Users at centre of smart initiatives, say m-Gov experts

Inaugural public sector mobility conference gets underway in Dubai

Tags: Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company Symantec CorporationUnited Arab Emirates
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Users at centre of smart initiatives, say m-Gov experts Sultan: When every individual became a publisher, a broadcaster – that completely transformed the equation of empowerment of [users]. (ITP Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  March 24, 2014

Smart cities and mobile-enabled infrastructures are inevitable, given the changing role of the user within the digital ecosystem.

That was the key message emerging from Dubai’s inaugural m-Government conference, which got underway at the Ritz-Carlton DIFC today in the presence of His Excellency Ahmed bin Humaidan, director general, Dubai Smart Government. The two-day event attracted ICT professionals from across the region, keen to hear how the mobility transformation will challenge enterprises and service providers.

“Imagine a farmer in the most remote part of Africa or Australia and give him a feature phone,” said Osman Sultan, CEO, du, in his keynote address.

“This person will have the communication capabilities equivalent to the President of the United States [only] 25 years ago. Give [that farmer] a smartphone and he will have access to reservoirs of information equivalent to that of the President of the United States [only] 15 years ago. So imagine the pace of empowerment of this individual.”

Sultan painted a picture of the “Internet Minute” with figures, he stressed, that were already out of date due to the rate of cyber-growth. In a single minute through the Internet, 204m emails are sent, 1.3m videos are viewed, 30 hours of video are uploaded and 1m tweets are posted. By 2015, it is estimated it will take five years to view all the videos crossing the Internet in a single second.

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