WiFi zones heat up in UAE

DUBAI — A few weeks after Etisalat announcement of introducing paid services for using Wi-Fi technology in public places such as coffee shops, hotels and exhibition centers, among others to attract more customer, provider of WiFi service in Dubai, WiFi Computer Zone (WCZ) has declared that it is on an expansion spree.

By Sandhya D'mello

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Published: Thu 19 May 2005, 10:25 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:10 PM

Abdulla Hashim, senior manager, ecompany, had recently stated that Etisalat is planning to target 275-300 hotspots across UAE and it would soon be a paid service. Etisalat has arrived at business models that will encourage owners of public places such as coffee shops, hotels and exhibition centers, among others to attract more customers to their stores while enabling them to earn revenue on the Internet access service.

Rakesh Bohra, sole proprietor, WiFi Computer Zone, said: "The WCZ is made plans to extend three more WiFi(wireless fidelity) zones in Dubai. The three zones are planned within Dubai and we are considering Dubai Internet City, Deira and Computer street in Bur Dubai. Each of these zones will cover an area of 25,000-30,000 sq ft and will have 40 outlets for each zones. We have increasingly observed that more and more hotels and malls are in pipeline to offer Wi-Fi services to its customers." In Dubai, currently Starbucks and French Connection are offering its customers Wi-Fi services and YFi company in Abu Dhabi is offering WiFi services. There are strong reports that hotel industry in Dubai is keenly attracting its customers by displaying Wi-Fi logos. The WiFi, a relatively low cost broadband connection service, has been provided by several hotspots in the UAE with no specific charge so far, it simply represents a customer attraction facility. However, this trend is about to change.

Etisalat will target Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, and Ras Al Khaimah and will then extend services across UAE. Currently Etisalat has 65 hotspots, which offer these WiFi services. We are also in discussion with various service providers to provide the WiFi based services in airlines, and in future public transport such as buses and trains, added Abdulla Hashim.

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