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Telecom Review secured an interview in Dubai with the senior vice president of ICT Solutions and Smart City Operations at du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), Marwan bin Dalmook, to discuss the latest smart city solutions that have been developed in an effort to delve deeper into this already futuristic city’s digital transformation.

The smart city expert discussed the prospect of smart city solutions and how the cloud-based platform, the Dubai Pulse, has enabled the digitization of several government entities through the implementation of the latest technologies which will work towards transforming the various public sector entities. 

EITC has just announced the successful migration of all the datacenters and applications from the Department of Economic Development (DED) to the Dubai Pulse platform. How significant an achievement is this for du and the Smart Dubai Office?

Since first announcing our partnership with DED, we have accelerated the government entities’ cloud capabilities by supporting its day to day operations through the cloud-based Dubai Pulse platform. This relationship has proliferated in the full migration of DED’s data to Dubai Pulse. This is a significant milestone for du and the Smart Dubai Office given the fact that DED was the inaugural customer when we first launched the cloud-based platform solution in 2017. The seamless experiences and efficiencies DED has enjoyed by leveraging the Dubai Pulse platform have been catalytic in illustrating the potential of the platform, which is now helping digitize even more government entities in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

The Dubai Pulse has been described as the digital backbone of Dubai and is seen as a key enabler in maturing the knowledge economy in the UAE. In your opinion, what is it about this platform that truly differentiates it from other tech-centered innovations?

At du, we strive to innovate solutions and enable the smart city vision through next generation technologies. Dubai Pulse represents a benchmark for cloud-based platforms and is a vital solution to the digital transformation of the UAE. What sets it apart is that it is a technological innovation that has set the foundation for future innovations. It will set the shape of innovation to come, with the platform being able to support citywide smart transformation that will empower the delivery of new services based off the sharing of open data to encourage constant innovation. Dubai Pulse is the digital platform that will aid government entities to excel in smart city transformation and enable implementation of use cases using technologies like IoT, blockchain, and artificial intelligence etc. This platform is dynamic and keeps on evolving according to the changing times.

Smart Cities is one of the hottest topics in the ICT industry and is a recurring theme at every industry-leading conference globally. Countries all over the world are on a mission to redesign their cities in order to make them ‘smart’. How well-positioned is Dubai to become both the world’s ‘smartest’ and ‘happiest’ city in the world?

Everywhere we look, there are inspiring discussions being held about how smart cities can transform societies, enrich communities and revolutionise urban experiences. With the fourth industrial revolution moving faster than some might have expected, we need to stay abreast of change in order to innovate the digital anatomy of our cities. The ubiquity of nascent technology developments is fueling breakthrough innovations in this space. In Dubai, the digital transformation journey is happening now. This purpose-driven vision is underpinning the country as a leading hub for what smart cities can be, whilst setting the precedent for seamless, connected and happy futures for citizens, businesses and governments alike.

 

How important a technology will 5G be in fueling and accelerating the development of smart cities, and when do you expect to see 5G becoming commercially available in the UAE?

With each generational iteration of mobile wireless communication, individuals and businesses have been empowered to do more than what was thought to be possible. 5G wireless technologies will provide ultra-fast, dynamic and secure networks with extremely low latency. As many countries begin to make 5G a reality in 2019 – including the UAE – the applications of this will enable the growth of new use cases for internet of things, AI, AR, VR and big data analytics, to name a few. As well as this, the experience dividend will grow immensely as people will be able to go about their lives with new capabilities.

 

What are your primary objectives and goals for the remainder of 2019 in your role as SVP ICT Solutions and Smart City Operations at EITC?

The ICT space is a fascinating sector to be engaged in at present, especially as emerging technologies begin to proliferate across all industries. 2019 will be a dynamic year for the rollout of new technologies, especially as networks become faster, more reliable and more intelligent. At du, we will continue to collaborate and combine expertise with our technology partners to work towards digitally-transforming all areas of the UAE. Provide Platform as a Service that is ever-changing and adaptive to the needs of both current times and the future. Innovation makes up the core of the UAE’s DNA, and it will be essential for us to embrace this when creating the cities of the future and shaping the next era for the country’s digital pathway.
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