Enabling IoT Solutions for Smart Cities

What Is a Smart City?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is turning ordinary cities into smart cities. In a smart city, sensors, data and connectivity combine to create digital technologies and communication systems, improving operations across a city.

Today’s city planners are working to incorporate big data applications, 5G networks, sophisticated security systems and more to transform citizens’ lives and work. These complex, ever-evolving systems promise a new generation of efficient, safe and environmentally friendly urban spaces.

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Solving the Biggest Challenges for Smart City Technology

Cities face three major challenges in their quest to become smart cities: managing vast amounts of data, adopting IoT across every city function and securing essential infrastructure against a growing number of threats.

Big data has incredible applications in smart cities ― if it can be gathered and understood

The opportunity to use big data to inform better, more efficient operations in smart cities is enormous, but only if that data can be effectively collected and analyzed to drive those improvements. Efficient orchestration is critical to transferring and processing vast amounts of data from a wide and growing array of devices.

Massive IoT is the future, and cities need to prepare for it today

As the adoption of the smart city concept grows, the use of massive volumes of IoT devices and sensors to monitor and control every aspect of city operations and functionality will expand. Massive IoT deployments include anywhere from hundreds to millions of IoT devices, with the primary goal of transmitting and consuming small amounts of data from many sources. The challenge will be building, deploying, operating and maintaining the devices with physical, software and service components that offer scalability, security, low power and low cost to handle the expansion of coverage and functionality scope of the deployment. In preparation for full 5G IoT over NR, equipping 5G NSA networks with dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) will future-proof current LTE-based massive IoT standards in deployment now.

Cities must plan now and be prepared to integrate sensors and connected IoT devices into their operations continually. This continual integration is essential to ensure that functionality and communications remain uninterrupted as smart cities evolve. Robust cellular connectivity plans create the foundation for this evolution.

Smart city infrastructure requires mission-critical security at scale

As cities become more dependent on digital capabilities, they also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks. A sophisticated attack on a power grid could cause significant and potentially irreparable harm to a city and its inhabitants. Ethical questions around the use of personal information, such as facial recognition data, also surface in a smart city environment. Accountability and user tracking also become issues as user volume increases and more people have access to sensitive data. Building sophisticated security into the entire data journey from the very edge over mobile networks across the vast wired internet infrastructure and the cloud is crucial in keeping smart cities secure.

How Private 5G and LTE Networks Can Connect Tomorrow’s Smart Cities

5G will play a substantial role in accelerating the smart city transformation through increased capabilities, such as the large-scale automation of vehicle fleets, smart grid utility services and smart environmental monitoring. With private 5G and LTE, specific IoT applications and services can be physically separated from the wide-area macro network to fulfill the connectivity needs for organizations with heightened security needs such as utilities, industrial sites and health centers. Corporate and educational campuses and other environments can gain seamless roaming with the ability to switch between public and private networks, keeping everyone connected and secure.

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Smart Cities in Action: London

In 2018, the mayor of London launched the Smarter London Together roadmap to begin the city’s smart city journey. The strategy consists of new developments in infrastructure and urban regeneration projects in transport, energy and healthcare. It includes a significant IoT upgrade for the London Underground, a smart parking program that provides drivers with real-time information on unoccupied parking spaces, a driverless car shuttle service pilot program, a contactless public transport ticketing system, low- and zero-emission zones in the city, smart water metering, and more.

Smart City IoT Applications and Use Cases

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Smart Waste Management

Save time and money while reducing your environmental impact with smart waste and water management. Data-orchestrated IoT-enabled solutions help organizations gather and monitor critical infrastructure data to prevent system failures and use predictive analytics to optimize resource use.

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Smart Street Lighting

Make city streets safer while reducing power and maintenance costs with connected street lighting. Smart lighting systems help municipalities conserve energy and improve safety through usage monitoring, adaptive lighting settings and real-time data analytics.

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Public Transportation

Make getting around in the city easy and environmentally responsible. From ride-sharing to last-mile solutions such as smart bikes and scooters to communication systems that let passengers know when and where they can catch a ride, IoT enables smart city public transportation solutions that are easier and more convenient.

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Traffic Management and Congestion Control

Improve safety and reduce traffic congestion with connected vehicles and smart parking solutions. Sensors collect real-time data that can be shared with both drivers and local authorities, triggering alerts when there are traffic issues and providing useful information regarding parking availability and the best routes to take at any given time.

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Noise and Air Pollution Reduction

Reduce pollution and make cities more environmentally sustainable. As the world becomes more populated and urban centers expand, sensors and connectivity enable smart city applications to reduce noise and air pollution and maintain green spaces for city inhabitants.

Telit IoT Connectivity

Get one-touch access to your global connectivity network with Telit IoT connectivity plans and management solutions. Telit’s IoT connectivity tools and resources rapidly and efficiently get your deployment to market, regardless of size, scale or stage. Get scalable IoT connectivity, global visibility and granular control down to the individual SIM. 

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Building Smarter Cities

Smart cities start with smarter infrastructure, supported by dependable connectivity that is easy to manage. Telit provides the key components and services that make possible smart city IoT solutions spanning the depth and breadth of city operations and functionality and offer real-time visibility and accurate data. We deliver the hardware required to connect every kind of sensor, the data plans for connectivity and the services needed to manage both the devices and the SIM cards — all centralized, managed and viewable through a single pane of glass.

Smart city solution architects, designers, integrators and service providers can innovate delivering systems with these capabilities only if they leverage leading-edge cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules and easy-to-manage cellular connectivity plans, data orchestration and device management subscriptions. This innovation will allow organizations to improve efficiency and ensure security while creating smarter, greener, more livable cities worldwide.