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Cairo ICT 08 roundup

Our round up of the top news stories from Cairo's ICT exhibition 2008

Cairo ICT 2008 has drawn to a close. We look at the most exciting developments to emerge from the exhibition that’s going from strength to strength.

Microsoft was present at this year’s ICT to talk about the Windows Live Platform. The service will allow the two million Windows Live users in Egypt 5GB of free online storage space, with increased storage capacity and no adverts for anyone who chooses to subscribe.

More good news came from Internet Service Provider LINKdotNET, who announced the month beginning February 18th would be provided free of charge for all of its subscribers. This was meant as compensation for the internet outage period caused by damage to undersea cables. The company is currently working on a new undersea cable, designed to connect Africa, Asia and Europe.

LINKdotNET also announced the launch of a new 8Mbps internet package, now the fastest such service available in the Middle East.

The continued success of Egypt’s call centre market lead to Avaya Intelligent Communications showcasing their contact centre technologies at the conference. Xceed and EFG Hermes are two examples of Egyptian companies which already rely on Avaya’s services.

Nidal Abou-Ltaif, managing director for Avaya in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said this: “Avaya sees tremendous potential in Egypt, especially with the call centre industry gaining momentum and contributing to the country’s economic growth. While the country is already a major hub for IT activity in the MENA region, the framework developed by the government has helped in attracting call centres to Egypt.”

Representatives from Nokia Siemens Networks talked about their commitment to minimizing the company’s ecological footprint. With the introduction of new base station technology, the company intend to minimise the number of base station sites required, as well as carefully manage the sites’ air conditioning requirements, to minimise power requirements.

Thomas Ernst, Head of Nokia Egypt, Levant and Iran Sub-region, said: "Energy efficiency plays an important role in the protection of the environment. Energy consumption also has significant financial implications for communications service providers. So if a service provider can achieve reductions in its energy consumption, this will have a direct impact on operational expenditure, as well as minimizing CO2 emissions."

The regional manager of Sun Microsystems has announced the company’s plans to invest in Egypt and hire more staff in the area, particularly in the practices and pre-sales departments. The company still intends to maintain its focus on selling through channel, however.

"People are always scared when vendors say they are going to invest," said Chris Cornelius, managing director of Sun Middle East and North Africa. "Partners worry that they will be pushed aside. But I will never go direct. We work through our partners and we will continue to have that. Customer satisfaction is my biggest issue.”

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