x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Apps should be easy and safe to use, says UAE telecoms boss

Providing high quality customer service via the latest apps that are both easy to use and secure is one of the biggest problems facing telecoms firms, the chief of Telecommunication and Regulatory Authority (TRA) said.

DUBAI // Providing high quality customer service via the latest apps that are both easy to use and secure is one of the biggest problems facing telecoms companies, the industry’s regulator says.

“Parties should look at security,” said Mohammed Al Ghanim, director general of the Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority (TRA).

“There should be training for those in charge of security of information to bridge any gaps. The TRA has created a detailed training programme and a guide book on e-government services.”

He told the Government Summit in Dubai that meeting customer needs was a priority and the UAE was prioritising secure and integrated infrastructure for government entities, the central bank and telecommunication companies.

Rashed Al Mansoori, director general of Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre, said a detailed questionnaire on government services had revealed seven priorities for mobile users.

“People want to pay car fines, renew ID cards, pay utility bills, licence renewal, health card renewal and pay for parking using their mobile phones. The user is at the heart of smart services. There is a golden opportunity to launch new services.”

He said the UAE had made great strides towards smart government in the past 10 years.

“I think soon desktops and laptops will vanish. Your portable device will increasingly be everything.”

Dr Jeongwan Yoon, executive director at South Korea’s National Information Agency, said smart government infrastructure was his government’s priority and the agency was investing US$1.8 billion (Dh6.6bn) this year to increase internet bandwidth.

The South Korean government is also investing $6.7bn to improve mobile services in both the private and public sector.

“Every country working on smart government is working on it for the next generation, and in South Korea we expect that this initiative will create 150,000 jobs in the market,” Mr Yoon said.

Vincent Wong, chief executive at IDA-International at Singapore, said smart government was intended to make citizens happy and could not be achieved if there was a mismatch of expectations.

“In Singapore, we are trying to address the digital divide,” he said, and it was important for states to look at people who were not tech-savvy.

“We do have centres around Singapore where grandparents and the older generation can come to use services. Students are there to help them. A good and efficient government is a prerequisite for smart government”

pkannan@thenational.ae