Today’s cities face tremendous challenges. Smart city solutions introduce information and communication technology into public services, often in the form of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions such as mobility management or smart lighting in order to tackle these challenges.
These IoT solutions establish sustainable structures and offer new modes of participation for citizens, authorities, local companies, and other stakeholders. They also pave the way for making cities more attractive for their citizens and visitors in order to strengthen their economic position, create jobs and ensure prosperity.
Get smart or stay behind
Deutsche Telekom therefore sees a smart city as an ecosystem enabled by a more efficient administration of public services through ICT-based services, including IoT solutions, ultimately increasing the quality of life for its citizens, attracting visitors and supporting the economic development.
Nonetheless every city is different
Against the background of their respective history and starting points they position themselves as a business location or as a cultural metropolis, for example. Smart city solutions, including those based on IoT, must take into account each city’s different motivations, requirements, limitations, challenges and objectives very often generated and required by the dominant political and economic groups. They must support the performance indicators of the city’s strategy. Being “smart” means something different for each city.
Need for active collaboration of public and private sector
In Europe, the transition to Smart Cities is actively pushed forward and funded by legislative institutions such as the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and local governments, who view Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and smart street lighting as one of the most beneficial infrastructures of connected cities. Conventional street lighting, for example, accounts for more than 40 percent of cities’ energy expenditure.
By using an appropriate smart city application (e.g., a combination of LED lights with intelligent management solutions) they can cut their electricity costs by between 30 and 70 percent and their maintenance costs by 10 percent. Citizens also derive direct benefit from smart lighting concepts. Street lighting that works is generally seen as an important security aspect as it can prevent accidents and reveals sources of danger.
Sustainable smart city strategy
Deutsche Telekom is already working on several initiatives all around Europe with our partners. We are also in active discussions with local authorities to create a sustainable smart city strategy for cities across Europe which will take into account the solutions we can offer to enhance the lives of their citizens in combination with the available EU funds. It is important that the public and private sector work together to design projects in line with the funding programs and objectives.
The key to a successful smart city application
We believe that this combination is the key to a successful, fast and cost effective implementation of smart city applications in Europe and beyond. Our focus here is in the areas of smart lighting, smart parking and wifi implementations to showcase our capabilities. However, we are also looking into other smart city applications including public safety, with video surveillance as one of the key areas, as well as water and waste management.
DT Smart City solutions across Europe
It is important to mention that Deutsche Telekom has been offering smart city solutions for some time already, such as our smart parking solution implemented in Pisa, Italy in 2014 and our smart port project in Hamburg, Germany which we started in 2012. Most recently, we have introduced smart city street lighting and mobility solutions in Croatia and Romania: In Dubrovnik, the IoT-enabled smart street lighting forms the basis for the collection of data such as temperature, lighting conditions or air pollution.
The aim is to make citizens’ lives easier
The solution, which was implemented by Hrvatski Telekom together with Cisco, is an important step towards an open infrastructure as a prerequisite for the Smart City. In Bucharest, a similar IoT-based system was launched combining four smart city services including smart parking, smart lighting, Wi-Fi connectivity and City Save, a video surveillance solution. The aim is to make citizens’ lives easier and safer, while also helping local administrations to be more efficient and reduce operational costs.
In Budapest public transport utilizes FUTAR – a modular traffic management and passenger information system by T-Systems Hungary to support the Center for Budapest Transport: from planning timetables and optimizing routes to analyzing past and current data. Currently, more than 2,300 vehicles are directly connected with FUTAR, providing real-time information to passengers. People who prefer to go by bike in Budapest can use the public bike-sharing system MOL Bubi by T-Systems Hungary.
Overview in real time
Together with local Partners our subsidiary T-Mobile Czech Republic is a strategic partner in the Rodos initiative. This Transport Systems Development Center has build, the ‘Central Europe Mobility Atlas’ (CEMA), a complex mobility model throughout the Czech Republic by combining data from mobile networks and traffic monitoring. By giving an overview of the actual distribution of people and detecting deviations in real time, the mobility model provides important information for decision making in critical situations.