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Smart cities for telcos: Mere utopia or actual business case?

Let there be no doubt – the future is here. The desire to improve liveability in cities by focusing on citizen experience is a key priority for governments and is leading to a race to build smart cities everywhere. Yet, the concept of a smart city is not always clear. This lack of clarity does not come from weaknesses in the available definitions, but rather from the scope and scale of the concept itself, which is far-reaching and not fully grasped yet. Indeed, operators, regulators and other stakeholders are still in the process of figuring out how to leverage, oversee, mitigate or monetise the different opportunities and challenges associated with smart cities. Adel Belcaid web

Adel Belcaid is a Principal in the Communications, Media, and Technology Practice at A.T. Kearney Middle East

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Keeping your enemies close: Telco partnerships with mobile IMs

By Marc Van den Broucque and Feroz Khan

Instant messaging (IM) applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Line have had a turbulent relationship with telecom operators and are widely blamed for the decline in operators’ revenue over recent years. However, recent trends show an increase in partnerships between the two, which begs the question, why are telecom operators now choosing to embrace their former enemies?Marc Van den Broucque

Marc Van den Broucque is a director in Delta Partners’ Corporate Finance business in Dubai

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Smart cities begin with smart homes

Connectivity is the key to the development of smart cities, giving way to the emergence of the smart customerBurhan Kamal

Burhan Kamal is managing partner of Vector Technologies

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MENA smart cities

Where citizen needs meet governance and socio-economic service delivery, all powered by technological prowessGuy High Res 1

Guy Zibi is managing director, of Xalam Analytics, analytics on AME digital infrastructure markets

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Telecom operators could become the town squares of smart cities

There are deep misconceptions about smart cities that we find within the industry. One of the most common is the idea that a smart city is a ‘finalised product’ rather than the process of harmonising infrastructure with technology. While it is possible to build a smart city ‘from scratch’, it is also possible (and necessary) to upgrade existing cities to become smarter. This perspective underscores two critical points about smart cities – their primary purpose is to improve the lives of citizens, and they are an inevitable part of our futurePic 3 - Town square

Telcos could become the future ‘town square’ – a meeting place for people to co-create and innovate

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