How to Create a Smart City: Start with Strong WiFi and New IP Networks
byselina.lo09-26-201610:41 AM - edited 09-26-201601:16 PM
I recently had the privilege of speaking at a White House organized event that highlighted the importance of government next-generation wireless access. In partnership with U.S. Ignite and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the federal government is investing $400 million in what they call the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, meant to advance research in the journey to 5G and next-generation wireless technology.
Innately affordable and offering speeds of up to a gigabit per second, Wi-Fi is both accessible and efficient. Ruckus Wireless, recently acquired by Brocade, delivers on the need for dependability, even in radio frequency (RF) challenged environments, through adaptive antenna technology.
One of the most revolutionary applications of next-generation wireless infrastructure is within smart cities. High performance Wi-Fi access and analytics allow municipalities to improve everything from guest Internet access to foot and commuter traffic patterns to first responder efficiency. For example, cities can leverage Wi-Fi infrastructure to collect footfall analytics, which can predict commuter wait times, feed them to a train-scheduling algorithm and improve city traffic and efficiency. First responders, on the other hand, can leverage Wi-Fi for speedy analytics to receive information about an accident before they reach the scene.
Investing to make cities “smart” is a wise use of municipal funds because of the many benefits communities can reap from public Wi-Fi; but the benefits will not be fully realized if the backhaul network each city uses can’t handle the traffic. In essence, a high performance Wi-Fi network is only as good as its backhaul network can be. In order to deliver these capabilities, smart cities depend on an ecosystem of connectivity, starting with the backhaul.
The New IP, a software-enabled, user-centric, open standards-based approach to networking, can support these ecosystems. A modernized New IP network provides flexibility and scalability, allowing smart cities to tailor solutions to their individual needs. At the same time, these networks can protect vast amounts of data and analytics with designed-in, open, behavior-based and self-learning security. Working together, New IP networks and high-performance WiFi can enable tomorrow’s smart cities and empower new possibilities for government.