Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is to trial run the introduction of Wi-Fi internet service on board five coaches shuttling between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and will roll out the service across the entire fleet next year if it proves successful.
Passengers commuting between the two emirates will be able to surf the internet using their laptops, tablet PCs and smart phones, allowing them to have more time to perform their tasks while in transit.
“The Wi-Fi internet service is being tentatively offered to passengers commuting on board buses shuttling between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in cooperation with the two telecommunication providers in the UAE (Etisalat and Du), featuring the latest telecommunication technologies,” said CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dosari.
The first bus received the service in June this summer and four more were added recently. Should the initiative prove successful, it will be launched across the entire fleet, he added.
The UAE is already leading the Middle East when it comes to the availability and take-up of internet services, according to a global index published by Boston Consulting Group last year.
Its e-Intensity Index ranked the UAE in 26th place worldwide out of a survey of 50 countries around the world, Boston said.
It said the UAE ranked highest in terms of internet enablement, followed by expenditure, and engagement.
Saudi Arabia ranked 39th on the Index, while Egypt, which saw the internet play a key role during the uprisings against former president Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, ranked 49th.
Globally, South Korea came out on top, powered by super-high-speed infrastructure, a well-developed e-commerce and digital-advertising marketplace, and high levels of internet engagement.
Denmark, Sweden, the UK, and Iceland rounded out the top five places while the US was ranked 10th.