According to McKinsey, urban population is set to grow by 65 million per year by 2025.While the cities are growing at a tremendous pace, there are also multiple problems plaguing these cities which can be addressed with technological advancements like internet of things, artificial intelligence and data analytics. Governments across the world is looking at leveraging these technologies to address the urban problems and turn the cities into smart cities to enable better living conditions for the citizens. Internet is the backbone which can allow better functioning and integration of these technologies. Public Wifi hence becomes very important since internet access for all cannot be provided only through mobile data or private Wifi.
Some of the ways in which public Wifi can be of immense help in smart cities are as follows:
- Citizen safety and Security
Public Wifi can enable better connectivity with surveillance cameras and security systems across the city. Safety requirements of citizens can thus be addressed appropriately and on time.
- International tourism
Smart cities will also enable better infrastructure for tourists. Public Wi-Fi will help them with the ability to move around the city by checking directions and timetables of public communication, give access to information on important historical locations or even emergency alerts for municipal services.
- Smart LED street lighting
The Smart Wi-Fi enabled led lighting system has been adopted in many cities like brazil, Manchester and Cardiff. The system is connected via a centralized management system (CMS), so city managers can control and monitor the street lights remotely and sensors on the street lights can also be used to monitor air quality and traffic flow. Not only it can reduce up to 60% on energy consumption but also reduce the city’s carbon emission.
- Smart Parking
The high growth rate in the registration of new cars worldwide, with major boom from regional economies such as Asia Pacific had led to increase in demand for parking space. Finding a parking space has become very time and fuel consuming. Many European companies have adopted apps that helps people in finding parking spot using sensors which connect to the application and can tell which spaces are available and which are in use. The technology used in the app then allows the driver to pay for their parking with the touch of a button. Public wifi will also play an important role in enabling all of this.
- Environmental and Wastewater Management Applications
Smart waste management can help in monitoring and increasing overall waste recycling efficiency. It can also provide the route optimization opportunity for utilities to reduce traffic and fuel use.
An example of modern smart waste management system would include sensors attached to the trash bin that measures fill level and a communication system that transfers this data to Cloud and the route of collection trucks is optimized.