Smart city providers and planners urged to coordinate on wireless connectivity

Providers of smart city solutions must liaise with city planners to take a coordinated approach on connectivity selection, according to the latest Smart Cities Update from ABI Research.

The research firm said that all parties need to work together, analysing the physical and cybersecurity benefits and limitations of the available connectivity options.

“Solutions providers should take this time to bring down the cost of deployment and management, as well as analyse the ROI scenarios for city planners,” explained Jake Saunders, managing director and vice president at ABI Research. “And city planners need to understand and embrace the benefits connectivity technologies will bring as a platform to these solutions.”

The report notes that smart city developments are picking up pace across the globe, and says the benefits of smart city technologies are “substantial”.

For example, smart meters can efficiently manage and control demand for energy as cities face increasing strain on resources and distribution infrastructures due to rapid urbanisation. They also cut operational costs by reducing the need for on-site meter readings. Meanwhile, smart street lighting allows operators to dim the street lights when appropriate, extending their usage and reducing operating expenses.

ABI Research forecasts that global smart meter revenue will exceed $13bn (£8.8bn) by 2021. And it says that smart street lighting solutions have “barely scratched their market potential” and will grow to reach 78 million shipments by 2021.

The research firm argues that city planners need to take an integrated view of smart city deployments, as many of the underlying technologies can act as a platform for other smart city applications. At the same time, the latest in communications technology will enable other smart city applications, and collaboration with solutions providers will help ensure successful deployment.

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