December - 2014 - issue > In My Opinion

Getting Smarter About Smart Cities

By Sudarshan Boosupalli, Director - India & SAARC, Ruckus Wireless
Thursday, December 4, 2014
By Sudarshan Boosupalli, Director - India & SAARC, Ruckus Wireless
Ruckus Wireless (NYSE: RKUS) is a global Wi-Fi technology company headquartered in California. Founded in 2004, the company has a current market cap of $964.67 million.

It has been predicted that by 2050, the world's urban population will double � which means the population equivalent to five cities the size of Delhi are being added to the planet every single year. To handle this large-scale urbanization, we will need to find new ways to manage complexity, increase efficiency, reduce costs, reduce carbon footprints, and yet improve quality of life. As a result, our cities need to get smarter in many ways.

The Asia Pacific region (APAC) is one of the largest and fastest growing urban regions in the world and it has been estimated that annual investments in Asia Pacific Smart city technology will quadruple to reach $ 11.3 billion annually. The Indian Government has also announced its intention to build 100 Smart city infrastructures across the country, which will require, besides the financial investments, a prudent plan to deal with the challenges of larger and faster management of municipal operations.

With this rapid growth ahead of us, imagine if our cities could talk�if they could give us live status updates on traffic patterns, pollution, available parking spaces, water, power and light. Imagine how that kind of information could improve the economic and environmental health of a city for its residents, merchants, and visitors. Imagine how it could improve working conditions and productivity for the people who maintain the quality of life of each city.

According to a draft concept paper for the proposal released by the Urban Development ministry, round-the-clock power and water supply, Wi-Fi connectivity and telemedicine facilities would be some of the highlights of the 100 Smart cities which the government has decided to develop across the country. Smart cities promise better and healthier urban environments through the adoption of city-based applications enabled by low-power, ruggedized environmental sensors and wireless connectivity. A Smart city can be run more efficiently than a traditional city as municipal authorities will be able to monitor more aspects of the city on a real-time basis and respond accordingly. These include sensors that are able to send real-time alerts when traffic or crowds are building up, or if there are malfunctions in the water or the electricity supply, and ensure that information services about city facilities are always up-to-date. These capabilities will require excellent Wi-Fi for smart mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, sensors, video equipment, and for the data collection and analytics necessary for enabling critical infrastructure management.

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