Smart City Solutions Push Providers and City Planners to Coordinate on Wireless Connectivity

13 Jun 2016

As LTE and other wireless technologies advance smart city solutions, it is crucial that solutions providers liaise with city planners to take a coordinated approach on connectivity selection, says ABI Research. This includes analyzing the physical and cybersecurity benefits and limitations. Smart city solutions’ importance is increasing as nearly 70% of the global population will live in an urban environment by 2050.

“Solutions providers should take this time to bring down the cost of deployment and management, as well as analyze the ROI scenarios for city planners,” says Jake Saunders, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research. “And city planners need to understand and embrace the benefits connectivity technologies will bring as a platform to these solutions.”

The benefits to smart city solutions are substantial. Smart meters can efficiently manage and control demand as cities face increasing strain on resources and distribution infrastructures due to rapid urbanization. They also cut operational costs by reducing the required number of on-site meter readings. Smart street lighting allows operators to dim them when appropriate, extending their usage and reducing operating expenses. And smart bins help trash collectors optimize their routes and keep cities clean.

ABI Research forecasts global smart meter revenue will top $13 billion in 2021. The number of smart bins will increase from roughly 70,000 in 2015 to almost one million in 2021. And while smart street lighting solutions barely scratched their market potential, they will grow to reach 78 million shipments by 2021.

Wireless connectivity will capture the lion’s share of new smart street lighting deployments, but power line communication (PLC) solutions are unlikely to disappear in the foreseeable future. Most smart street solutions will be hybrid, incorporating wireless and PLC nodes to maximize reach with Echelon, Silver Spring Networks, and Paradox Engineering.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Smart Cities Update. This report is part of the company’s IT & OT Convergence and Transformative Technology sectors, which include research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.

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