Dubai citizens to benefit from free city-wide Wi-Fi?

24/04/2013 - Dubai Lifestyle News Posted by Neil King
Dubai citizens to benefit from free city-wide Wi-Fi?

People in Dubai could soon have access to an outdoor Wi-Fi network as they make their way around the city, according to one tech expert.Rabih Dabboussi, managing director of Cisco Middle East, said internet services are set for major growth across the region and cities in the UAE could be next in line to benefit from network upgrades.Mr Dabboussi told Emirates 24/7 that "city-wide coverage of Wi-Fi" will be a key future trend as technology progresses and people grow more accustomed to being connected to the internet at all times. Outdoor wireless services are expected to rise in prominence, eventually replacing 3G and even the newer 4G services for many users.The publication noted that Dubai could follow in the footsteps of Santa Clara in California, which recently launched a free outdoor Wi-Fi service for the entire community made possible by the installation of smart metering technology."Today, most of the people are connected, tomorrow everything else will be interconnected," Mr Dabboussi explained.The senior executive added that Cisco is "focused on assisting businesses and governments in the Middle East to innovate, evolve and increase productivity".Dubai is now recognised as a hub for technology and innovation in the Middle East, with the emirate's Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone recording a 15 per cent growth in tenants last year.The two IT-focused business parks signed up 160 new companies between them in 2012, according to a statement issued earlier this month.Malek Al Malek, managing director of both zones, commented: "2012 was a particularly strong year for our cluster. Not only did we welcome some of the industry's biggest players such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Interglobe, we also saw the expansion of existing partners."He added that Dubai now offers "a prosperous ecosystem for technology companies".