According to the United Nations, 54 percent of the global population lives in urban areas. This reality is not temporary. Urban dwellers are expected to total 66 percent of the world population by 2050. In India, one of the most populated countries in the world, this means 404 million people will move to metropolitan areas by 2050.
In Jaipur, technology leader Cisco is investing in IoT to transform the metropolis into a smart city over the next few years. The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) will collaborate with Cisco to develop a blueprint for smart infrastructure that will enhance efficiency and service quality for more than 3.5
million residents, as well as the 40 million tourists that visit the city each year.
A digital infrastructure will feature connected transport, interactive kiosks, wireless broadband, safety and security services, traffic management and environmental updates, in order to improve real-time access to services like parking, lighting and water.
World cities consume 75 percent of all energy and produce 80 percent of its carbon emissions, thereby
draining national resources while increasing congestion, pollution, blackouts, crime, debt and costs. As a result, there is a growing need for smarter, more efficient urban areas.
The effort to make cities smart is driven by a desire to increase livability and sustainability, yet the transformation is not easy. Many metropolitan areas today are barely meeting the demands of its citizens. Climate change, environmental deterioration, violence and crime have sparked a host of social and administrative conflicts for which cities must contend.
The absence of access to urban resources, including land, services, and security, has triggered the need for digitization in order to grapple with increasing consumer demands, as well as overcrowding, energy consumption and unemployment. This expansion has cities turning to sustainability and the Internet of Things (IoT) to accommodate a growing populace.
The smart city trend has taken off in India where plans are in effect to build 100 smart cities by 2022. As a partner, Cisco will use its knowledge from projects in cities like Barcelona and Hamburg, where the company created connections between people, process, data, and things. Cisco will focus on allowing residents and visitors to access their work networks through Wi-Fi from public parks, as well as find information about bus schedules, restaurants and entertainment at touchscreen kiosks located around the city. Urban dwellers will be able to find and reserve parking spaces on their smartphones, and city workers can monitor parking meters, streetlights, and garbage bins over a network, rather than driving to each location.
Smart cities are taking the lead in IoT development by integrating smart devices into all areas of modern living. Many of todays IoT applications rely on Wi-Fi or mesh technologies to connect people and devices. However, 4G LTE is essential for IoT advancement, due to the growing number of IP-enabled devices that will require increased data capacity, and the robust interference management featured over cellulars licensed spectrum. 4G networks, which can lodge up to 10 times more data traffic than older cellular technologies, are also perfectly equipped to handle the need for large scale data analytics and security.
Other metropolitan areas are proposing 4G smart cities in an effort to accelerate mobile broadband service. Taiwan, for example, hopes to enhance applications for financial services, entertainment, logistics, and surveillance through collaboration with 4G operators, local governments and enterprises. These projects will optimize broadband services and support smart city development to improve communication and industrial innovation.
Developing nations seem especially keen on IoT technology. In its Worldwide and Regional Internet of Things 2014-2020 Forecast, IDC predicted that the global IoT market would reach $7.1 trillion by 2020, as people in urban areas demand connectivity. This trend will result in the conversion of production processes and a merger of industrial systems, technologies and communications infrastructure. According to IDC, devices, sensors, applications and data centers will interact in a heterogeneous technology environment, which will require greater collaboration between tech companies and providers.
The potential to revolutionize how we live and connect with IoT is limitless. The need for smart cities to provide wide-ranging technology infrastructure capable of processing endless amounts of data will determine the success of these urban centers as they move to integration and sustainability. The capacity of 4G LTE to supply dynamic and scalable traffic management, as well as secure connections at lower costs, cannot be underestimated. In essence, the smarter we become in our urban areas the more we will depend on our technology to follow suit.
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