Orange controls data for Egyptian smart city

  • February 22, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Orange Business Services is to design and build a cloud-based ICT infrastructure for Egypt’s latest smart city.

The French telco has been selected as master system integrator to deliver a data centre offering critical cloud and smart services.

Orange Business Services, a network-native digital services company, will design and build the data centre to provide cloud services for Egypt’s new administrative capital. The project will be implemented in collaboration with Orange Egypt, who will supply the required infrastructure and services, following its appointment as the project’s prime contractor by Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD).

The ACUD project has been designed as a smart sustainable city located 45km east of Cairo on a greenfield site, covering a total area of 700 square kilometres mid-way to the seaport city of Suez. According to the plans, it will become the new administrative and financial capital of Egypt, housing the main government departments and ministries, as well as foreign embassies, with a population of around eight million people.

ACUD has defined a master plan for the smart sustainable city based on five main pillars: safety, connectivity, integration, digitalisation and replicability. The ICT strategy is an essential component in the fulfilment of ACUD’s vision, and the secured data centre will be a cornerstone of the city.

The services offered by the data centre are planned to start on schedule, in the first half this year, despite the problem caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Once implemented, Orange Egypt will also manage and operate the data centre to host and run smart services for the private sector, as well as citizens of the new city, for five years. The smart city services to be supported include traffic management, management of smart utilities such as electricity, water and gas supply, video surveillance, and smart building services. Also included are innovations such as cloud-on-demand for companies and triple-play services for residents.

“Orange Business Services is especially pleased to be selected as the trusted digital partner to this visionary and transformational project,” said Sahem Azzam, vice president for Orange Business Services. “Cairo is not only one of the oldest and greatest cities of antiquity, but it is also the largest city in North Africa. We have built extensive experience in the development of major smart city projects across the Middle East and especially in the GCC, through our smart city centre of excellence at our regional headquarters in Dubai. Orange has operated in Egypt for decades and our knowledge and understanding of the environment will allow us to fully adapt the design of the infrastructure to the needs of the new city.”

Orange has expertise as a master systems integrator and provides this with the convenience of a single team and a one-stop shop approach. Orange Business Services will leverage its 20 years of experience in delivering critical cloud services across the globe. It will also apply its global and regional expertise in the design, build and construction of smart city networks, developed through its smart city centre of excellence in Dubai.

“In addition to investing in smart city projects, which Orange is distinguished with its expertise in the fields of digital solutions and smart cities provided by Orange Business Services, Orange also has provided many services to the smart city sector through various partnerships, the most prominent of which is the new administrative capital, where the new data centre is now being built,” said Hisham Marhan, Orange Egypt chief business officer. “It is expected to be one of the largest centres in the Arab world and Africa, with investments of more than $135m, and aims to enhance data and host all smart city platforms of the administrative capital in a secure and integrated way. What gave Orange the edge is the expertise, as well as the local and international teams it possesses that qualify it to provide these services with high efficiency, as well as to manage and operate these projects in accordance with international standards.”

Orange Business Services is a network-native digital services company and the global enterprise division of the Orange group. It connects, protects and innovates for enterprises around the world to support sustainable business growth. Leveraging its connectivity and system integration expertise throughout the digital value chain, it can support global businesses in areas such as software-defined networks, multi-cloud services, data and AI, smart mobility services, and cyber security.

Orange is a telecommunications operator with revenues of €42bn in 2019 and 257 million customers worldwide.