Are Telcos the Smart Life Enablers They Say They Are?

smart life

There are cities out there on the verge of going fully smart. And the telecommunications sector plays a significant role in this. In fact, a smart life will heavily rely on 5G and data to which telcos have access. The whole point of a smart city is to automate the mundane so humans can spend less time busy with trivial things and more time creating and innovating. The hope is to have a human-centric design for the cities and smart solutions, which is indeed the plan. But will all the credit go to the telecom companies, or will they also give other companies their time in the sun?

5G for the Smart Life

A smart city can connect various urban functions—from traffic to energy to waste—and collect data to enhance services, quality of life, and environmental impact. However, 5G is the only technology that can realistically support the number of gadgets and sensors required to deliver that level of living and services. With the help of 5G, a brand-new kind of network that connects almost everyone and everything at an exponentially higher rate than current networks is now possible.

  • Enhanced Services and Infrastructure: Adding connectivity to services allows the aging infrastructure to run at a lower cost, with improved efficiency.
  • Improved Operations and Security: The more advanced technology becomes, the more sophisticated the hacker becomes, and the tighter security needs to be. And 5G facilitates this process.
  • Reduced Digital Divide: In an ideal world, we would all have equal access to connectivity, but the reality is not as such. 5G is a step closer to closing the digital divide as it can better bear the brunt of the work.

Human-Centric Smart City

Smart cities’ design needs to cater to the needs of its citizens rather than build shiny one-size-fits-all tech solutions. And that’s where the data that mobile operators collect comes in. Governments and the private sector, i.e., mobile operators, must also collaborate to achieve this goal.

Co-Creator Rather than a Means to an End

Telcos’ participation in this endeavor is technological, but that does not necessarily mean their part is done once the towers go up. They must be open to extensive collaborations with the government sector and take an active role in the inception and subsequent maintenance of the connectivity. You see, mobile operators can access the needed data to understand how a city works dynamically throughout the day. A prime example is understanding tourists’ behavior by combining data from multiple sources and predicting the visitors’ tendencies, such as how British visitors in Dubai typically spend their time and plan their trips in advance.

It is important to note that ensuring data safety falls on the mobile operators’ shoulders.

Final Thoughts

It feels like different parts of the world are rushing ahead at different speeds. One part is witnessing the rise of cognitive cities, while the other is still making progress on smart cities. Either way, telcos have undoubtedly played a major role in their inception. But don’t let the advertisement fool you. While these marvelous digital creations run on mobile operators’ foundations, they are the conglomerate of thousands of brilliant minds that have already introduced, for better or worse, IoT and other digital innovations to our lives.

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