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Smart city

What is a smart city?

Traditionally, a smart city is one that has deployed thousands of sensors, hundreds of solar panels or dozens of rooftop farms. Now, cities need to be both smart and future-ready.

A smart city today is one that has built the foundation to be resilient in the face of challenges and adaptable to social and economic changes. 

5G will play a big role in achieving a future-ready city vision. This technology’s ultra-low latency, blazing speeds, extra-large bandwidth and fail-proof reliability promise to breathe new life into the technology capabilities that cities rely on, while delivering improvements in quality of life. 

There are six key imperatives that guide the implementation of a smart city:

1. Develop three-part ecosystems in which cities, infrastructure providers and tech integrators collaborate on ideas, capabilities, technologies and funding for a future-ready vision.

2. Ensure ecosystems foster mutually beneficial relationships and encourage experimentation. This creates an environment that supports innovation and collaboration while allowing for initiatives that lay the foundation for smart cities.

3. Focus on individual solutions that tie back to a shared foundation. Instead of deploying a fully integrated solution that covers multiple use cases in one big-bang implementation, it is more effective to prioritize specific initiatives that build on previous solutions. This enables agility and adaptability in the implementation process.

4. Embrace emerging, high-impact technologies. Technology—automation, artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, data analytics, mobile technologies and cloud computing—has long been considered vital for smart cities. 5G’s latency, speeds and bandwidth will further its value. Meanwhile, emerging technologies, like digital twins and blockchain, can serve as a solid foundation for future-ready endeavors. 

5. Share data with multiple stakeholders. High-quality data is a requirement for smart cities, but this data must be made accessible to relevant stakeholders. Restrictions in data-sharing limit opportunities to improve public services, economic development and citizens' lives. They also minimize collaboration and hinder the implementation of a future-ready strategy.

6. Prioritize security and privacy concerns. As smart cities rely on data collection, there is growing apprehension about cybersecurity and potential citizen surveillance. Partners need to acknowledge and address data utilization concerns within cities and their ecosystem.

By adopting an ecosystem-driven strategy, cities, tech integrators and infrastructure providers can overcome challenges and prepare for future-ready transformation.

What are the business benefits of a smart city? 

By becoming future-ready, smart cities offer a wide range of benefits to businesses, citizens and governments. With smart ride-sharing, vehicle-sharing systems and real-time traffic routing, congestion and pollution can be significantly reduced—leading to smoother transportation and increased productivity. Businesses can leverage these systems to more accurately track people, supplies and inventory, allowing for optimized delivery schedules and improved logistics operations.

The application of big data analytics in smart cities can revolutionize public safety. By looking at crime patterns and trends, law enforcement agencies can predict criminal activity and strategically allocate resources. This data-driven approach enables proactive measures to improve safety, mobility and services.

In addition, smart payment systems for government services bring several advantages. By implementing secure and efficient digital payment platforms, smart cities can minimize fraud, ensure transparency and increase revenue streams. Streamlining payment processes improves the overall efficiency of services.

By fostering collaboration between infrastructure providers and tech integrators—combining their ideas, capabilities, technologies and funding to realize a future-ready vision—cities can experience growth while also boosting citizen satisfaction and trust.

Overall, the benefits of smart cities include reducing congestion and pollution through smart transportation systems, optimizing delivery schedules and logistics operations, facilitating effective crisis response, improving public health and safety through data and enhancing payment systems for government services. Embracing future-ready technologies and strategies allows businesses and governments to create more sustainable, efficient environments for their communities, fostering economic growth, innovation and improved quality of life. 

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