Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

First Online Nokia Music Store In Middle East To launch In UAE

| October 3, 2008 – 9:26 pm | comment 2 Comments

Nokia music storeNokia, the worldwide leader in mobility, recently announced that the first Nokia Music Store in the Middle East will be opening its virtual doors in the United Arab Emirates in December 2008.

The new online music store, to be accessible at, will feature a large array of tracks from major regional and international artists, independent labels, and up-and-coming acts.  The site will include a host of interactive features such as music browsing, personal track recommendations and streaming service. Other highlights include the ability to listen to a 30 second clip from any track on the store. Part of the Ovi by Nokia offering, the Nokia Music Store offers a compelling combination of download and streaming services, empowering users to connect to the music they want, in the way they want.

“This is a first of its kind offering in the region in terms of the scope and diversity of the content, as well as user experience. The Nokia Music Store is a fantastic way to build a music collection that is truly mobile, where users can be confident that they are legally downloading music that is high quality and risk free.  It brings a new kind of experience where people can preview, try and discover new music on their PC or on their mobile device like never before,” said Chris Braam, Vice President, Sales, Nokia Middle East and Africa. 

This is the 12th music store that Nokia is rolling out globally. Music will be provided by all major international and regional labels including Universal, Sony BMG, Warner, EMI, Rotana and leading content aggregator Qanawat, as well as thousands of independent labels.

“The UAE is a melting pot, and people here literally come from all parts of the world.  This is why we have ensured that we are offering a diverse collection of music that suits people’s different tastes covering Arabic, Bollywood and international music.  Music, by nature, is ever-evolving, and as new music comes out, we will be continuously adding and updating our catalogue,” said Ayman Chalhoub, Business Manager, Music, Nokia Middle East and Africa.

Users will be able to purchase music as individual tracks, as albums, or through a monthly subscription for PC streaming.   With a single account, music lovers will access the Nokia Music Store via their desktop computer or directly from a range of optimized Nokia devices to browse for new music, get recommendations or search for their favorite artists, songs or albums all from the palm of their hand. Once a track captures their attention, users will be able to add it to their wishlist to buy later or purchase it immediately for download to a mobile device without having to download the same song again on their computer. They will also be able to transfer purchased songs via a PC to compatible Nokia devices.

To celebrate the announcement of the Nokia Music Store in the UAE, Nokia will be presenting Kylie Minogue’s exclusive concert to take place in Dubai Festival City on 21st November 2008, as part of Kylie’s X2008 Tour. The event will be the Australian Pop singer’s first ever show in the Middle East.
As part of this sponsorship, Nokia will be conducting an online competition offering tickets and a host of other prizes.

Bahrain’s Mobile Penetration Rate Rises To 138%

| September 26, 2008 – 12:36 pm | comment No Comments

Flag of BahrainBahrain’s mobile penetration rate has the potential to reach 164 per cent by 2012, a penetration rate, which is already being reached in some European countries and in other parts of the Middle East.

By the end of 2007, the number of mobile subscribers in Bahrain had increased to 1.116 million, translating to a penetration rate of nearly 138 per cent.

Bahrain’s mobile market continues to produce remarkable rates of growth, in spite of the regulator’s recent insistence that operators count only active subscribers within their reported customer totals.

This was revealed by market research firm Companies and Markets in its recently released Bahrain Telecommunications Report Q3 2008.

Growth in the final quarter of the year was stronger than in all three previous quarters combined. The number of mobile customers saw a 15.7 per cent surge in Q4 of 2007, with growth being mainly driven by Zain’s expanding prepaid customer base. Zain’s prepaid customer base grew by 47.4 per cent in Q4 ’07, compared with a mere 3.1 per cent increase in the number of Bahrain Telecommunication Company (Batelco) prepaid customers.

Despite the already highly saturated nature of Bahrain’s mobile market, announced in April 2008, it was reported that the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) had invited telecoms industry players and interested parties to express interest and opinions on the planned award of a third mobile network operating licence.The regulator has asked potential applicants to give opinions regarding preferred spectrum bands and size of frequency blocks to be assigned, plus related issues including infrastructure sharing, national roaming and length of shared exclusivity period.

In separate news, reported in February 2008, it was revealed that Bahrain’s government planned to sell the majority of its shares in fixed-line incumbent Batelco over the next three years, as part of the country’s Second National Telecommunication Plan approved by the Parliament earlier in the same month.

The planned sale is aimed at enabling the full-service telecom company to operate with full independence from the government and make commercial decisions free of political influence.

Bahrain Telecommunications Report Q3 2008

Info2cell Launches Wide Range Of Ramadan-themed Services

| September 10, 2008 – 12:31 pm | comment No Comments, the leading mobile application service provider in the Middle East, has announced that it has launched a comprehensive range of new services for its subscribers to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan.

The new services have been active since September 1, 2008, and are part of’s strategy to constantly deliver fresh and innovative services in the Middle East and Africa, a multi-billion dollar market that is expected to touch $107bn by 2013 on the strength of growing demand for various mobile content services.

The new services provide clients a select line of Islamic services appropriate for the Ramadan celebration utilising different platforms such as SMS, MMS, IVR, J2ME application, interactive channel and WAP.

There will also be a special SMS competition that offers attractive daily prizes as well as a grand prize during the culmination of Ramadan.

The new services are now available in several countries, including Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, Palestine, Bahrain and Syria.

‘ is pleased to unveil another unique line of services specially developed to commemorate the observance of the holy month of Ramadan. It is our mission to constantly provide clients with value-added and appropriate services that cater to various requirements of the society. We hope that our clients will have a more meaningful celebration of the holy season through a wide selection of Ramadan-themed services,’ said Bashar Dahabra, Founder and CEO of’s Ramadaniat service allows customers to download weekly Islamic packages, Islamic themes, wallpapers and Islamic ring tones.


GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards 2009 & Mobile Innovation EMEA Tournament Open For Entry

| September 5, 2008 – 3:31 pm | comment No Comments

The GSMA just announced that entries are invited for the 2009 Global Mobile Awards and the penultimate round of its Mobile Innovation Global Competition, both of which will be presented at the mobile industry’s biggest annual event, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 17 February 2009.

The GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards are a unique platform for companies in the mobile industry to gain truly independent recognition for their work.

This year’s awards incorporate several new categories including a new ‘Green Mobile’ Award (highlighting eco-friendly mobile products, services and initiatives), Best Mobile Internet, Best Mobile TV Service and Best Mobile Money Service.

The Best Mobile Technology categories have been refreshed to ensure they capture the wealth of creativity and imagination in the mobile industry. Categories of Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Services, and Best Mobile Handset, are already established as highly desirable awards for any new product or service.

The deadline for entries for the Global Mobile Awards is Friday 28 November 2008 (5.00pm GMT). A panel of independent analysts, journalists and specialist experts will choose the winners, who will receive their awards at a gala dinner at the National Palace in Barcelona on Tuesday 17 February 2009, during the Mobile World Congress.

The GSMA’s commitment to innovation is supported by the Mobile Innovation Market community, which has created the Mobile Innovation Global Award Competition. The Mobile Innovation Market encourages breakthrough technology, applications and services in the mobile industry by bringing together smaller companies developing innovative products and solutions, with industry investors from leading venture capital firms and senior figures from mobile operators and leading global brands.

On 16 February at the Mobile World Congress, the Top 15 Innovators will present their ideas in front of the Mobile Innovation Marketplace audience and a panel of esteemed judges; from the five Category Winners to be named that day, two will emerge as global finalists and will compete against other Global Finalists selected from regional Mobile Innovation tournaments in the Americas, APAC and a virtual ‘online’ round.

The finalists will then compete head-to-head on 17 February for the prestigious title of ‘2009 GSMA Mobile Innovation Global Champion’ to be awarded at the Global Mobile Awards Gala that evening. The deadline for entries for the Mobile Innovation EMEA tournament is 5 December, 2008.

For more details on the categories, rules, entry forms and more, you can check out the following links: Global Mobile Awards and Mobile Innovation Awards

ShoofTV Sponsors New Mobile Phone IBDA’A Awards Category

| August 24, 2008 – 12:30 pm | comment No Comments

Shoof, the User Generated Content (UGC) online platform, that is an Arab Media Group company, just announced that it will be sponsoring a brand new category at the Ibda’a Media Student Awards 2008, the region’s most recognized distinction for emerging industry talent, which is organized by the Dubai Media City.

For the first time, Mobile Films videos made with a mobile phone will take pride of place next to digital photography, animation, and filmmaking amongst 11 categories at the annual competition.

The brand-new Mobile Phone category will showcase the innovative narrative techniques and production methods made possible by mobile phones, according to General Manager Khadeeja Al Marzooqi.

She said: “Our initiative comes out of our keenness to help Ibda’a recognize this new generation of pioneering artists. The restrictions placed on mobile phone video makers, from the size of the image to the possible length of takes, represent exciting new possibilities. Because every limitation spawns creative solutions, mobile phones are a cutting-edge way for people around the world to express themselves without resorting to the expense of hiring equipment and crew. So much can be done in post-production that there are truly limitless amounts of creative tampering that can take place, resulting in something that pushes the envelope in terms of story and format.”

“Since is all about the unrestricted sharing of art and expression, we saw this category as a perfect fit. We have showcased mobile films since our inception and will continue to look for new and innovative visual storytelling formats to keep Shoof fresh and fun.”

Established in 2001 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Ibda’a awards invite undergraduate media students from around the world to enter their work in a range of formats.

Organized annually by Dubai Media City, a member of TECOM Investments, in partnership with the International Advertising Association (IAA), the competition will culminate in a celebration in Dubai in November 2008 that will showcase outstanding submissions to the awards and see winners walk away with attractive cash prizes, internships, and coveted equipment.

UAE Has Highest Mobile Penetration In The Arab World

| August 11, 2008 – 11:15 am | comment 2 Comments

According to a new study by Kuwaiti-based Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGC), a key Arab League body, the UAE had the highest mobile phone penetration in the Arab world at the end of 2007, with its subscribers far exceeding its population.

Figures showed the number of mobile phone subscribers in the country stood at 7.6 million at the end of last year a ratio as high as 173 to each 100 people.

The figure is far higher than any other Arab state and more than triple the world average of 49.3 for every 100 people.

Qatar came second, with a ratio of 150.4 mobile phone per 100 people. It was followed by Bahrain with 148.2, Saudi Arabia with 114.7, Kuwait with 97.2 and Oman with 96.3.

Outside the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Jordan topped the list, with a ratio of 80.5 per each 100 persons, followed by Tunisia, Libya and Morocco.

Djibouti and Somalia were at the bottom of the list, having one of the world’s lowest mobile phone penetration at 5.4 and 6.8 respectively.

The figures showed the UAE’s penetration was more than triple the average Arab ratio of 50.8 and the world average of 49.3 at the end of 2007. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of mobile phone subscribers in the UAE grew by an annual average 25.6 per cent, almost four times its population growth. But the level was far lower than growth in some other Arab countries as it was as high as 270 per cent in war-battered Iraq and 129.9 per cent in Libya. Experts believe the UAE will maintain its high mobile phone penetration this year given the rapid growth in subscribers and in its economy.

Javna Launches MobiAd Mobile Advertising Platform

| August 10, 2008 – 2:46 pm | comment No Comments

mobiadJavna, a leading Arab company in the field of mobile software solutions and wireless applications has launched MobiAd, the first mobile ad application that allows users to earn money.

The Amman-based company said the program needs only to be downloaded on users’ cell phones free of charge, to start immediately accumulating points and collecting money. In addition, subscribers will also be eligible for periodic drawings on prizes offered by advertisors .

Underlining the feasibility of MobiAd as an ad platform, Javna said companies can now resort to this state-of-the-art application to get their messages across to the targeted segments of consumers who, for the first time ever, will have the chance to earn money rather than just spend it.

Javna hopes MobiAd will meet the growing needs of companies for innovative and out-of-the-box marketing techniques that ensure the achievement of the ad campaign goals while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.

MobiAd allows advertising companies and ad agencies to reach out to the targeted segment of consumers in a modern and more interactive fashion, by defining the targeted age range, gender, and geographical location, among other data necessary to render the ad campaign a success and ensure its objectives are met in an optimal manner. In addition, the program provides technical reports to evaluate the campaign throughout its various phases.

All telecom companies’ subscribers, regardless of the type of their subscription, can download the software by visiting its official website: Subscribers will have the choice to voluntarily join the marketing programs according to their interest and be rewarded for their choice; they will be also be able to invite their friends to Join the program and share the benefits with others.

Javna expect the mobile advertising platform to have a significant share of the Arab ad market, estimated at $7bn annually, especially since the new technology is based on interactive solutions through multiple delivery channels starting from SMS and MMS messaging, to flash interfaces that appear when a call is received or made by the user. These marketing tools can be programmed to appear regularly on set dates and times.

Info2cell Partners With Future TV To Provide Content To Mobile Phone Users In Saudi Arabia

| August 8, 2008 – 11:16 am | comment 2 Comments, the leading mobile application service provider in the Middle East, has recently announced the signing of a content license and distribution agreement with Lebanon-based Future TV to provide video and MMS clips of hugely popular TV programmes, ‘Rossoom Mutaharirah’, ‘La Yomal’ and ‘Abou Riad’, to mobile phone users in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Through the subscription-based service, which will be launched today, users will receive the content three times per week. Each video clip – video IVR, WAP portal, video push and video streaming – will be up to two minutes long, while the MMS content will be 30 seconds in duration.

Bashar Dahabra, Founder and CEO of, said,: ‘ We are pleased to sign this important agreement with Future TV which will enable us to provide select clippings from three highly popular TV programmes on the mobile phones of subscribers. is committed to offering the most innovative and exciting content to its subscribers, in line with current market trends and consumer interests, and this partnership with Future TV perfectly complements our strategy.’

Samir S. Hammoud, Chairman and General Manager of Future TV, said, ‘The viewership for our programmes has been growing steadily in recent years and we are glad that this alliance with has created another vital channel for subscribers in KSA to view clippings of some of our most watched programmes.’

Last year, teamed up with MBC channel in Saudi Arabia to offer subscribers, video clips, ring tones, wallpapers and Java games of hugely popular television programmes including ‘Tash Ma Tash’, ‘Beiny o Bainak’, ‘Meznah’ and ‘Stories of the Prophet’.

Info2cell Launch SMS and MMS Content Services In Sudan

| July 19, 2008 – 3:53 pm | comment No Comments, the leading mobile application service provider in the Middle East, has launched mobile short message (SMS) and multimedia messaging (MMS) content services in Sudan through a joint venture with ADU Communication Technology, a local telecommunications specialist.

The partnership will see high-quality SMS and MMS content services for the booming domestic mobile telecommunications market in Sudan, covering several categories including news, sports, Islamic and entertainment content; BBC SMS News and Sport and DUOA Islamic channel with audio MMS are presently supported.

Recent projects launched under the new services include the LAKI and Women in Islam channels and full coverage of Euro 2008 via SMS and MMS. Additional planned services are ringtones, Java games and the introduction of ‘Magalati’, the first SMS magazine in the country.’s subscription base continues to expand significantly around the Arab world, with a further 23.3 percent increase expected by the end of 2008.

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