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.


Khalaf Al Habtoor extends timely medical assistance to Lebanese hospitals

Updated 05 August 2020

Khalaf Al Habtoor extends timely medical assistance to Lebanese hospitals

  • Al Habtoor will arrange one-month’s worth of urgent medical supplies for hospitals in the country that have more than 1,000 beds
  • The Khalaf Al Habtoor Hospital at Hrar in northern Lebanon will open up auxiliary treatment support for patients who are unable to be accommodated in Beirut hospitals

DUBAI: Khalaf Al Habtoor, the founding chairman of Al Habtoor Group (AHG), based in the UAE, is reaching out with timely aid for the Lebanese people after the massive explosion at a Beirut port on Tuesday, August 4, that devastated many neighborhoods, leaving more than a hundred dead people and thousands injured.

Al Habtoor, known for his philanthropic activities in the UAE and abroad, said he will extend all possible efforts within his means to aid the affected people in Lebanon as a first step of a multi-pronged assistance plan. As a first step, Al Habtoor will arrange one-month’s worth of urgent medical supplies for hospitals in the country that have more than 1,000 beds. The hospitals to be aided through this initiative include Haroun Hospital, Al Makasid Hospital, Levant Hospital, Rizk Hospital, Rafic Hariri Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital and the Khalaf Al Habtoor Hospital, Hrar.

Additionally, the Khalaf Al Habtoor Hospital at Hrar in northern Lebanon will open up auxiliary treatment support for patients who are unable to be accommodated in Beirut hospitals, conducting at least 100 operations for those injured in the explosion. To help those who require much needed recovery and recuperation assistance, the hospital will also rent out a nearby hotel, which will act as a temporary off-site field hospital for post-operative care and treatment.

More than 300,000 people have been left homeless by the blast, which tore through several dozen neighborhoods close to the port area, razing several buildings and shattering glass windows in a much wider area outside the blast zone. Two hotels owned by Habtoor Hospitality in Beirut, Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand and Hilton Metropolitan Palace, have been damaged in the fallout of the explosion.

Al Habtoor said: “The country and people of Lebanon have always had a special place in my heart. This explosion which has devastated the capital city in the midst of an already severe economic crisis has left the common people badly shaken. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and will leave no stone unturned in reaching them the best possible emergency and medical aid, post-operative care and temporary accommodation for those rendered homeless by the tragic event.”

He added that the cries of the Lebanese people for help have been heard and that it was important to respond by offering the right kind of assistance and treatment, in terms of quantity, quality and the timing it reaches the people.

The visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist has extended generous contribution to Lebanon in various forms over the last decade, including refugee aid programs, Ramadan campaigns, wintertime distribution of food packages and blankets, the establishment of The Khalaf Al Habtoor Hospital, and a multitude of charitable donations.