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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

What we’re tracking on 12 September 2017

Habemus 4G mobile internet broadband: Egyptian telecom operators will begin offering high-speed 4G mobile broadband services this month, CIT Minister Yasser El Kady announced yesterday. El Kady also noted that the Ministry “would offer more wireless frequencies for sale at an unspecified later date,” Reuters reports, raising the prospect that quality of service would ultimately be okay. Sources from within the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) told Al Borsa that they have completed technical tests for 4G for all the operators and that they are all good to go.

Telecom Egypt is also expected to launch its mobile network this month. The NTRA has asked the nation’s three mobile operators to conclude their interconnection rate talks with TE ahead of the rollout, Al Mal says. Orange Egypt had accused TE of demanding below-average interconnection rates. That’s the fee TE pays when one of its subscribers calls a number on a different network. Oh, and it looks like TE’s rollout may be off to a rocky start (we have more in the Speed Round).

And before the industry can begin to celebrate 4G, MNOs need to take stock of theconsequences of raising international call rates, which has led to the flight of part of their customer base to internet-based calling services such as Skype and Facebook Messenger, sources told Youm7.

Are you willing to pay your investment bank for the privilege of consuming their research? The clash between investment banks for clients’ eyeballs under MiFID II is heating up, and it could have implications for houses out here in MENA. Among its many other provisions, the European Union’s MiFID II will demand that any research house based in or associated with the EU charge is clients fair value for research starting in 2018. The cost of research had previously been bundled with trading commissions (ie: given away for free as an inducement to trade with the house in question). It seems not everyone is betting their clients will cough up the dough: Some big US banks are planning to charge, the Financial Times says, while “several banks, including BBVA, NatWest, Credit Suisse, ING and Daiwa, are preparing to provide some or all of their fixed income research for free.” If you work in the industry, the FT’s look at the jockeying — and fears — MiFID II is sparking is a must-read this morning.

Apple will reveal its new iPhones today. Leaks suggest the company is releasing three new models: the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as well as the all-new iPhone X, which will reportedly include a new screen, camera, wireless charging, and facial recognition software in place of a physical home button. Don’t expect to pay less than USD 1,000 for your next phone, whether it’s an iPhone or Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8, which will go on sale in just a few days’ time, Bloomberg notes. The WSJ is also playing up the USD 1,000 angle.

The columnists are kicking into overdrive in anticipation of the 10th anniversary iPhonelaunch, with entries in the mainstream press from the New York Times (“It Distracted Us. It Gave Us Uber. It Made Selfies a Thing.”), the Wall Street Journal (“The 10th Anniversary iPhone: Is Apple Trying to Do Too Much?”) and Bloomberg notes that there is a “fine line between success or failure” for the tenth anniversary iPhone. As for us iSheep? We swore off reading the tech press a couple of days ago to preserve some “surprise” about tonight’s announcements. Pathetic, we know.

How do you watch the Apple reveal? Livestream it here on Apple’s site at 7pm CLT (10am Pacific) from the Steve Jobs Theater in California.

Sabet makes global fashion power list for the fourth time running: Longtime readers know we’re fans of the business model of vertical media outlet Business of Fashion, so we’re particularly happy to note this morning that Susan Sabet, publisher and editor in chief of Pashion, the pan-Arab fashion and luxury magazine and Pashion Vienna, the first and only Arabic fashion and luxury magazine in Austria, has for the fourth year in a row made BOF’s list of the 500 most influential members of the global fashion industry. Thabet is the only Egyptian and one of 10 Arab nationals on the list, with others from the region including Lebanese fashion designers Elie Saab and Rabih Kayrouz and the UAE’s Mohamed Alabbar. The list was released on 9 September at the annual BOF500 gala in New York. You can read Thabet’s profile on BOF here.

Summer might be spiritually over (it doesn’t officially end until later this month) but weare in for another scorcher today with temperatures in Cairo peaking at an uncomfortable 37°C, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

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