Designing for smarter cities with mixed reality

How can we promote collaborative governance and urban sustainability when planning for the cities of the future?

We believe that mixed reality offers interesting opportunities to engage citizens who are normally excluded from the planning process, and whose participation is important to foster urban sustainability.

Many contemporary urban challenges are best understood as complex. This means that they are often a confusing mess of interrelated problems which are difficult to define and are often disputed. This is why it is absolutely crucial for cities to promote citizen participation in urban planning. Citizen participation is important in order to mobilize knowledge, innovation and support for solving some of the most pressing sustainability issues of our age. Yet in reality urban planning often lags behind urbanization and lacks effective means of collaborating with citizens.

This is why we have decided to take on the challenge of thinking creatively around how ICT could foster citizen participation in urban planning and ultimately urban sustainability. By merging virtual and real world objects to produce new environments and virtualizations, mixed reality presents yet unexplored opportunities to build urban sustainability.

We have therefore developed a number of concepts for a mixed reality platform which could support any city to plan for the future.

The concepts present ways to visualize a city as it looks today as well as future urban plans, including buildings, parks or infrastructure that are not there today but might be so in the future. Equally important they present ways for citizens to explore alternative futures and urban data, including impacts of existing urban plans on dynamic elements like traffic, noise, air quality, services, and so on. As we think that connectivity is a precondition for radical innovation we have also tried to visualize how such a platform could support communication and collaboration among various stakeholders.

Based on field research, we think that mixed reality could help citizens to overcome some of the high barriers associated with citizen participation. By dissolving time and space mixed reality can enable people with difficulties to be present at a certain location and time to participate in urban planning. Families with young children or people with restricted mobility are example of groups whose participation could be supported. Certainly mixed reality presents interesting opportunities to foster engagement among youth. Supporting their participation is important for a number of reasons, not least to enable inter-generational dialogue and to foster young people’s self-esteem by reinforcing their sense of being an important part of their communities. It is therefore intriguing to ponder how mixed reality could create an enabling environment for participatory behavior, making it easier, cheaper and faster for citizens to engage with planning issues.


What will the cities of future looks like?

As we at Ericsson want our stakeholders to use our technology in ways that support democratic stewardship of cities, it is interesting to note that mixed reality can allow every individual to speak about his or her desires for the future (provided citizens have the digital skills required). We believe that when provided a safe space to speak, the self-confidence to participate in urban planning can increase.

New digital technologies like mixed reality also create ample opportunities to strengthen the transparency of urban planning. While this can enhance two-way communication and install an impetus for improved accountability, it can also empower citizens to make informed choices. This could help to improve the quality of citizen dialogues as well as decisions making to produce outcomes that are more likely to contribute to sustainable development.

Based on our research we therefore believe that mixed reality can enable new interesting interactions between cities and citizens, and support collaborative sense-making of urban challenges. While this could have a profound impact on inclusiveness and help to improve the representativeness of the planning process, it could also strengthen cities’ problem-solving capacity and responsiveness to complex urban challenges.

Multifaceted information and collaborative governance have to be recognized as key resources when designing and managing our cities. Looking ahead this will certainly be crucial to legitimize and create public support for smart city adoption.


Autors: Anna ViggedalCristian NorlinFanny von HelandJoakim FormoMarcus Nyberg.

Towards Security issues in Smart Homes?

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The Internet-of-Things (IoT) and the idea of the “smart home” have grown dramatically in the last few years. Smart home technology has entirely changed our lifestyle in such a way that everything from the fridge to furnace everything is now interconnected. Everyone around the world is now embracing smart cities applications, yet the matter of security of personal data has become more important than ever. Recent reports about the risks of smart cities applications have revealed the security breaches of smart home security. It was revealed in 2011 that fitness tracker giant Fitbit found their profiles were public and accessible on Google. Smart home devices are prone to data breaching as well. It was reported in a recent article that Comcast’s Xfinity Home Security had some flaws. It showed that the windows and doors are secured when in fact they were unlocked and open. Tod Beardsley of Rapid7, in response to these security weaknesses told CSO that, “IoT devices tend to be designed with a happy path in mind, often don’t consider an active adversary.”  In this article, we have discussed potential cyber security challenges for IoT devices based smart homes along with some possible innovative solutions.

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What are the key security challenges in Smart Homes?

It is evident that each week there are new challenges reported about the IoT Security, fuelled by reports of homes suffering from ‘digital break-ins’ and family members intimidated by the perpetrators. Smart home security is the top priority of every individual. There are several potential smart home security solutions available that promise to keep smart home inhabitants safe with some intelligent supervision at home. Smart homes can assist its occupants to not only monitor their home remotely but also to ensure to safety of their children at home. However, deployment of IoT smart home solutions may cause potential security issues to our personal data and privacy at home. Many app-controlled smart home devices relay information about the home to external servers for processing. By storing information in the cloud, these solutions offer convenient control for the home. An overview of potential security vulnerabilities in various IoT-based devices such as smart plugs deployed in a smart home is shown in figure 2 below. However, homeowners who opt for several smart home devices may need a separate app for each product. As a result, there might be a greater chance of data breaches.

A case study of security drawbacks in Smart Homes

In this section, a case study of smart home security camera issue is presented. Specifically, network connected cameras have many security vulnerabilities because they don’t encrypt data and have weak policies regarding passwords.  It was in an article by Infosec Institute. Although devices like webcam and hidden cameras are subject to give extra security assurance about one’s home. However, there could be some drawbacks of IP based connected cameras connected to smart homes. Specifically, it can allow hackers to access into IP base camera recordings. For the purpose of safety it is recommended to search about the history of security of the camera manufacturers so that you will come to know about the level of encryption used in the device.  It also recommended to use secure Wi-Fi and strong passwords to optimize security. About 73,000 security cameras were hacked in year 2014 as a result of the unchanged default password.  Weak passwords are more prone to cyber attacks and should be regarded seriously. Even though users cannot have the right to control device’s security infrastructure, users do have the power to avoid public networks and set highly secure passwords. Lack of security infrastructure in the manufacturing of smart home devices is the most evident cause of vulnerability of smart devices. A recent article by Business Insider asserted that IoT products lack particular industry security standards for their manufacturer.

Future Work for security in Smart Homes:

Although IoT has made our lives easy yet our personal data is more at risk. We are now responsible for our own protection against the weakly secured IoT devices. Since smart home devices purely rely on remote access and cloud servers, security of customer data in the cloud server and on the devices has become an inevitable challenge. Despite the fact that connected home products guarantee consumer’s convenience, these devices may have some serious loop holes.  Security needs should be included at an early stage of product design, and implemented in every aspect of the system.

To know more about Smart Security Challenges, and Smart Cities Technologies, you can join our Smart Cities Essential Courses here.

How Telecom Operators Can Help Industries to design innovative IoT Applications for Smart Cities?

Internet-of-Things(IoT), a technology which connects objects to the internet. Cisco has anticipated that by 2020, IoT will be consisting of 50 billion devices connected to the internet. As a result, there will be 6 devices per person. It is expected that IoT will fully transform our economy, society and standards of living.  Businesses and enterprises strive hard to bring products to the markets more frequently, adapt themselves to regulatory requirements, and most importantly business leaders tend to innovate persistently. With a large number of mobile staff, growing customers and changing supply chain demand, IoT can help businesses and entrepreneurs to generate large revenue in business. Figure 1 below is depicting the connection of IoT devices to the cloud server in 5G.


Figure 1: IoT devices connected to cloud server using a 5G cellular network. [Courtesy of intel].

Only those companies will be able to maintain their position among their competitors that not only embrace IoT but also use it to transform their business. By integrating IoT into business operations, products and customer interactions, business leaders can build new business models and foundation of values. McKinsey estimates that by 2025, businesses will be able to generate revenue of approximately $11 trillion per year through incorporating IoT applications and products.

Businesses are now transforming their processes, operations and business models to benefit from the latest technologies. Smart cities, connected utilities, smart transportation, connected factories, smart health, smart grid and connected miles are few names of the result of this evolution. All industries are considering IoT a breakthrough technology in order to help them optimize their business, enter new markets and build a good customer relationship. Many industry experts, like IDC, estimates that businesses will spend over $20 trillion in the next four years to realize the potential of IoT. An illustration of IoT deployed in smart city verticals.


Figure 2: An illustration of Internet-of-Things applications Smart Cities.

The revolution of IoT may have begun but it isn’t implemented to the full scale yet. There is still plenty of time before its transformational powers will be fully felt. A number of technical, economical, and regulatory perceptions still need to be addressed. There are some companies out there who need to do something but are not sure about how. According to Harvard Business Review and Verizon statistics, it is concluded that less than 10 percent of companies have deployed IoT initiatives. Furthermore, only a small minority which is 56 percent have the proper strategy for IoT.

According to recent research conducted by Cisco about ICT companies and decision makers concluded that the top three challenges for implementing IoT initiatives in their business were: (i) Data Privacy; (ii) Standardization of IoT protocols and intra-operability among different business systems; and (iii) Design cost.

IoT supplier market is currently very fragmented with a massive amount of big and small companies providing single pieces of IoT implementation devices, applications, and solutions. As a result, making it more challenging for the companies to meet the demands of customer needs.

To further know about Application of IOT and SON for Smart Cities, Technologies, and Challenges, you can join our Smart Cities Essential Courses here.

The role of fog platform-as-a-service in designing smart city vertical solutions


Mobile network traffic is increasing enormously. It is anticipated that the cellular, packet core and backhaul architectures will not be able to function effectively. Thus by implementing the networking and storage capabilities of fog at their network edge, mobile service providers can improve their capacity, reliability, security and performance as well as networks will able to generate great revenue opportunities. Moreover, fog computing also serves as a cloud `platform for designing smart city solutions.


Figure 1: An illustration of Fog-as-a-Service (FaaS).

“Fog as a service” (FaaS) is a great opportunity for service providers to build an array of fog nodes across its footprint. These fog nodes will act as fundamental computing units to many smart city vertical designs. These fog nodes will host the local networking, computation and storage capabilities. The nodes can be packaged for outdoor deployment, possibly on rooftops, in street corner cabinets or integrated with fibre nodes or cells. Software infrastructure of fog might include virtualisation, sophisticated security, orchestration and the application of programming interfaces so that different stakeholders will be able to generate a variety of applications, which will run with minimum disturbance.

After the deployment of fog network, the FaaS provider will lease the fog capabilities to end users, specifically for smart governance, mission critical services; smart transportation, broadband services for load balancing between Wi-Fi and the,cellular network, caching, smart building energy management solutions and smart homes. If each of these smart city verticals builds their own big data analytic server then the overall cost will shoot to an excessive level and the city would carry bundles of overlapping fog nodes. It is cost efficient to build a central big data analytic server using central FaaS network for various smart city verticals such as smart health, smart grid.

Fog computing provides an opportunity to deploy Internet of things (IoT) in smart cities as well as in other verticals like smart grids, smart transportation, manufacturing, energy, enterprise/retail, healthcare, agriculture, hospitality and consumer. Deployment of these uses in each of the above-mentioned verticals and can be made possible through using fog computing. The advantage of fog networks as compared to cloud-based applications is improved security, bandwidth efficiency, scalability on multiple dimensions, high service availabilities and low latency rate.

It wouldn’t be reasonable to pay high charges to wireless network in order to utilize large amounts of sensor data from remote geographic locations to the cloud server. To collect disaster management data streams from remote areas to the governing body, smart cities could deploy fog nodes at the remote places to perform data analysis and send only the results and exceptions to the cloud server for smart decision-making. Fog computing also performs efficiently in time-sensitive applications e.g. haptics system, a system in which the round trip delay between the user interface and the computational resource is just a few milliseconds. The force feedback is provided on a joystick and if not detected, the touch impression is lost. These time-sensitive applications include telemedicine, training and games specifically, and smart highway applications where even a difference of a few milliseconds can cause huge havoc.

There are multiple cities around the world that have implemented the concept of fog computing into practical use with the help of Cisco and other partners. Currently, they are providing the services of smart urban management which include smart traffic management, smart security, smart lighting and power management. The extensive network of fog nodes exhibits some potentials of FaaS such as virtualisation at the boundary and support of multiple tenants.

In summary fog computing will be a key feature in the deployment of IoT service infrastructures and FaaS will be a vital opportunity for service providers. Fog is considered to be a multi-billion dollar opportunity for network service revenue as having a fog network directly attached to the cellular network would result in creating vast revenue opportunities. But if the fog implementation is not as good as competing network fog capabilities then it can kill your network.

To know about other Applications and Technologies for Smart Cities and Challenges, you can join our Smart Cities Essential Courses here.

How Smart Transportation can revolutionize Smart Cities?

smart transportation

World population is increasing rapidly. Due to this tremendous rise in population, the cities all around the world are facing complex challenges regarding urban infrastructure planning, governance, and transportation infrastructure. Airports, railways, ports, bridges, mass transits, highways and the networks that they are connected to, then all form infrastructure of the transportation. Commuters now prefer public transportation like rails and buses over roads.

In order to facilitate the customers, the public transportation systems and the station hubs are improved. Full connectivity is what the customer demands, therefore, transportation system should ensure that devices and people should be connected to the network. However, as the number of devices connected to the transportation ecosystems increases, the probability of cyber-attack also increases, making the transportation ecosystem more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. An illustration of vehicle-to-vehicle transportation is shown in Figure 1 below.

smart transportation

Figure 1: A visual representation of vehicle-to-vehicle communication in smart cities.

Internet of Everything (IoE) aims to bring digital revolution by deploying smart roads, smart rails, smart buses, smart airports and smart pots globally. Enhancements in the smart transportation systems will result in high mobility along with an improved and secured transportation services for the people. Transport system administrators and organization are adopting digital strategies which will help in the provision of quality transportation services, improved productivity, enhanced passenger experience and will also help in generating good revenue changing.

The smart transportation system is evolving day by day to provide seamless passenger services. Smart transportation is aiming to implement cutting edge technologies like electric mobility, car sharing, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), and a system based on a demand-response approach in order to optimize the whole transportation system.

If you want to go for a vacation you do not have to fret about anything. Just pack your stuff and head towards the airport. As you are going towards the airport you observe that the traffic on the road is organized. It is because the transportation authorities are continuously monitoring the traffic and are attentive to keep traffic organized and ensure transits run smoothly. Like Utah’s Department Transportation, they deployed some digital transformation in the typical methodology in order to improve the infrastructure planning process and management of the highways.

As our digital citizen is heading towards the airport in his car, he gets an alert on his smartphone about the slow traffic ahead, which is because of a construction project already planned. Our digital citizen would not have to worry as he can switch from the route through mapped view of the construction site and seamlessly go ahead. Like other eighty percent of drivers in Texas, our digital citizen was also delighted with the anticipatory notifications that made him able for proactive traffic avoidance.

While our digital citizen arrived at the airport, the most dreadful part is yet to come which is, to wait in long queues at the checking points and counters for hours. Except the digital citizen, he doesn’t have to worry. Some airports like Copenhagen Airport are deploying smart technology to continuously watch and avoid passenger congestion, allowing more time to relax instead of waiting for their turn in the long queues. An example of IoT applications implemented at an airport is shown in the figure below.


Figure 2: Role of IoT applications at world’s biggest travel hubs.

Following smooth and a serene flight, our digital citizen has reached the holiday spot. He hops on the train, to reach his final destination.

Some cities like Dubai, are implementing digital strategies to fulfil the increasing transport requirements as with each passing day a large number of people are turning towards public transportation. Our citizen didn’t face any inconvenience like accidents and other complications. Advanced systems are deployed to avoid accidents via vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure. He is feeling relaxed as the smart transportation system is reliable and clean trains, simple ticketing procedures and has plentiful timetables. Upon reaching the final destination like other 90 percent of Seoul tourists, our digital customer is pleased with his overall travel experience.

Cities around the world are now looking for ways to fulfil their transportation requirements and expanding their transportation networks in order to enhance their corporation and interconnection. This development is making public transportation as well as mass transits, main artery of the smart cities technology, which aims to improve quality of life of the residents in parallel with supporting economic development, attracting business and workforce talent.

In short, smart transportation is considered a key factor against the challenges faced by the urban planners and city infrastructure planners to fulfil the requirements of the increasing number of mega cities in both developed and developing cities around the globe in order to maintain safety and smooth traffic flow.

To further know about Application of Smart Transportation in Smart Cities, Challenges, and Smart Transportation Technologies, you can join our Smart Cities Essential Courses here.

The role of Big Data in transforming the life of Smart Cities inhabitants

With increasing need of urbanization and rising expectations of citizens, government organizations and regulatory bodies are looking for ways to innovate urban planning strategies for smart cities efficiently.  Internet is now moving into everyday object and devices. Among all the cutting edge technologies that enable Internet of Everything (IoE), big data analytics is considered the keystone. Big data analytics is the process of collecting, organizing and analyzing large sets of data to uncover hidden facts, correlations and other insights. Figure below represents the phenomena of Big Data using five Vs.


On one hand big data analytics helps organizations to understand the information contained within the data. On the other hand it helps companies to make more well-versed business decisions. Big data analytics enables data scientists, predictive modelers and other analytics to examine large volumes of business data, as well as other forms of data that may be unused by the conventional Business Intelligence (BI) programs.

A recent research conducted by IDC concluded that until 2020, the digital universes will double every two years. To analyze huge data, big data analytics is typically performed using integrated functions such as specialized software tools and applications for predictive analytics, data mining, text mining, data forecasting and data optimization.

The exponential growth in data depicts an outstanding opportunity for global public sector organizations, specifically government leaders. The data being collected from devices, sensors, and physical objects is used to provide vivid solutions and decision-making capabilities. Consequently, making possible a faster stimuli, safer communities, exceptional efficiency, secure access to services and satisfactory citizen experience.

How to realize smart cities potential through big data analytics tools

In today’s digitalized world, imagine a digital citizen going about their usual daily routine. The most important thing as a government organization or planning body is to make sure comfort of the citizen. Allow individuals to live a purposeful and dignified life.

Like VITAS, they have incorporated innovative healthcare, thereby enabling an integrated client-centric service experience for citizen’s visit. With the advancement in technology and introduction of apps and wearable devices, our digital citizens are able to monitor their own health. They can share their health information with medical professionals, who also have access to the collection of health records of general public. So that they can initiate some preventative measurements before problem occurs and prepare the treatment in advance.

As a consequence of digitization, communities will be able to facilitate the management of data concerning healthcare and other services such as traffic and parking management, security, street lighting, water and waste management and more. It also supports the centralized analytics, to build a more efficient data-driven anticipatory approach. Below, the figure is showing names of some tools often used by Big data Analytics.


Proceeding towards the next stop in our digital community, our citizen will take a bus from a nearby bus stop. The citizen can connect to the free Wi-Fi while riding the bus through any smart phone. They can upload real-time data from physical world to the cloud, helping governing bodies to improve incident response and traffic management.

As an example, our bus-riding digital citizen can announce a traffic incident via social media while other riders may be busy calling authorities and jamming the phone lines. Some modern cities like Rio de Janeiro, have incorporated a system that allows assembling and sharing of important data for a coordinated and effective response. As a result, incident responders can quickly reach and assist those in need while city planners can make proper adjustments to ease traffic flow and resume transport schedules.

Singapore having entitled as the world’s first Smart Nation and a vision to “serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes” is planning to establish nationwide broadband networks and wireless hotspots, while incorporating things like sensor-based technology, with the aim to connect people, things, processes and data. Singapore is implementing a digital strategy that ensures mutual public and private benefit.

The city of Oslo in Norway reduced street lighting energy consumption by 62% with the help of smart solution. Moreover, the city of Portland, Oregon, used the same technology to optimize the timing of its traffic signals and was able to eliminate about 157,000 metric tons of CO2 emission in just 6 years.

With a good digital strategy, communities can better respond to local challenges and deliver efficient, secure citizen services with effective end-to-end assistance.

Further Reference

Join our big data analytics course to discover how our digital citizen is able to save time and reduce stress with less traffic and travel time each day and get your IoE questions answered on how to become the next digital community.

To further know about Big Data Application for Smart Cities, Security Challenges, and Technologies, you can join our Smart Cities Essential Courses here.

The Role of Telcos in deployment of Smart Cities

Smart city is a concept which has come to realization and now it is part of mainstream discussion. Smart city employs Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to use resources efficiently and intelligently providing cost and energy savings, improved quality of life, and uses technology as its backbone. Telcos would play a vital role in the development of smart cities infrastructure. The fundamental objective of smart cities is to add intelligence to the city infrastructure, to its people, buildings, environments roads, water, energy and other domains of city. Therefore, Telcos are the key to its success. An illustration of IoT devices connected through cellular network in a cellular environment is shown in figure 1.


Telco already have the networks and some of the ICT platforms for smart cities. Moreover they know how to implement and extend both of these assets and turn them into services. In this way, they can convert ICT Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) into Operational Expenditure (OPEX) for the city, as a result mitigating the high upfront cost which is one of the major key barriers to smart city investment. Telcos can deliver essential smart city platforms of sensor and actual networks, big data collection, mediation and analysis and delivery, device management, business intelligence, rating and charging to any or all of the application domains. They are delivering “smart city as-a-service” or more accurately “smart city infrastructure as-a-service”.

It has been observed that the Telco infrastructure around the globe is not synchronizing with the demand for smart infrastructure. Therefore, to achieve social and economic benefits for people and cities they live in; initiatives have been taken, known as ‘municipality’ broadband. In most countries this is initiated or at least supported by the telecom companies. However, in other places due to lack of this cooperation such as USA, is leading the cities to take their own communication infrastructure initiatives.

One of the vital and significant problems faced by Telcos is the traditional business models used by them within the traditional Telco market. They are accustomed to doing this on their own and their version of cooperation often goes along their way. Along with this the cost structure of the traditional Telcos is also such that often the smart city solutions they offer are simply unaffordable.

When the internet, smart phones, social media and other new cutting-edge technologies arrived the Telcos failed to take opportunities that these technologies offered because they were busier in protecting their old business model than embracing the new ones. With smart cities similar opportunities have arisen, but the real question is: will the Telcos be able to move faster this time? If they don’t grab the opportunity this time, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon of this world now have a significantly higher market value than any of the traditional telecom players. Therefore, the real questions that need consideration from Telcos is, will the Telcos be able to, in time move up the value chain this time, beyond simply offering access?

Telcos should use these opportunities to use their ICT services in a horizontal way, serve various verticals that operate within a city. ICT is an essential component for smart cities but it needs to be used on a cross-sector sharing basis. This will definitely decrease costs and at the same time offer greater value, especially if linked to IoT/M2M. In this direction, big data can be processed and analyzed in order to offer a whole range of intelligence services back to the people in the city and to organizations that are involved in managing the various aspects of the city. Telcos can monetize this and extract extra value from such activities.

Telcos can also create sub-networks, as part of their national infrastructure but with the capability of offering municipality-focused virtual network along with some smart apps and services through a smart city dashboard. This should be based on a collaborative platform where the council, regulators, stakeholders as well as range of other businesses, can participate. Telcos can create a central control system for the city, be it on a Build, Own and Operate (BOO), Build, Own and Maintain (BOM) or Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) business model.

A cooperative model like this will then offer holistic solutions, rather than the present silo-based. For Telcos to become successful by adopting this model, they need to amend their conventional business model and build new ones which should focus on generating potential revenue streams through establishing across these offerings.

In smart city technology, city should not b taken literally. As a matter of fact, it is often easier to launch smart city building in smaller communities. Telcos should become lead partners in establishing these collaborative, open innovation and technology. It should provide a platform in which government, stakeholders and Telcos should collaborate such as in Netherland, where the national Telco KPN, along with electricity company Aliander are lead partners in such a platform. This type of collaboration model can be considered as a partnership between companies, governments, knowledge institutions and the people of the city which are embracing the smart city concept. An illustration of IBM cloud based IoT platform for designing smart city vertical solutions is shown in figure 2.


The essential steps for the deployment of smart cities infrastructure include: (i) Leadership and vision; (ii) Creation of smart council; (iii) Engagement with stake holders; (iv) Continuous community engagement and (v) Projects.

While we concentrate on communities and cities, the same processes would also be required to create smart businesses, smart buildings, smart grid and alliance can be used by entities other than cities.

The Internet-of-Things and M2M are going to be real game-changers. They will revolutionize every single sector of society and the economy. Telcos should create new business models so that LTE and later on 5G will take leadership role in the development of M2M. These developments are closely linked to big data, data analytics, cloud computing, data centers and all these elements play a vital role in the success of smart city infrastructure.

For further information about Smart City Infrastructure, deployment and operation you can attend the training course for Smart City Essentials here.

Role of S-Health in Smart Cities

Health is the basic necessity of life. With rise in inflation rate, the cost of health has been rising. According to an article, overall U.S. health costs are still expected to climb 6.5 percent in 2016 which is more than thrice the rate of inflation. Healthcare systems are trying hard to deliver quality care in limited costs. By embracing smart healthcare systems, healthcare organization both in private as well as in public sector can provide cost-effective quality healthcare services with less IT setup costs and reduced risk. Cisco in its recent analysis estimated that hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in private sector realized $67 billion in digital value last year, which is last as 16 percent of what they could have achieved in 2015. Thereby, losing 84 percent, which is $350 billion in potential value.

There is a vast opportunity to create potential revenue through smart health over the next decade. Cisco has already identified 31 smart health use cases with the potential to drive $1.4 trillion in private sector healthcare value from 2015 to 2024. This “value” defines the industry’s ability to serve more patients, improve the quality of care, and reduce healthcare costs.


What is the Network Architecture of Smart Health Systems?

A cost-effective and quality healthcare information system relies greatly on ability of the system to collect process and interpret the data into useful information so action can be taken. Reduced operational costs, improved quality and efficiency of care, decreased inpatient volume, value-based reimbursement, and improved relationships between clinicians and administrators are some key priorities that should be considered by healthcare providers. Electronic health records, mobile apps, Smart Health and social media are some of the technologies that can help address these concerns.


Smart Health is an important case in point. It can save money, improve service and also save lives. The Smart Health program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California, helps fill the gap in rural areas that have a shortage of pediatric specialists. With high-quality video conferencing, instant access to patient records, and network-connected medical devices, the hospital’s virtual visits provide care for 300 pediatric patients. The hospital is also a part of the Virtual Pediatric Network, which uses advanced collaboration technologies to help physicians across the country work together on difficult cases.

What is the importance of Data Analytics in Smart Health?

Pharmaceutical companies face a different array of issues. Like other manufacturers, they must fend off low-cost competitors, improve supply chain management, and increase production efficiency. To bring new drugs to market faster and more cheaply, they also need to manage all kinds of data more effectively. Data analytics, social media, cloud, and mobility play an essential role in improving customer engagement, developing personalized medicines, collaborating seamlessly with new partners, and reaching new markets.

What are the future challenges of Smart Health?

Some of the biggest sources of digital value are not unique to healthcare. Areas like cyber security, payments, and connected marketing drive 86 percent of Digital Value at Stake. The largest of these categories, next-generation workers, uses many of the same technologies that make Smart Health possible. They can make all healthcare workers more productive, to the tune of $838 billion over the next decade.

To know more about Smart Health Applications in Smart Cities, Security Challenges and Smart Cities Technologies, you can join our Smart Cities Essential Courses here.

The Role of Smart Cities in Global Economy

With the introduction of Internet of Things (IoT), smart city technologies have made a dramatic impact on the prosperity of a region. Based on a global estimation by Cisco, we estimated roughly for Australia that the value of having an IoT infrastructure is worth around $5 trillion dollars to the smart cities. The potential revenue of smart cities depends upon increased efficiency and productivity, as well as reduces costs through the deployment of new technologies.

Smart city plays a vital role in global economy. In order for the societies to maintain the standard of their living and in order to raise the standard of those who have not reached it yet, it is essential to take significant amount of outlay out of the public sector structures that have built over the last 50-70 years, without losing the value that has already been obtained from them.  An over view of smart city verticals distribution in global market is illustrated below in Figure 1.


 From the economic perspective “smart city” is cost efficient, productive and reliable. With the deployment of IoT, smart cities can get new revenue opportunities but in general they are only a fraction of the overall that can be made. With IoT we can go much farther into such cost savings.

How revenue streams can be generated through smart cities verticals?

Smart cities will be more attractive to people, businesses and investors based upon the potential revenue generated by the smart cities. These cities will be more transparent and responsive towards the needs and requirements of smart businesses and investors. Consequently, in the emerging connected, sharing, digital economy, only smart cities will allow for the creation of new value-added jobs and businesses. From time to time huge number of people moves towards cities. In order to maintain their position among the competitors, cities have to compete with each other for people, businesses and investments. As a result, the truly smart cities will be winners and will be able to attract more investors and businesses.

In regard of smart city industry, no city in the world can claim to be the leading city in this domain. Probably there are thousands of examples in the leading cities around the globe. Specifically in Australia, it has very impressive scores on the board. Most cities around the globe have realized the potential of smart cities in economy, they are now developing strategic smart city plans in order to make economically viable smart city projects, a solid business reality.

What is City-as-a-Service model?

It has been concluded by considering the way people are adapting to smart phones, internet and apps that people are more than ready to live in smart cities. Smart city industry can help in generating commendable gains when we find the right investment and business models that allows us to generate potential revenue streams in a collaborative way between industry and public sector. The foundation of these models should be laid on city-as-a-service models, whereby cities will have to operate their smart city services based on an Operational Expenditure (OPEX) rather than Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) model.

Key words:  #potential revenue of smart cities, #role of smart cities in economy, #smart cities business market, #smart cities industry

About Author:

Dr. Hafiz Yasar Lateef – one of the founding members of TelXperts – has several years of experience on Smart Cities and Internet of Things (IoT). He is a Member of IEEE Communications Society and frequently features as a keynote speaker at various international conferences and workshops. His expertise encompass Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, LTE radio network planning and optimization, Small cells & DAS planning & Optimization, Self-Organizing Networks (SON) and Green cellular networks. Dr. Hafiz Yasar Lateef’s Biography has been featured on Bristol Who’s Who famous personalities registry for his excellent research work in the field of Telecommunication. His work on the areas of MIMO techniques for wireless networks, Green Cellular Networks and Self-Organizing cellular networks have already found their way into telecommunication standards. He has authored and co-authored numerous international journals and conference papers in the field of LTE/LTE-Advanced wireless networks.

Dr. Yasar holds a Doctorate degree in the field of Telecommunications from University of Leeds, UK. He has participated in various international projects on future wireless networks in collaboration with ZTE Corporation, Texas A&M, Politecnico Di Torino Italy, King’s College London, CTTC Spain and CCSR University of Surrey. In the past, he held various roles at ZTE Corporation, University of Leeds, UK, University of Bedfordshire, UK, Qatar University, QMIC and Texas A&M, Curtin University, Australia.

Internet-of-Everything and Smart-cities Archive

telxperts telecom trainings

Internet of Things (IoT) Overview

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the exisitng internet infrastructure. Internet of Things ”means“ a world-wide network of interconnected objects uniquely addressable, based on standard communication protocols.

intenret of things

The new rule for the future is going to be, “anything that can be connected, will be connected.”  But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other? To increase efficiency, energy, time, cost, resources and sustainable life.

iot course

IoT Protocol Stack

iot architecture

Wireless Technologies for IoT

iot training course

IoT/IoE Protocols

iot protocols

IoT Devices Gateway Capabilities

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IoT Data Management Capabilities

iot data intelligence

IoT Context Processing & Analysis

iot context

IoT Cloud Architecture

Iot cloud

IoT Cloud Data Acquisition

iot with iphone ios

IoT Evolution & Market Trends

ioe course

IoT Smart Grid

smart grid


To know more about IOT Applications for Smart Cities, Security Challenges, and Smart Cities Technologies, you can join our Smart Cities Essential Courses here.