Smart Cities

5G and IOT: The enabler of smart cities and the ‘Internet of Everything’​

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5G and IOT: The enabler of smart cities and the ‘Internet of Everything’

In our last newsletter we spoke about the international roll-out of 5G and how telecoms like T-Mobile, Ericsson and Samsung Electronics are laying the groundwork for future innovation. Amongst the ongoing applications of 5G, together with wireless connections, the technology has the potential to improve people’s quality of life through smarter cities.

And the world’s cities are already changing – 5G and edge computing, twinned with the rapidly expanding Internet of Things, are reshaping the relationship between people and their environments.

“In order for a city comprised of interconnected solutions to function, millions of sensors must transmit data simultaneously, making a smart city essentially a blended workload; they bring together upwards of 20-30 or more IoT devices each with different requirements,” explains Ian A. Hood, P. Eng. Chief Technologist, Global Service Providers, at Red Hat.

“The seamless connectivity, telemetry, security and analytics capabilities offered by 5G can ensure every sensor and device work together effectively.”

As the IoT radically changes the way that data is created and processed, smart cities and digitally transformed enterprises are creating a massive boom in the field of edge computing. So much so, according to Statistica, the number of consumer edge enabled IoT devices throughout the world is forecast to grow to almost 6.5 billion by 2030, an increase of more than four billion compared to 2020.

“The implications of 5G will be felt across all industries at the network edge. Edge computing brings computation and data processing much closer to where it is needed, significantly improving response times.”

And, although the attention is primarily on ‘cities’ at this stage, there is no reason why the technology can’t be used to connect rural communities. Efforts to ensure no one gets left behind in this transition is evident, including the work of Smart Cities Mission, FocalPoint and the OECD – OCDE.

“It is critical that everyone across the country has the same access to the opportunities brought about by connectivity,”

says Ramsey Faragher, CEO of FocalPoint.

In fact, in our November magazine, Ayotunde (Tunde) Coker explained how Open Access Data Centres were transforming Africa’s digital ecosystems, including the impact of its edge data centres and use of IoT and AI.

Meanwhile, over in the Philippines, Converge ICT Solutions Inc. has been on a mission to fibre-power the archipelago islands. And, speaking of archipelago islands, Vikash Prasad at Vodafone Fiji has spoken to us about the technological advancements necessary to provide digital equality and equity to those most in need.


‘The Line’ – a glimpse into the future

At 170 kilometres long but just 200 metres wide, “The Line” is NEOM‘s fascinating vision of what our future smart cities could look like. The model represents a new way of devising smart city infrastructure, which minimises emissions, reduces energy usage, and optimises available space.

If you’re in Saudi Arabia, you can take a glimpse into this future build through an immersive experience of the model.

Although this may be a leap into the distant future, NEOM demonstrates the sustainable, economical, environmental and social benefits of a smart city.


Highlighting: Trailblazer Joseph Bradley

Image of Joseph Bradley Trailblazer

Joseph Bradley – CEO of TONOMUS, Head of Technology & Digital at NEOM

Powering a smarter future is Joseph Bradley. He is responsible for formulating the vision and delivery of the technology and digital ecosystem for NEOM, using AI, IoT, blockchain and robotics, and building the foundation to bring cognitive cities to life with its subsidiary, Tonomus.

“Diversity is the foundation of vibrant organisations but only gives you the potential to create value. Inclusion allows for the realisation of that value by driving the full participation of everyone involved.

It is about leaving the world a better place for the next generation.”


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Smart vehicles’ role in global supply chain transformation

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Global figures currently set the compound annual growth rate of the connected car market at 17.1%, as its 2019 value ($63.03bn) is predicted to increase to $225.16bn by 2027. And it is 5G connectivity that is the driving force behind the sizeable market growth.

We explore the advancements that 5G is bringing to smart vehicle technologies and how these features will take us closer to realising supply chain 4.0.

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The future of AI and IoT in sustainable smart cities

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The pace of innovation can hardly keep pace with the industry’s imaginings for smart city technologies. Yet alongside this, sustainability targets are becoming increasingly ambitious.

Can the data demands of AI and IoT be counterbalanced to create a net-positive sustainable impact and enhance the world’s future smart cities?

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The world’s telcos have already starting planning for WiFi 7

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The Wireless Broadband Alliance’s new cross-industry survey demonstrates that WiFi 7 is set as a key global priority. It reveals that 33% of service providers, technology vendors and enterprises plan to deploy WiFi 7 by 2024.

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Discover: Top 10 IoT companies in 2022

As the IoT market continues on its path of rapid growth as more devices come online, we take a look at the top 10 #IoT companies in 2022.

Discover the list.


Not to miss: Exclusive interview with…

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Ceren Clulow, Digital Connectivity Manager at Nottinghamshire County Council, who discussed the cultivation of the World’s First 5G Connected Forest.

She, too, has been celebrated as a #5G trailblazer – and most recently by Ericsson.

Aiming to transform and uplift natural spaces within the locality, the project was based around the concept of a 5G-connected forest at its very core.

It would include various strands, such as leisure, rural conservation, careers and skills, and health and social care, to make it a well-rounded project beneficial for future generations.

Listen to the interview and watch the tech in action as its robot dogs ‘flipped’ onto the Cloud & 5G Stage during TECH LIVE (don’t miss the tricks at 22m37s😉)



As #smartcity projects become a ubiquitous feature of nearly every major city’s urban planning roadmap, #telecom providers are proving to be vital infrastructure providers. However, smart city programs and telecom networks can also end up being reinforcers of racial and class divisions, leading to further disparity between the average quality of life in affluent, commercial, poor and rural areas.

For a smart city initiative to truly deliver on its promises, it needs to take into account society’s most vulnerable. 5G might just prove to be a key technological enabler in the extension of smart city initiatives to rural and otherwise underserved areas.

“Connectivity is the basic requirement for smart cities, and fibre-fed 5G wireless is the infrastructure that will make it possible. We just need local authorities, city planners, governments and service providers to meet in the middle to make it a reality.”Phil Sorsky, SVP, Service Providers for EMEA at CommScope.


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Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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