UAE ready for role as global hub

The United Arab Emirates is ideally placed to become a global connectivity hub, but building its abilities requires careful planning, the chief of local carrier du says.
Osman Sultan told delegates at the ITU Telecom World event last week that the Middle East country is in a good position to become a regional and global hub for knowledge based economies. However, the chief executive noted that the future of the market regionally and worldwide is moving into uncharted territory that requires careful navigation.
“I am highly optimistic about the future of ICT, but humble too because the world is moving from unshared certainties to shared uncertainties,” Sultan said, adding. “Failing to plan is equivalent to planning to fail.”
The du boss also noted that connectivity is fast becoming a basic human right. Sultan predicts the growing awareness of that fact will lead to a rise in the number of public-private partnerships on national telecoms networks, and more global regulation of telecom markets.
Sultan also believes changes in copyright and privacy laws are unavoidable, given the rise of people creating their own content through sites including YouTube.
Telecom service providers, meanwhile, must embrace new and alternative revenue models to combat the rise of over-the-top players. However, that task won’t be as easy as it sounds, with Sultan noting those new revenue models may not yet be defined. At the same time, he predicts rising competition in the market will yield more creative services, pointing to the explosive growth of mobile apps as evidence.