Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, was present when the MoU was signed by Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of DM, and Ahmad Bin Byat, Chairman at du telecommunications. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Telecom operator du is set to offer free WiFi at 100 locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as part of Smart City initiatives, Fahad Al Hassawi, chief commercial officer at du, told Gulf News.

He said that du is being positioned as the “official WiFi partner” for Dubai Smart City.

“We have a role to play as a telecom operator and we are motivated by market requirements to launch a new platform called UAE WiFi, where we will create 5,000 hot spots in 100 locations between Dubai and Abu Dhabi as part of phase one,” he said.

Du is already providing free WiFi across the 3.5-km long Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai, Metro and DIFC.

“We believe the infrastructure will create many smart city projects in the UAE. We signed a deal with Dubai Municipality to offer free WiFi to all the parks and public beaches in Dubai. We also signed a deal with RTA to provider free WiFi in Metro and Tram,” he said.

“We are finalising the locations and going to deploy our equipment. The list of locations will be rolled out in a phased manner,” he said.

Du will be offering free WiFi in three options — free unlimited and fast access to all the government apps, free WiFi at low bandwidth and premium speed at a nominal price.

As part of the smart city initiate, du has signed a deal with Hong Kong-based telecom operator PCCW to offer smart home concept to its users in Dubai.

“We will offer their technology to our customers with more value-added features. We are repackaging our offers to customers on IPTV platform. We will be shortly announcing our new service — watch on any device — in bid to focus more on enriching customer experience,” Al Hassawi said.

As part of the deal, du will be offering a Samsung TV, Apple iPad/iPhone or Samsung tablet/smartphone and the sensors to control the lights, doors and windows under managed services.

Du will offer it as a package and customers can pay the fees monthly. It will be rolled out in the first quarter of next year. The app will be available on all the platforms — Android, Apple, Windows and BlackBerry.

“It is the first of its kind service to be offered in the UAE and it will definitely be affordable,” said Ahmad Mokhles, executive vice-president of consumer business commercial at du.