The imminence of 5G has led to several predictions regarding technological advancements and what we can expect in the coming years. The building of smart cities is one of those predictions.

Smart cities will utilize the internet of things (IoT) to connect different components across the city, from the air to the street and even underground. Using sensors, actuators and technology to create a robust connectivity, the IoT can help improve a city’s operations and efficiency.

Smart city benefits

A smart city will provide unparalleled convenience, utilizing its connectivity to improve the lives of its citizens and make its government more efficient. In theory, smart city residents could use an app or another communication tool to find a parking spot, avoid traffic jams or report a pothole. They can better communicate with their elected officials, and, likewise, officials are better informed of their city’s needs. And yes, smart cities pave the way for technologies such as driverless cars or other AI-powered tools.

Connecting smart cities

There are currently both public and private companies interested in helping smart cities become connected. Federal, state and local governments are also ready to make this a reality. There’s no doubt that in order to accomplish something so strategic, it will require a public and private partnership. It’s likely we’ll see cable providers leading construction, due to their resources and relationships with public sectors.

Smart city infrastructure

In order to accomplish such a lofty undertaking, a comprehensive strategy and plan must be put in place. A smart city will require massive fiber optic backbones to support both small cells and traditional cell sites. These will need to be planned strategically, especially in urban environments where underground space may already be limited. This may require a complete overhaul of a city’s infrastructure.

Another factor to consider is the colossal amounts of data that will need to be acquired, stored and analyzed to make smart cities effective. Even cities that already host commercial data centers will need to build their own or contract other services to store their data and develop the correct systems that will extract the needed information.

As private citizens, we can certainly see the appeal of smart cities. But with our cable industry hats, we can see the planning, the infrastructure and the fiber required to make smart cities a reality.

If you’re working on a project that requires some serious planning, read our suggestions for maximizing the space you have available