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Vodafone holds off deploying Huawei in core network due to security row

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The Vodafone logo is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

 

LONDON: 25 January 2019: Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator, said it was “pausing” the deployment of Huawei equipment in its core networks until Western governments give the Chinese firm full security clearance.

The United States and some allies, including Australia and New Zealand, have banned Huawei from 5G networks because of alleged ties to the Chinese government, while the firm has denied that its technology could be used by Beijing for spying.

Vodafone’s Chief Executive Nick Read said on Friday after reporting third-quarter results that the debate was playing out at a “too simplistic level”, adding that Huawei was an important player in an equipment market which it dominates along with Ericsson Sweden’s Ericsson and Nokia.

“We have decided to pause further Huawei in our core whilst we engage with the various agencies and governments and Huawei just to finalise the situation, of which I feel Huawei is really open and working hard,” Read said.

Poland is set to exclude Huawei from 5G after it arrested a Huawei executive earlier this month on spying allegations. Huawei fired the man, who has denied wrongdoing.

Europe’s mobile industry would face higher costs and delays to faster networks if authorities imposed a blanket ban on Huawei equipment, particularly the radio technology deployed on mobile towers, Vodafone’s Read said.

Operators in Europe such as BT and Orange, have already removed Huawei’s equipment or taken steps to limit its future use.

Read said Huawei’s equipment was used in Vodafone’s core – which he described as the intelligent part of the network – in Spain and some other smaller markets.

European governments and security agencies had not pressurised Vodafone into taking the step, but the “noise level” had increased, and the debate now needed more facts, Read said, adding that governments in Africa and the Middle East, where Vodafone also uses Huawei, had not raised concerns.

A spokesman for Huawei, which become the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker earlier this decade despite being shut out of the U.S. market, said it had been a long-term strategic partner to Vodafone since 2007.

“Huawei is focused on supporting Vodafone’s 5G network rollouts, of which the core is a small proportion. We are grateful to Vodafone for its support of Huawei and we will endeavour to live up to the trust placed in us,” he said.

However, Read said that Vodafone had already agreed terms with a range of 5G suppliers, so moving away from Huawei in parts of the roll-out would not incur additional costs.

TOUGH END TO YEAR

Shares in Vodafone fell after it reported a deterioration in its key revenue measure in the third quarter, down 40 basis points quarter-on-quarter to 0.1 percent, reflecting price competition in Spain and Italy and a slowdown in South Africa.

Analysts had expected growth of 0.3 percent and the stock fell to its lowest level since July 2010 after the update, trading down 2.9 percent at 140 pence at 1245 GMT.

Vodafone said, however, that competition in the Spanish and Italian markets had moderated through the quarter and it improved its level of churn, or the number of customers leaving, by two percentage points year-on-year.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer Margherita Della Valle said the performance improvements would start to show in the top line after the current quarter.

“We expect as we enter into the next fiscal year to start seeing the benefits in terms of revenue growth,” she said.

Analysts at UBS said Vodafone performed well in net adds and churn across Europe, but they expected fourth quarter service revenue to drop to –0.5 percent, driven by weakness in Spain and tougher comparatives in Britain.

“This is disappointing relative to prior comments that service revenues would be similar to the +0.5 percent seen in Q2,” they said.

Vodafone’s reiterated its guidance for this year of around 3 percent growth in underlying adjusted core earnings, with free cash flow before spectrum costs of about 5.4 billion euros.

Reuters 

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General Electric appoints Eric Amoussouga as GE Francophone Africa CEO

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Eric is also Sales Director for GE’s Grid Solutions Business across Sub-Saharan Africa

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, April, 2019 — General Electric (GE) has announced the appointment of Eric Amoussouga as the Chief Executive Officer for Francophone Africa. In this position, Eric will play a pivotal role in steering the next phase of strategy and growth for GE in Francophone African markets.

Based in Abidjan, Eric will lead the development of diverse programs with public and private sector projects and partnerships across Francophone Africa.

Commenting on the appointment, Farid Fezoua, President and CEO, GE Africa, reiterated GE’s commitment to work together with government and private sector order to develop public private partnerships and sustainable outcome-based solutions.

“We are optimistic about Francophone Africa and the opportunities to develop breakthrough solutions in power, healthcare, aviation and renewable energy. We believe that the appointment of Eric is a further step in making our vision a reality. We are also glad to bring on board someone with the experience and passion required to drive our growth in this region,” he said.

Eric brings onboard 19 years of experience in the energy sector with the major players like AREVA, ALSTOM and GE and has strong expertise in energy business development and sales strategy especially in West and Central Africa.

“I am very excited to be leading GE’s regional growth in Francophone Africa and driving innovative initiatives to support the needs of GE stakeholders within the region.” Eric Amoussouga said.

Partnership with Governments and local companies form a very important part of GE’s growth in Francophone Africa and across the continent. Through these collaborations, GE has made significant investments to develop infrastructure projects, including sustainable energy solutions, provide efficient and reliable transportation as well as improve access to quality healthcare.

– GE

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Banking / Insurance

SVREICO Hosts Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt new office in Smart Village

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Cairo, Egypt, 17 March 2019 – Smart Village Real Estate Investment Company “SVREICO” announced that Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt has bought a new office in Smart Village for EGP 16 million with an area of 300sqm, which is expected to be delivered to them this month.

The new office of Faisal Islamic Bank is set to be in Building B143, which is one of SVREICO’s integrated business complexes in Smart Village that includes eight buildings so far. Located in the heart of Cairo’s Smart Village, at walking distance from Multinational Headquarters and Egypt’s top companies, SVREICO targets small and medium enterprises, multinational and local corporations by offering offices that start from 70 square meters up to 1000 square meters.

Hisham El Far, CEO of SVREICO, expressed his happiness with the confidence of companies, banks and all customers who chose SVREICO as a privileged place to embrace their business. He added “We have sold more than 100 offices, which reflects the confidence of Egypt’s biggest companies in the services we offer within our projects”. It’s worth mentioning that Faisal Bank’s CIO, Dr. Ismail El Mallawany, came to SVREICo’s premises and signed the contract with Mr Hisham El Far SVREICO’s CEO. The office is due to start operating by the end of this year.

The Smart Village combines industry players and business entities into one place, creating a conducive environment for any growing company. So SVREICO was keen to build up its integrated complexes in Smart Village, providing them with the latest technological and security means.

Smart Village Real Estate Investment Company “SVREICO”, is a joint stock company established in 2007 with shareholders RECAP, Egyptian Export Development Bank, Ahly United Bank and Misr Bank. SVREICO is a subsidiary of Naeem Holding Company, a real estate private equity firm which primarily focus on investing in high-end real estate facilities. The company core business is to develop institutional facilities in Smart Village that can cater corporate and prominent operators. SVREICO has also built and developed 6 complete integrated office buildings and are now rented to various reputable organizations in Smart Village.

– EGYPT TODAY

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Company News

Sahar Nasr honoured in bt100 awards ceremony

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Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr honoured in bt100 awards ceremony. March 4, 2019.

CAIRO – 5 March 2019: H.E Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, honoured in bt 100 ceremony in recognition for her leadership and impact on the growth of the Egyptian economy.

Egypt’s leading economics magazine Business Today held on Monday an award ceremony “BT100” to honor top influential figures and companies positively impacting the Egyptian economy.

BT100 is a tribute to the leaders of the governmental and private sectors, and corporate for their important and effective role in improving the Egyptian economy. The ceremony aims at encouraging other companies to improve their performance, and develop their marketing methods and their selling skills.

The ceremony is organized by Business Today, in cooperation with Youm7 and POD, which is one of the strong publications from the Egyptian Media Group, and the biggest business magazine in Egypt.

This year, Business Today is also celebrating its 25th year in Egypt.

– EGYPT TODAY

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