Give Internet of Things a few more years to be felt in UAE homes
Dubai - Sheikh Hamdan officially opened the 39th edition of Gitex Technology Week.
Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G have been in the news for quite some time but it will take another four to five years before people in the UAE could see the benefits in their day-to-day lives, technology experts have said.
Speaking on the sidelines of Gitex Technology Week on Sunday, industry executives and analysts noted that work on the development and deployment of IoT devices will pick up as the regional telecom service provider, led by the UAE, roll out 5G services.
Talks of 5G were everywhere at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Sunday, as Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, officially opened the 39th edition of Gitex Technology Week.
He was accompanied by dignitaries and senior officials of different Dubai entities.
Sheikh Hamdan toured pavilions and stalls of different companies after inaugurating the exhibition.
The UAE has been ranked first in the Arab region and fourth globally in the launch and use of 5G networks, according to the Global Connectivity Index issued by Carphone Warehouse.
"By 2022, all telcos will deploy 5G and then companies will start deploying IoT products in the next few years.
"So, I think four to five years is the timeframe for the practical deployment and accessibility of IoT for a common man," said Haitham Saif, system manager for Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Juniper Networks.
So, how will it affect your home?
Through IoT-connected devices, for example, people will be able to remotely access and use their home appliances. The tech will allow them to turn on/off the fridge, the television, and air-conditioners, among others - without being in the same room.
"Today, not more than one billion devices are connected over the Internet but, by 2030, this number will be 120 billion. So we are in the beginning of a digital cohesion where multiple digital service come together to provide one huge range of services," Saif said.
"On IoT, we have passed the hype, and now we are putting some practical examples and deployment. When technologies go into this phase of development, then they move very fast."
Jyoti Lalchandani, group vice-president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa at IDC, believes that the speed of change of new technologies, such as IoT, is much faster now than a few years ago; so we will see wider adoption of IoT.
IDC forecast on Sunday that consumers and companies would invest $9.1 billion (Dh33.4 billion) in IoT in 2020 in the Middle East and Africa.
Ahmed Khashan, cluster president for Gulf region at Schneider Electric, said 5G is the backbone of IoT and it is being deployed now in Dubai and later in the region.
"Deployment of IoT devices started from the industrial sector and, now, we can find it in the households. You can remotely check surveillance cameras, AC or check temperature and book meeting rooms remotely, etc.," he added.
With the advent of Industry 4.0, IoT, big data, artificial intelligence and 5G are not only changing business models but it is also benefiting the common man, said Alain Kaddoum, general manager, Swisslog Middle East.
"For example, the logistics industry is using robotics and big-data-driven technologies to build smart warehouses and improve performance. At the same time, these technologies are benefiting the common man as they are getting faster deliveries at lower costs, with easy tracking of their goods.
"Very soon, we will be able to live in smart homes, and businesses will be using smart warehouses, making our lives easier and comfortable," said Kaddoum.