With Australia lagging far behind in the Wi-Fi connectivity stakes, UAE telecom operator Du has announced the roll out of free Wi-Fi right across Dubai at more than 200 locations, plus more than 300 locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi by the end of the year.
Othman Sultan, CEO of Du said that Du is the “official WiFi UAE partner” for Dubai Smart City and that the service will empower residents by enabling seamless, reliable and secure connectivity to access the internet, browse government websites and apps, pay bills, get updates about applications and access other eservices, among other benefits.
He said Du is offering three WiFi options, including free unlimited and fast access to all the government websites and apps, free WiFi at low bandwidth and the premium speed at a nominal price and that customers have options to choose from and even within the complimentary free WiFi, they have the option of trying premium WiFi for five minutes during the day.
Also, as a launch promotion for three months, premium users can purchase six hours of high-speed internet that can be used over three days for just Dh20, around $AUD7 and a Dh50 around $AUD17 recharge will buy 20 hours of high-speed internet access that can be used over seven days.
Du’s Wi-Fi system is ready to roll out in Abu Dhabi and in some places it will be rolled out in June, with Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, Assistant Director of The Executive office of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, saying that the focus is on Dubai for free WiFi access in the first phase, followed by Abu Dhabi and other emirates, with the system already rolled out in the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, Dubai International Financial Centre, Knowledge Village, Dubai Media City, Emaar Boulevard, Global Village and du shops.
Aisha, who is also a member of the Executive Office of the Smart Dubai Initiative, said that all parks and beaches of Dubai Municipality will have WiFi access by the end of the year, adding “We started with Du under Wi-Fi UAE and have a platform for the smart infrastructure of the city”, and “We are looking to establish a larger partnership base within the ICT private sector to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world”.
She said that many government entities have already launched many smart services and the next step is to develop the platform for the city and open the data, adding, “Our idea is to make available to the public all unclassified data that is not personal or sensitive to anybody as well as provides instructions and guidelines on what to share and what not to share”.
“In November, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, issued a decree to establish a committee called ‘Dubai Open Data Committee’ and their mandate is to draft the law for data in the city, framework, classification and roadmap for implementing the law, with the deadline the end of this week to announce the law, classification and regulations related to open data.”