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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Free Wi-Fi to be installed in 10,000 more Dubai taxis

RTA and du sign deal to roll out the scheme across the emirate

Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority has signed a deal with telecom company du. Pawan Singh / The National
Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority has signed a deal with telecom company du. Pawan Singh / The National

Some 10,000 more taxis in Dubai are to be equipped with free Wi-Fi.

The agreement between the city’s Road and Transport Authority and telecom firm du was announced during the Gitex Technology Week in the emirate.

Full details about the project's roll-out are yet to be finalised.

In 2016, RTA announced a similar deal with du which saw 500 taxis based at Dubai International Airport fitted with free internet for passengers.

Anthony Shiner, du’s chief digital lifestyle and innovation officer, told The National that the scheme would be rolled out in phases.

“You can’t launch all 10,000 cars with Wi-Fi overnight, you have to learn how different people are using the service,” he said.

“If you’re travelling from the airport to your hotel, for example, you will probably want to use the Wi-Fi for checking in on your emails and messages.”

Access to free Wi-Fi in the city’s taxis will further cement Dubai’s status as a leading global hub, Mr Shiner argued.

He did not disclose details of the cost of the project but said that the investment would prove well worth it in the long run.

“We will not be rolling it all out overnight but we will be doing it fairly soon,” he said.

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“If you want to be acknowledged as a global leader then you have to be at the forefront of leading technology and innovation.

“There are many markets around the world that have fallen into the trap of offering a free Wi-Fi service, the reality of which is that the experience is poor for the consumer.

“If the infrastructure is not right then it loses all of its value. We also had to ask ourselves is offering free Wi-Fi something that is a nice add-on or is it an essential service.

“We don’t want to provide people with an intermittent service that keeps cutting out. We wanted to make sure we got it absolutely right before rolling it out.”