Industry collaboration aims to drive smart city development

A new alliance aims to accelerate connectivity for smart cities and enterprises.

The Small Cell Forum (SCF), a telecoms industry group driving universal cellular coverage, has partnered with the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), which represents the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech connectivity networks, to address two of the key growth areas in connectivity: smart communities and smart buildings.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed last week, the two organisations will work on technical, commercial and regulatory solutions. They intend to share existing work and expertise and develop solutions that simplify and accelerate the deployment of dense networks and in-building connectivity.

According to SCF, this is expected to help make smart communities a reality everywhere and drive advanced connectivity into every enterprise building.

David Orloff, Chair of the Small Cell Forum, said: “Every enterprise and community needs to be ‘smart’ to provide the best services and take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT)¬†and other developing technologies.¬†However, this presents complex challenges which no one organisation can fully address. TIA and SCF share many of the same goals and we expect this alliance to lead to significant results, especially in advancing our drive towards 5G.”

Brenda Boehm, Chief Strategy Officer of TIA, added: “Industry collaboration is clearly needed to realise the full potential of smart communities, whether they take the form of buildings, campuses or entire cities. There are enormous opportunities to drive efficiencies, improve operational effectiveness, deliver faster and safer transportation, and more. Working together, we will be well positioned to accelerate the development and deployment of critical micro-wireless 5G technology in the community ecosystem.”

In particular, the alliance will focus on: simplified regulatory regimes, especially in cities; new approaches to enterprise deployment, including neutral host; common deployment frameworks that meet the needs of all stakeholders; and new architectures, such as virtualisation, to enable flexible, efficient networks.

As well as sharing technical and commercial solutions, the partners have agreed to explore opportunities for technical collaboration, especially with regard to:

1. A process for efficient implementation of small cells across a campus or city.

2. In-building infrastructure and wiring for smart enterprises.

3. Creation of a smart building ‘blueprint’ that can be used across the real estate market.

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