Smart Cities: The Future is Now

Posted by on August 2, 2017 at 5:00 AM Carmi Brandis  
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The number of urban residents is expanding by nearly 60 million every year. And within 30 years, more than 60% of the world’s population will be living in cities.

To manage this unprecedented growth, city governments across the globe are starting to implement connected technologies that improve the lives of urban dwellers. These ‘smart cities’ are integrating the Internet of Things (IoT), using big data, cloud resources, mobile applications, and fast developing innovations to efficiently manage traffic, optimize energy usage, enable heightened public security, collect trash more effectively, and provide smart city lighting while reducing costs. These are just some of the capabilities that a smarter city can provide.

With this connected functionality, municipalities are creating greater efficiencies, so much so that unconnected cities must consider whether they can compete without adding the ‘smart’ part to their operations. Cost controls, growth, and security are severely handicapped when connectivity technology is not fully integrated into a city’s DNA.

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Smart Cities Need Smart Networks

By 2025, which is just around the corner, half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed locations. Presently, 32 billion cubic meters of water are lost just within urban water supply systems due to leakage. Connected sensors can provide cities with alerts and notifications if water flows move outside of normal usage levels, thereby signifying issues such as leaks, broken pipes, or malfunctioning watering systems.

In the larger picture, virtually every aspect of city operations can be made smarter through IoT — from embedded roadway devices to advanced lighting to waste management to public safety. That means there is unlimited potential for IoT providers to deliver a variety of solutions to meet the ever-increasing demands for efficiency and cost reduction. However, these connected smart devices that gather immense quantities of data, and communicate that data in real time, require new levels of internetworking capabilities, such as:

  • Dedicated end-to-end network connectivity dedicated exclusively to the unique requirements of IoT.
  • Carrier-agnostic networks that can take advantage of multiple connectivity solutions, including cellular, Wi-Fi, low-power wide area networks, and more.
  • Ease-of-use and zero learning curves with out-of-the-box functionality for sensors and devices.
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing, which provides flexible pricing structures, overcoming the traditional “one size fits all” fallacy.
  • Ironclad security so that with so many devices in diverse locations, the network becomes the first line of defense.
  • Future proofing IoT so as to take into account ever-increasing data loads, new device types, and constant updates regarding a variety of unplanned events.

Connectivity is the Key to Smart Cities

No two cities are alike. And the connectivity possibilities within any city encompass a wide range of offerings. To take advantage of the best possible solutions for a multitude of smart endeavors, connectivity solutions must be flexible, secure, and readily available.

Aeris IoT Services provides global 2G, 3G, and 4G cellular solutions across CDMA, GSM, and LTE networks. The company seamlessly delivers connectivity in more than 190 countries, across more than 550 underlying carriers, all delivered on a single platform. Aeris cellular networks were built specifically for IoT, delivering increased performance, control, and visibility. 

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Benefits for a Smart City

Built for IoT and globally tested at scale, Aeris IoT Services helps city governments capture and use data from thousands of disparate endpoints and devices, at unprecedented volumes and speed, to identify changes and respond proactively. That means that traffic can move more smoothly; parking spots can be found easily; lighting is used only as needed, reducing hours of on-status, needing fewer replacement parts, while making the city more secure; air and water monitoring creates a healthier living environment; smart electric grids allocate energy more efficiently; trash is collected more effectively, as in only when bins are full; and city governments gain valuable insights for better planning and development efforts.

To learn more, check out our Smart City brief:

Smart Cities are Better Cities, and that’s Great News for IoT Providers

Topics: IoT, smart lighting, smart cities, waste management, traffic management