hot cakes” on the stock exchange due to the sector’s reputation for honouring its commitments and paying its dues to foreign lenders. Selling the plants would decrease the debts owed by the electricity sector, while selling parts of them according to the power-purchasing agreement would guarantee returns on payment, he said. Egypt’s 2019-20 budget revealed that debt guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance represented 20.4 per cent of GDP by the end of 2018. About a quarter of that was owed by electricity companies, according to Bloomberg. To guarantee appropriate offers and purchase prices, there should be extensive preparations before the sell-off, Al-Salmawi said, stressing that good promotion would yield the best offers. Economic analysts believe that selling the plants will help lower Egypt’s foreign debt. Mohamed Abu Basha, a macroeconomic analyst at EFG Hermes, an investment bank, said that when the plants are sold their debts will be transferred to the buying companies and not the government. Selling the power plants to foreign investors is expected to yield $6.5 billion, said Hani Tawfik, former head of the Egyptian and Arab Direct Investment Association. The move would lower the country’s foreign debts and allow the government to give up its managerial role and focus on planning and consumer protection, he said.   Source:http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/27308.aspx
Information Service
5G to Launch in Egypt at the African Cup of Nations
Huawei announced on Monday evening that it will roll out its 5G network for the first time in Egypt during the African Cup of Nations. The Chinese technology company explained that the 5G network will be launched and tested at Cairo International Stadium, which is set to host key matches during the African Cup of Nations between June and July 2019. “This year, Egypt will host the Africa football champions, Huawei will cooperate with Telecom Egypt to bring 5G technology experience to Egypt for the first time,” said Huawei in a press release. Huawei’s announcement followed a similar announcement by Dr Amr Talaat, the Minister of Communication & Information Technology, who said that Egypt would also be cooperating with Huawei in the field of artificial intelligence. Representatives from Huawei and the Egyptian government have held numerous meetings over the past few years, including two high-level meetings in 2019 to promote digital cooperation between Egypt and China. According to Huawei, the Chinese company has been operating in Egypt since 1999 and is keen to ‘match the government and Egyptian market demands and contribute to Egypt’s digital economy development’. US, UK AND AUSTRALIA ‘SECURITY CONCERNS’ Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly (left one) met with Li Jie (left two), Chairman of Huawei’s Supervisory Board. Credit: Huawei Elsewhere in the world, security concerns have been raised about Huawei and its 5G network.     Source:https://egyptianstreets.com/2019/04/24/5g-to-launch-in-egypt-at-the-african-cup-of-nations/
Information Service
ICT sector achieves average growth of 15% in 9 months
The Sector of Information and Communication Technology recorded an average growth of 15 percent during the last nine months, exceeding the expected rate by 3 percent, according to the Communication Ministry.  During the annual conference TECH INVEST 3, it was revealed that the ministry’s plan aims to build a strong base of young Egyptian trainees at the highest professional level and to support the strategy of artificial intelligence, Block Chain and cyber security.  The plan targets facing the current challenges through using information technology, affirming that Egypt is able to become at the forefront of the world in the field of information technology by building a broad base of capabilities and skills.  The Ministry of Communications is building eight complexes of creativity in eight different provinces, and it began to establish a digital academy providing 1000 hours of lectures by a number of specialized experts.  This came during the inauguration of the annual conference TECH INVEST 3 on Tuesday held by the General Division of the Digital Economy and Technology of the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce, under the patronage of Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat.  The slogan of the annual conference is "Investing in Egypt's future digital economy”.    Source: http://www.egypttoday.com/Article/3/71475/ICT-sector-achieves-average-growth-of-15-in-9-months  
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