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Telecommunications infrastructure

2019

Egypt’s main telecom company, which is owned by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Telecom Egypt, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nokia aimed to foster technological development in Egypt. According to the MoU, both companies will work together to deploy 5G network, to build the first cloud infrastructure in Egypt exclusively for Internet of things (IoT) and to promote the development of an IoT partner ecosystem in the country.

Switzerland is no longer allowed to cooperate in Berec committees. According to Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the official reason for the exclusion is an amendment of Berec’s regulations in December. According to it, observer status for third countries that are not members of the EU is abolished. Neither the Swiss Federal Communications Commission (Comcom) nor the Federal Office of Communications (Bakom) and its experts will be allowed to attend the Berec meetings in the future. The new Berec regulation stipulates that third countries may only cooperate if they have concluded an agreement with the EU in this area. This is the case, for example, with the EEA countries Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, as well as with accession countries such as Turkey, Montenegro and Serbia.​​

Monaco’s main telecommunication company, owned partially by the Monegasque government, Monaco Telecom, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Huawei aimed to foster deployment of smart city services in Monaco. According to the MoU, the parties will work together to develop technology solutions for Internet of things (IoT), big data, and the cloud as part of Monaco's 5G Smart Nation project.

Facebook published its flagship Inclusive Internet Index 2019 report which benchmarks Internet inclusion across four categories: availability, affordability, relevance, and readiness. The 2019 report covers 100 countries which represent 94% of the world’s population and 96% of the global GDP. It indicates that some digital divides were narrowed thanks to improvement in access, affordability, and quality of coverage. Women and people with disabilities were also included in low-income and lower-middle-income countries driving progress. Yet, compared to last year, digital divides manifested due to poor progress in Internet access and network coverage improvements. The downturn in affordability of mobile data and devices has also adversely impacted people in low-income countries and women who depend on mobile devices as their primary means of accessing the Internet. Additionally, the report shed light on challenges vis-à-vis online privacy and decline in trust in government information in Europe and North America which could hinder the growth of the digital economy. The top countries in the Inclusive Internet Index 2019 by income were Sweden followed by Singapore and the USA.

UK Space Agency funding of £18 million has been awarded to OneWeb, a UK business through the European Space Agency according toa report. This is to support the development of next generation satellite constellation with the vision to provide affordable global internet coverage.

In approximation, according to the report, the system will be composed of 650 satellites initially and will scale to 900 satellites over time. The initiative is poised to leverage the use of cost effective spacecraft launch to deploy satellites that could ensure global internet connectivity to individuals and businesses across the world.

According to a report, Jamaica’s Universal Service Fund (USF) has as its target in 2019 to set up more community Access Points (CAP) to a broaden access to internet services to citizens and businesses across the island states. This year’s deployment will complement efforts over the years which has seen the establishment of over 300 CAP sites through the USF.

According to Kwan Wilson, director of projects at the agency, the fund will also focus on increasing the number of free Wi-Fi zones on top of the already implemented secured public hotspots currently in the high traffic areas of the country. This according to him will facilitate greater access.

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