Last updated: 14 October 2014
We blogged yesterday about Government smart initiatives showcased in the Government hall at Gitex, but in a connected world, telcos are not at rest and the Smart City theme was well covered and highly celebrated in the telecom hall too, with all major mobile network operators in the region on show with impressive demos!
To face up to the growing demand for more connectivity and ensure the rapid realization of the Smart Dubai vision, which is only achievable with the right infrastructures in place, UAE operators Etisalat and Du both aim to create high speed mobile broadband throughout the region and they both announced that they had begun a phased upgrade of their network to 4G LTE Advanced with speed of up to 700Mbps.
This marks the next step in the evolution of high speed mobile broadband services, which will enable operators to add capacity and provide faster data rates in their networks.
Du signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deliver Smart City Wifi with connections in public transport, malls, recreational and urban areas, ensuring people in Dubai can have unlimited access to all smart city services anywhere, any time.
As part of the Smart City use cases, Du Telecom presented its Smart Bus Tracking mobile app, which through the use of video monitoring can send real time data and notifications on a child’s journey to ensure their safety.
With such a fast-changing technology landscape, training the next-generation workforce in the UAE is becoming a top priority and there are many Smart eLearning concept solutions on show at Gitex 2014. Most of these use the very latest technologies to offer remote interactive classes to support education in remote Middle Eastern areas and close the skills gap.
NFC compliant vending machines and NFC transit ticketing were of course demonstrated, and now that the latest Apple iPhone 6 is NFC compliant, the UAE, which registers one of the world’s highest rates with an amazing 77% smart phone penetration, is posed to surf on the contactless wave. To accelerate adoption, Etisalat is the first telecom operator in the region to deploy mPOS, (Mobile Point of Sales) terminals which accept NFC payment.