Vodafone to use Malta as a test bed for new technologies

A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the government and Vodafone will see the telecommunication company using the island as a test bed for digital technology

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and  Vodafone Europe Cluster CEO Serpil Timuray look on as Sonia Hernandez, Vodafone CEO for Malta, exchanges signed copies of a Memorandum of Understanding with Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Vodafone Europe Cluster CEO Serpil Timuray look on as Sonia Hernandez, Vodafone CEO for Malta, exchanges signed copies of a Memorandum of Understanding with Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri
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A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the government and Vodafone will see the telecommunication company using the island as a test bed for digital technology.

One of the announced projects will see a smart parking system introduced in Luqa, which will consist of an application that will be able to tell motorists in real-time, which parking spots are available.

Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation Silvio Schembri, said the project would be implemented in collaboration with the Luqa local council.

“Through this MoU, Vodafone will also start offering students internships and study opportunities where they will also be exposed to a  project’s implementation. Students will have an opportunity to work with a large telecommunications company boasting ample technological knowhow,” Schembri said.

Students, he said, would be given the opportunity to work on the implementation of the projects.

Sonia Hernandez, Vodafone CEO for Malta said the MoU will focus on three main pillars: awareness regarding disruptive technologies such as AI, virtual reality, big data, blockchain, and the internet of things; providing internship opportunities to Maltese students; and launching the first pilot project related to the internet of things.

She argued that Vodafone was well-placed to reach these targets, given its role as a global leader in tech and innovation. Hernandez said the company had deployed over 800 million intelligent projects across the world through the internet of things.

“We will also partner with the University of Malta’s artificial intelligence department to work on technologies to help deal with cancer treatment in children,” Hernandez said.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat gave a short speech before the signing saying that exciting times were ahead for Malta.

He said that Malta has made landmark decisions on innovation.

“Our country is a major hub for gaming companies thanks to decisions taken to attract and sustain them over many years,” he said.

The Prime Minister emphasised that Malta provides a blueprint in the blockchain area as we took decisions when others hesitated. Now, artificial intelligence is the next step.

There are opportunities to use these technologies in our daily life.

Muscat mentioned the use of blockchain in the issuing of educational certificates and, soon, in rent contracts, as well as the use of artificial intelligence in our health care system.

Vodafone Europe Cluster CEO Serpil Timuray said that the entrepreneurial sense in Malta goes beyond its borders.

Timuray said that she wants Malta to be a test bed for innovation with local software developers testing their ideas which can be exported outside Malta.

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