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Roads to a Digitally Connected Smart City
Source: https://www.telecomasia.net
Source Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Institution and HR Management
Created: Jul 07, 2017

With rising populations and ongoing security threats, nations and cities around the world are undertaking a digital transformation to address these challenges. Based on Huawei’s Global Connectivity Index (GCI) 2017, every dollar invested in ICT can bring a return of $3 in GDP, which could rise to $5 by 2025.  

Future Smart Cities will have intelligence about how we travel, live, consume water and electricity, manage the environment, receive healthcare and maintain safety and security. Services will become smarter and integrated, which will require online integrated intelligence between public and private transportation, traffic management, parking, and directional mapping applications.

Smart Cities Insights: Can you give a top-down synopsis of Huawei’s Smart City solution?  
Barry Lerner: To deliver smart services, Smart Cities must develop a common ICT foundation. Huawei, together with our partners, provides the ICT building blocks to create this foundation.
A Ubiquitous Network to enable a Better Connected City: Huawei’s fixed and mobile network technologies connect cities, people and things.

The Intelligent Operation Center (IOC): Huawei’s IOC is the central nervous system of cities. It aggregates, exchanges and shares all kinds of information on urban activities.

The IoT Platform: consolidates information from smart sensors and manages control of those sensors through Huawei’s IoT operating system LiteOS.

The Cloud Based Data Center: Huawei’s portfolio of open IT infrastructure and distributed cloud computing solutions supports the computing and data needs of a city in a cost-effective virtualized environment.

Smart City Ecosystem: Huawei is actively orchestrating a Smart City ecosystem with more than 5,000 partners.

These ICT building blocks are the technology enablers against which Huawei’s GCI measures a city or nations digital transformation. Cloud is the gateway to Big Data and IoT.  

How important is 5G technology to developing Smart Cities?  
Today’s emerging technologies-like immersive audio-video applications, augmented & virtual reality, driverless vehicles, IoT and Industry 4.0-require massive bandwidth. Thus, innovations like 5G are critical in accelerating transformation to Smart Cities. 5G will offer high connectivity for IoT, ultra high bandwidth and low latency to facilitate future applications like healthcare and autonomous vehicles. 5G will also provide enhanced mobile broadband capability to support virtual and augmented reality.  

Huawei’s 5G network capability together with WTTX access will deliver broadband services in a non-fixed mode, ensuring flexibility and mobility. Huawei promotes unified global 5G standards and the formation of a 5G ecosystem through technological innovation and developing a cross-industry collaboration platform to better embrace the Better Connected World.  

How will the ICT of Smart Cities make a positive contribution to citizens’ lifestyle?  
Smart City solutions will enrich people’s lives through communications, connected education, smart transportation and more. As smart vehicles become reality, 5G will enable communication between the transportation elements: vehicles, pedestrians, traffic lights, events, schools, etc.  

Can existing cities become “smart” through retrofitting and what are some of the challenges in non-greenfield sites?
As cities embark upon this transformation, they face common challenges. Where to start? How do we form the key advisory groups and stakeholder communities? What business models do we use to build and operate the infrastructure? How to finance such a large undertaking? What are the ICT foundations and standards?

The GCI 2017 findings indicate key imperatives:
ICT Infrastructure-related priorities: focus on ICT policies as part of a city’s economic development.
Industry and company-related priorities: industry-friendly policies to promote Digital Transformation.
People-related policies: collaborate with education institutions and workplaces.
Huawei is supporting cities and nations in the creation of their Smart City Plans through information exchanges, plan development, technology pilots and early adopter programs.
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