Orange Business Services inks data centre deal for Egypt’s “new capital”


56m | Melanie Mingas


Orange Business Services is to design and build cloud-based ICT infrastructure for the Egyptian smart city that is set to become the country’s new administrative capital.

Orange Egypt has been appointed prime contractor by project owners the Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD). As such, Orange will supply “the required infrastructure and services”, including a new data centre, with services launching in H1 of this year.

Once implemented, Orange Egypt will also manage and operate the new data centre to host and run smart services for the private sector and citizens of the new city, on a five year contract. Smart city services will include traffic and smart utilities management, video surveillance and smart building services.

Also included are solutions 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. Cairo is not only one of the oldest and greatest cities of antiquity, but it is also the largest city in North Africa,” said Sahem Azzam, VP Middle East, Africa and Turkey for Orange Business Services.

“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,” Azzam continued.

The new, sustainable smart city (pictured) is under construction 55 kilometres east of Cairo on a greenfield site that spans a total area of 700 square kilometres (270 square miles) 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.

The city hasn’t been officially named, but plans include a parliament and presidential buildings, the region’s “largest opera house” and a public park bigger than New York’s Central Park. The project’s website said every building in the city will be connected using FTTX technology.

“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 enterprise line of business officer.

“It is expected to be one of the largest centres in the Arab world and Africa, with investments of more than $135 million, and aims to enhance data and host all smart city platforms of the Administrative Capital in a secure and integrated way,” Marhan added.