Communications environment for smart cities remains highly fragmented, finds study
BOULDER, USA: Smart cities are, by definition, connected cities. Most of the innovations in energy, transportation, and the efficient delivery of public services associated with smart cities rely on the availability of ubiquitous communication services.
According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from communication nodes for smart cities, and the infrastructure and services to support them, will grow from $2 billion in 2014 to $3.55 billion in 2020.
"Most attention in the smart city community has focused on the upper communication layers and applications - including IT and data management - that govern how a smart city operates and enables the collection and analysis of new data sources," says Eric Woods, research director with Navigant Research. "Without the underlying communication infrastructure, however, the smart city vision cannot be realized."
Bandwidth, latency, security, privacy, scalability, and flexibility are all important considerations when selecting the appropriate technology for smart city applications.
Yet, the decision often comes down to the availability, cost, and degree of comfort with the technology for individual city managers and departments, according to the report. This has led to a highly fragmented communications environment that is impeding the development of more integrated smart city solutions.