Ooredoo continues to enhance its leadership role in “Smart City” technologies in 2015, building on its expertise in this area and recognising the growing demand for such services across its global footprint.
More than ten major cities within Ooredoo’s footprint are classified as “mega-cities” hosting a population of more than ten million, and more are set to join them in the coming years, as rural populations move into the bigger urban areas.
In response, the coming year is likely to see a rise in the number of so-called smart cities – urban areas which use ICT solutions to address mobile, transport, energy sustainability, infrastructure, governance, and security issues. As cities across the world deal with a growing range of issues, including over-population, traffic congestion, pollution and high levels of energy consumption, ‘Smart Cities’ are emerging as a significant opportunity to enrich the lives of the population.
In particular, there is a strong demand in emerging economies in the MENA region and Southeast Asia, which are key markets for Ooredoo. According to research group IHS Technology, the number of smart cities worldwide will quadruple by 2025, with at least 88 smart cities all over the world, up from 21 in 2013.
Aiming to keep at the cutting-edge of this trend, Ooredoo supported a number of important “smart city” strategic initiatives over the past year across its operations.
In December 2014, Ooredoo Qatar was confirmed as a Lead Partner in the Smart Cities Council, a leading industry coalition formed to accelerate the move to smart, sustainable cities. Ooredoo joined global leaders in the smart cities sector who sit on the council, including IBM, Microsoft, MasterCard, and Cisco.
As Lead Partner in the Smart Cities Council, Ooredoo will have the opportunity to aid the direction of the emerging smart cities sector in Qatar, the region and across the world. The company will also contribute to the Smart Cities Council’s body of knowledge including city tools and resources, mentoring and workshops.
Ooredoo has recently introduced a host of cutting-edge Ooredoo Machine to Machine (M2M) services to Qatar, enabling companies to connect business assets directly with each other or with a central command centre, removing the need for human involvement, and introducing all new solutions directly into people’s homes. Ooredoo also launched The Smart Living-Baytcom Project at the recent ITU Telecom World – a ‘Proof of Concept Demo House’ filled with the next generation of smart living concepts.
In addition, Ooredoo’s Indosat organised a major conference on smart technology in Jakarta, Indonesia during the year, to bring together experts from across the field.
The event, “Smart ICT for your Business Success,” saw a keynote presentation by the Mayor of Bandung, about the application of smart city technologies in his city, which is the second largest metropolitan area in Indonesia with a sprawling urban population of around 9 million people.
At the event, experts and practitioners conducted in-depth analysis of the implementation, scope, and benefits of a range of solutions, including smart mobility, smart connectivity, and smart IT sourcing, discussing how to plan, implement, and operate the smart IT ecosystem with cloud-based applications and infrastructural choices.
Indosat also launched three smart services at the event, premiering MyApps, an Application Marketplace; WAN Optimizer, to optimize the Wide Area Network (WAN) bandwidth for businesses, and its own M2M Platform.
Ooredoo is already working with a number of leading organisations to support the development of smart cities, and has signed a strategic alliance with KT Corporation of Korea to introduce new concepts and innovations.
The company is currently implementing a cloud-based Machine to Machine (M2M) platform, which will be rolled out in several countries across its footprint during 2015. The M2M services will be available for businesses, and can also play a key role in implementing smart city technologies.