Dubai to extend roll out of free Wi-Fi in all of emirate

Dubai expects to offer free Wi-Fi across the emirate by the end of next year as the Government steps up efforts to make doing business ­easier for entrepreneurs encumbered by excessive red tape.

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Smart Dubai’s pavilion at Gitex Technology Week. Pawan Singh / The National
Smart Dubai’s pavilion at Gitex Technology Week. Pawan Singh / The National

Dubai expects to offer free Wi-Fi across the emirate by the end of next year as the Government steps up efforts to make doing business ­easier for entrepreneurs encumbered by excessive red tape.

Wi-Fi UAE, launched last year by Smart Dubai and the operator du in 200 locations in the emirate, is now avail­able across 300, including its public transport network.

“Two weeks ago we saw Dubai’s taxis offer free Wi-Fi and within a year it will be everywhere across the city,” said Aisha bin Bishr, the director general of Smart Dubai, at the Gitex Technology Week exhibition yesterday.

The initiative was initially scheduled by the end of next year to cover 90 per cent of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, according Smart Dubai’s website.

“We hope to see the UAE offering free Wi-Fi once the scheme has been tried and tested in Dubai,” she said. “We offer [bandwidth of] 512kbps, which allows people to connect to social media and use WhatsApp, but you will not be able to watch videos or technology which requires higher speeds.”

 According to Skype’s website, this bandwidth should be fast enough for video calling.

“This [extension of free Wi-Fi] could be a huge boon to small business,” said Nabila Popal, a regional research manager for technology analysts IDC. “The amount of SMEs that now use WhatsApp as a business platform is massive and growing daily. It not only enhances SMEs but facilitates business generally as few people now react to email but interact on social media immediately.” More info

By   www.thenational.ae

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