Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) have emerged as the ideal choice to meet the increasing in-building wireless coverage demand and provide the expected quality of experience (QoE), said Mr. Ayman Raba, managing director & CEO at Kathrein Middle East, speaking to Telecom Review.

Read more: KBOW & IoT: The new era of Kathrein’s solutions

Mobile chipset/platform manufacturer Qualcomm plays an important role in facilitating the next generation mobile technology platform and the internet of things (IoT). As a leading partner of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Qualcomm enables emerging smartphone brands and connected device manufacturers to expand their global market and product footprint beyond phones into connected ecosystems, explains Jay Srage, President East Europe and MEA, Qualcomm, speaking to Telecom Review.

Read more: Qualcomm’s role in facilitating the next generation mobile ecosystem

Analyzing data is essential to successful smart city services, Labib Matta, chief business officer at NXN, told Telecom Review. Once a smart city consulting firm, NXN has grown into a full-fledged digital service provider with a list of heavyweight clients. Smart data analytics is the "key cornerstone" of NXN's services, said Matta - the essential component of its growing digital services portfolio.

Read more: Big data at the heart of NXN’s smart city as a service offering

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Alibaba Cloud in conjunction with YVOLV officially announced details of the launch of its new datacenter in Dubai. President of Alibaba Cloud, Simon Hu, and vice president, Sicheng Yu, were joined by the CEO of YVOLV, Fahad Alhajeri, at a press conference in which the trio outlined both their delight at the joint-venture, as well as their hopes and aspirations that the collaboration between the two companies will be a successful one.

Vice president of Alibaba Group, Sicheng Yu, stated that Dubai's brilliant transport service and telecommunications infrastructure made the city the perfect choice for them to rollout Alibaba's high quality cloud services. Mr. Yu addressed the assembled media by saying, ""The ease of doing business in Dubai coupled with strong transport and telecommunications infrastructure make the city the perfect choice to house Alibaba Cloud's high speed, high quality and secure cloud services and in turn expand our global footprint.""

Those sentiments were echoed by president of Alibaba Cloud, Simon Hu, who revealed that he and his team identified the region as a location that demanded and required a new approach in how they managed and analyzed big data. Mr. Hu said, ""As a global leader in cloud computing and big data, we recognize the shift in the region's demand from clunky IT equipment and servers to streamlined cloud computing solutions.""

CEO of YVOLV, Fahad Al Hajeri pointed to Alibaba's stellar reputation as a market leader in cloud computing services as an indicator that their success in China could be replicated in Dubai. Mr. Al Hajeri said, ""Alibaba Cloud has established a strong reputation as a leading cloud services provider in China, and at YVOLV, we are certain that this success can be replicated in the region where innovation is thriving. We remain steadfast in our commitment to articulating the objectives outlined in Dubai Smart City initiative and the UAE vision 2021, and the opening of this datacenter is a step in the right direction.""

Sun Jiong, vice president of Alibaba Cloud, highlighted some of the huge benefits of adopting Alibaba's cloud services, like cost efficiency on storage - and reiterated that it's their desire and strategic vision to help local companies in Dubai introduce cloud service technology into their business.

""We're looking at domestic clients and we're aware that majority of offline companies and online companies have not used cloud yet, and instead have their own private servers. We introduced our technology to this region because we want to help local companies in Dubai to use more cloud and cloud technology because we believe cloud is the future. It's our belief that in the future business demands will increase and that it will require more big data analysis to help its position in its respective industry. Cloud and big data is like the relationship between a brother and a sister - you must put the data on the cloud and then that enables you to save significantly on storage cost. Businesses need to use computing technology provided by cloud services to get big data analysis in order to support their own business - just like the Alibaba Group do themselves.""

One of Alibaba's greatest strengths is the service it can offer to businesses that need extra capacity to manage huge spikes in volume and traffic that otherwise would affect their traditional service.

Mr. Jiong used a Chinese telecommunications company to highlight his point at how effective their cloud services can be. ""As I said before, cloud is the future. In the past, companies used their own private servers, but sometimes due to increased demand their servers are not able to cope with that extra capacity. In China, leading cell phone company Xiaomi uses our cloud services when hosting large sales on their products. The volume of traffic increases ten-fold from their normal daily amount when they host these sales - so they use our cloud services to help them cope with the increased demand for their products and services. Once the sale is over, they cancel our service and return to using their own server as traffic returns to a normal flow.""

When asked why users should switch from Microsoft Cloud to use Alibaba cloud services, Mr. Jiong said while they had similarities, they were also very different products. Mr. Jiong said, ""Microsoft have been pioneers in cloud computing, and they have very similar components to us - but our service is also very different. I think the question as to why they should change depends on the individual users' demand and I think the cost performance between us and Microsoft is also different.""

""Alibaba is recognized as an e-commerce platform, like an ecosystem, and our cloud not only supports our e-commerce platform but it also supports our logistic service, payment service and security as well as other sectors, such as video hosting platforms such as YouKu,"" Mr. Jiong added. ""YouKu is similar to YouTube but the size is much bigger in China, so we really do provide a different service to that of Microsoft. At Alibaba, our vision is to basically allow users to do more business, as we build up the basic infrastructure and enable service companies and software companies to come and join the platform. As I said, it's like an eco-system.""

Mr. Jiong also announced that Alibaba have engaged in preliminary talks with Dubai Expo 2020 and stressed that they want to work closely with the group in an effort to attract more Chinese tourists to Dubai to boost the local economy.

""We're trying to engage with Smart Dubai and we have started preliminary talks with Dubai Expo 2020 to see if we can work more closely together over the next number of years. They've expressed an interest in attracting more Chinese tourists into the area to boost the local economy and we think we could replicate a payment service we have set up for Chinese tourists in Japan. Alibaba have a payment service set up in all types of businesses in Japan which enables Chinese customers to pay for products and services more easily - whilst being able to offer users a very low exchange rate. We think we can replicate this type of payment service for Chinese tourists in Dubai and we will speak to government and other businesses here to see if we can make that happen.""