Information Technologies & high Tech


Armenia checks Chinese surveillance tech
/Feb 22/European Interest/

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan regularly mentions China close to the top of his country’s foreign policy priorities.

Chinese tech giant Huawei is in talks with Armenia after facing controversy in the European Union.

The Chinese IT giant Huawei had signed an agreement with Armenia in December 2017 to implement its “Smart City” technology in Yerevan.

Researchers at Freedom House, a Washington-based think tank, have sounded the alarm.

“A key component of the Huawei Smart City solution “is the ability to identify, monitor and track both people and goods and services,” Adrian Shahbaz, research director for technology and democracy at Freedom House, told Eurasianet. The program requires thousands of security cameras to be installed in public places, which often use facial recognition technology to identify people and license plates. Shahbaz said he was alarmed by “the awesome power that this gives the authorities to control societies.”

According to Eurasianet, Yerevan’s authorities have confirmed discussions are ongoing. Deputy Minister of Transportation, Communications, and Information Technology Gegham Vardanyan said Huawei, the ministry, and the city of Yerevan are engaged in trilateral talks.

A Huawei spokesperson confirmed that “there have been some changes to the technical requirements, and we are continuing negotiations. For now we cannot say anything more than that.”

The Huawei project is part of a growing Chinese-Armenia trade relationship.

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan regularly mentions China close to the top of his country’s foreign policy priorities. The government’s new five-year strategic program, adopted on February 14, calls for Armenia to “expand and diversify the multi-faceted and broad partnership with China, characterized by friendly relationships.”

uPay virtual wallet already a financial organization
/Feb 26/

YEREVAN – Within the scope of its uPay project Ucom has founded a payment and settlement organization, which was awarded a license for money remittance by the Board of the Central Bank of Armenia, Ucom told Armenpress.

The newly founded UPAY CJSC aims at providing specialized financial services to customers.

“One of the first steps to take is to re-open uPay branches already under uPay license and expand the service portfolio in those branches, and particularly, serve local and international money transfer systems. I’d like to note that uPay branches are currently being put into operation within the partnership of Ucom with another payment and settlement organization”, said Ruben Saghoyan, Executive Director at UPAY CJSC.

In the second half of 2019, uPay plans to introduce the updated and more user-friendly version of uPay mobile app.

As a reminder, Ucom presented its uPay virtual wallet to the market in 2016. It allows users to make not only payments for Ucom fixed and mobile services, but also utility payments, loan repayments, payment of taxes and duties, as well as traffic fines directly from smartphones, regardless of location.

Armenian company Ucom exceeds Turkish ones and gets involved in a large regional project
/Feb 27/

YEREVAN – Armenian leading telecommunications company Ucom has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Iran and Qatar, according to which internet transit channel will be created linking the Gulf and Asian states with Europe. The new channel will be an alternative to the currently operating channel passing through sea. The new one will pass through Armenia, bypassing Turkey and Azerbaijan, ARMENPRESS was informed from the press service of the WCIT 2019.

Mr. Alexsander Yesayan, board member of World Information Technology and Service Alliance (WITSA), president of Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises (UATE) and WCIT 2019 IT international congress, has personally re-confirmed the previously extended participation invite during the meeting with Iran’s Minister of Communications and Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi. Mr. Yesayan is in Iran within the scope of the Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan’s official visit. As announced earlier, the World Congress on Information Technologies will be held in Yerevan, on October 6-9, 2019. The Iranian government representative thanked for the invitation, expressing his interest in participating in the event. 
Within the scope of the visit, the parties from Armenia, Iran, and Qatar signed an MOU on regional cooperation: 

According to the document, the largest telecommunication companies of the three countries will cooperate to create an internet transit channel for the region. The document was signed by UCOM co-founder Mr. Alexander Yesayan, CEO of Iranian Telecommunication Company Mr. Majid Sadri and the President of the largest cable network provider the Gulf states, GULF Bridge International Mr. Abdulla Al-Rwaili. “This program will create a transit link for Internet provision to connect the Gulf and Asian countries to Europe. By joining such an ambitious project, Armenia once again underlines its position as a regional IT leader. The new channel will become an alternative to the current maritime route, will sidestep Azerbaijan and Turkey and pass through Armenia. By the way, Turkey and Azerbaijan were in intense competition to win the project. This is not simply a matter of business, but it has a strong strategic impact on the telecommunication security”- stated the Ucom co-founder Mr. Alexander Yesayan.