STC first in MENA to join GSMA APAC IoT Partnership Program

Faisal Al-Dughaither, synergy GM, STC Group.
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Updated 26 May 2020

STC first in MENA to join GSMA APAC IoT Partnership Program

The STC Group has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the GSMA to join the GSMA Asia Pacific (APAC) IoT Partnership Program, one of the most extensive Internet of Things (IoT) communities worldwide. By signing this memo, the STC Group becomes the first mobile network operator region wide to be a part of the program.

The GSMA is an industry organization that globally represents the interests of mobile network operators and the broader ecosystem. The GSMA APAC IoT Partnership Program brings together around 500 partners to coordinate efforts and discuss best practices on the development of IoT technologies.

Dimitris G. Lioulias, STC’s strategy vice president, said: “This partnership will reinforce the STC Group’s strategy of building a strong IoT ecosystem and provide our partners and customers with first-class IoT solutions. Bringing this program to our region will facilitate the sharing of best practices and leverage the collective capabilities for the benefit of our society.”

“With our operations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait as well as all our local affiliates who operate in many areas and technology environments, we will be closely working with the GSMA, and all the members and partners, for building a solid platform of collaboration around digitization, IoT, 5G as well all the strategic issues that enhance our positioning and leadership within our respective countries,” said Faisal Al-Dughaither, synergy general manager, STC Group.

“We welcome the STC Group, the first MENA mobile network operator, to join our APAC IoT Partnership Program,” said David Turkington, head of technology, GSMA Asia Pacific. 

“Innovative IoT solutions have massive potential and promise to transform societies and economies. The STC Group’s leadership will strongly support IoT adoption across the region,” he added.

The Saudi telecom giant is increasingly relying on frontier technologies such as IoT, cloud computing and cybersecurity, to drive its business and sustain its social impact.

The GSMA APAC IoT Partnership Program includes more than 36 mobile operators. The program brings operators and their partners together, including developers, manufacturers and system integrators to share best practices, discuss challenges and progress updates on the development of IoT across the region. APAC has the largest IoT market in the world and is expected to reach 11 billion connections by 2025 and be worth $386 billion, according to GSMA Intelligence.

The APAC region is the fastest-growing IoT market in the world, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the total global IoT spend in 2018.


Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Updated 09 July 2020

Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Outstanding students, tutors and colleges from 25 countries, including from the Middle East, saw their achievements recognized at the BTEC Awards 2020 ceremony, held online for the first time due to coronavirus.

Hosted by presenter of the United Stand, YouTube influencer and BTEC ambassador, Flex, 17 category award winners were celebrated from the UAE and around the Middle East as well as internationally in subjects such as health and social care, performing arts, engineering, IT, business and sport.

Double Olympic gold medalist Max Whitlock and architect, TV presenter and campaigner George Clarke were among those presenting awards. 

They were joined by journalist and TV presenter Steph McGovern who spoke about her passion for vocational education and the BTEC Awards.

Spanning across 21 categories, the awards showcase the exceptional BTEC learners and teachers that have been nominated to win a gold, silver or bronze BTEC award. Accepted in more than 200 universities worldwide, BTEC is a highly regarded, career-focused qualification, studied in over 60 countries.

The Middle East winners are:

• BTEC Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Student of the Year Silver Winner — Finn Page, DESC, UAE

• BTEC Teacher of the Year (schools only) Bronze Winner — James McBlane, British School Al-Khubairat, UAE

• BTEC IT and Computing Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Sangeetha Philip, Cambridge International School, Dubai, UAE

• BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Delma Sharyl D’Silva, The Winchester School — Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE

Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice president, BTEC and apprenticeships at Pearson Education, said: “This year I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of BTEC Award nominations we received, and I am delighted to celebrate this year’s winners and the achievements of all learners who will be awarded a BTEC this year. 

Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve seen how the current pandemic has highlighted the critical role of key workers and individuals who are likely to have followed a vocational educational pathway such as BTEC.”

In the UAE, BTEC qualifications are available in sectors including applied science, art and design, business, childcare, construction, engineering, media, health and social care, hospitality, ICT, performing arts, public services, sport, travel and tourism.

Pearson has been delivering BTEC qualifications worldwide since 1984. A recent study revealed that 90 percent of BTEC students are employed full-time after graduating.

Globally, nearly 1 million students studied toward a BTEC in the past year, via 784 approved BTEC centers in 60 countries.

In response to new careers emerging within industries and ongoing change, Pearson is continually adapting and innovating its BTEC curriculum and learning to ensure it is relevant for young people and adults, supporting progression and career aspirations throughout lives.