9500 RTA taxis in Dubai are on their way to getting free WiFi (or KiFi) by June 2018 or the end of Ramadan, according to Theodore Polykandriotis, VP-business development at Blackwire,the in-Vehicle Wi-Fi pioneer in the GCC region.
After making a mark in the in-vehicle internet space in the hospitality industry, Blackwire is now actively working with public transport companies in the region.
Last year, the company deployed KiFi for 7500 TransAD taxis in Abu Dhabi.
The company has succesfully installed KiFi for limousine services of several five-star hotels of the region including Emirates Palace, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Fairmont, Ritz Carlton, and St. Regis.
Before entering into an exclusive partnership with Etisalat, Blackwire also deployed KiFi for the chauffeur driven taxis for business class and first class customers of Emirates Airlines, in partnership with du.
At Gitex 2017, Blackwire launched a digital media monetisation platform for in-vehicle Wi-Fi whereby the user is diverted to a text or a short video ad and then to a comprehensive infotaiment portal that is relevant to their location upon connecting to the Wi-Fi network available in the vehicle. Polykandriotis adds that the company is also in discussions with several automotive manufacturers like Toyota, Lexus, BMW, and Nissan in the UAE for cars with in-built KiFi.
In another very interesting development, Blackwire has announced an expansion of its in vehicle Wi-Fi services outside of the UAE by collaborating with SAPO Japan. Blackwire is planning to start implementation across three major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuma and expects full-fledged operations to be established by 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan.Blackwire is planning to work with other parties to facilitate the implementation of their services and is eyeing collaboration with major telecom service providers in the country.
Polykandriotis says: “Japan is one of the key markets for technology pioneer like Blackwire. We believe with their openness towards innovation and tech progress in vehicle Wi-Fi solutions developed by Emirati inventor will be well received.
“Japan is our first global market entry point that will be followed by India, Malaysia and Singapore in the foreseeable future”.