Sunday 6, December 2015

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Ahmad Julfar, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, the leading telecommunications operator in Middle East, Africa and Asia, addressed a global audience at the 2015 Internet of Things World Forum, held in Dubai today. In his speech Mr. Julfar explored the possibilities that IoT can provide and what is required to realise the digital transformation of society in the context of developments in the MENA region and what this means for government, business, communities and individuals. Additionally, he outlined the work Etisalat Group is already doing to make this transformation a reality.

Exploring the pace of technological advances, Mr. Julfar acknowledged that 90% of the data that exists today has been created in the past two years. Whereas for most of human history it has been imagination that has driven innovation, today it is the technology we have at our fingertips which is driving innovation and will provide great future benefits for all.   

Mr. Julfar explained that the speed of future change will be underpinned by the Internet of Things (IoT). Over the next five years, IoT devices will reach 50 billion (from 12 billion currently), with the sensors contained within providing levels of connectivity that will bring Tomorrow’s World to life. It will affect everything we do and encounter in our everyday lives through an advanced infrastructure – sensors, connectivity, service delivery platforms, and IoT solutions. This, Mr. Julfar explained, is where telcos play a vital role that cannot be replicated. Telcos serve as a conduit for communication, maintaining an extensive presence throughout communities and are enablers of the most pervasive sensor within the IoT; the smart phone.

Given the UAE’s embrace of technology and its aspirations in light of the EXPO2020, Mr. Julfar’s speech was a pertinent one for Etisalat and the Emirates. He outlined the range of opportunities already present in the UAE and explained how the partnership between the government, the regulator, and operator is essential to maximising benefits and delivering the clearest path to Smart City integration. To this end, Etisalat Group will continue to be at the forefront developing IoT platforms, establishing partnerships, and influencing the conversation about where the IoT is going and how we get there.

The Internet of Things World Forum is taking place from December 6-8 at the Dubai World Trade Center. This is the Third Annual IoT Future World Forum and the first to be held in the region with more than a 1,000 leading figures invited from around the world.