Technology has proven to significantly change the way we live, work and play. In the future, we foresee a hyper-connected society in which smart technologies enable everyone access to unprecedented e-services. Our mandate of driving innovation in the UAE has already seen us lay Smart City foundations early with WiFi UAE, the Middle East’s first working Internet of Things (IoT) network, and pilots on key services like smart parking, smart lighting and smart buildings.
We are committed to helping the UAE achieve its Smart City ambitions, and we’re already making progress in a number of areas. All of these services will ensure efficiency on cost, as well as reduce environmental and social impact in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. Dubai aims to become a Smart City by 2017, and we have planned to finish deployment of our IoT (Internet of Things) network to support this ambition. We also plan to launch the new WiFi UAE mobile app which enables seamless login with additional features including hotspot finder, language preference and offers.
We successfully tested the first true Internet of Things network (IoT) in the Middle East, a key component of Smart City that will revolutionise how our cities and resources are managed. The network can relay data from sensors countrywide, enabling smarter management of a vast array of city resources such as smart street lighting, waste management, and parking. We have deployed 200 hotspots for WiFi UAE and have witnessed phenomenal usage since our launch in May 2015. For 2016, our plan is to double the number of these hotspots (21 Smart Palms, 100 RTA bus shelters and 10 cultural sites) and expand to other Emirates.
WiFi UAE is a country-wide initiative to provide WiFi access to the public, in line with UAE Vision 2021. With WiFi UAE, our valued customers can enjoy high speed access to all UAE Government online services. This service is available to all users with a WiFi-enabled device, including smartphones, laptops and tablets.
WiFi UAE has successfully launched across the UAE, offering free and premium services in major strategic landmarks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai Museum, Dubai Heritage, as well as across more than 10 cultural locations including Global Village, Abu Dhabi Mall, Qaryet al Beri, du Forum, du Arena and more. Our solution will be available on selected Smart Plans via selected strategic locations in Dubai. This solution will also be available in over 100 RTA Smart Shelters.
The next generation 5G mobile network
With the upcoming needs for Smart Cities and the Internet of Things (IoT), operators worldwide are deploying faster LTEs – the current one being 4G – to offer faster access with higher efficiency. In the near future, we anticipate a communications system with even further capabilities, namely a fifth generation (5G) system. Based on the foreseeable traffic trends, we foresee that the 5G network will have a reduced cost and environmental impact. 5G will be able to manage traffic volumes of many orders of magnitude compared to today’s networks. It will also be able to allow more devices to be connected simultaneously to the network in order to support the Internet of Things (IoT). Recently, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) approved our proposal to launch the 5G studies in SG13 which outlines our research on the key requirements for 5G deployment, as well as concerns that telecommunications providers may face with candidate technologies and architectures.
4G LTE Smartphone
Partnering with UAE-born mobility brand ‘Four’ and Axiom Telecom, we launched the country’s most affordable 4G LTE enabled smartphone. Available for only AED 299, the Four S500 is the UAE’s most economical 4G LTE smartphone, offering unprecedented value through its advanced software and hardware specifications. The exceptional value presented by the home-grown brand’s first 4G LTE handset is further bolstered by competitively-priced special data plans provided by us.
Dubai International Holy Qur’an Awards uplink
Each year during the holy month of Ramadan, we provide a direct uplink to the Dubai International Holy Qur’an Awards (DHIQA) allowing viewers to watch the competition free of charge on their TV, tablet or mobile device. The DIHQA, sponsored by the Dubai Government, is an annual award given to those who successfully memorise and recite the Holy Qur’an, and was established to encourage Muslim youth to spread the Quranic values of peace and love.