Making cities smarter

Staff writer
11 Dec 2014

Lim Chee Siong, CMO for Huawei Southern Pacific RegionLim Chee Siong, CMO for Huawei Southern Pacific Region, breaks down basic requirements for enabling smart cities, starting with a clear strategy and roadmap for implementation

Vision 2015: There are different ways of approaching the smart city concept. How does Huawei conceptualize it?

Lim Chee Siong: Our overall concept of a smart city is embodied within our key strategy, which is focused on building a better connected world. It is this idea which provides the connectivity to underpin a complete portfolio of smart city solutions. These solutions encompass sensing, analyzing and integrating key information representing a city’s core operating infrastructure and systems. Our concept is that a smart city improves the quality and intelligence of its citizen’s livelihoods, enhances environmental protection, public safety, urban services, security, education, while generating positive GDP growth by fostering and enabling business activities and efficiencies.

So how would you sum up the basic needs and strategies of smart cities?

A smart city must support three major strategies: growing the GDP, enhancing the quality of life for its citizens and providing an attractive, secure and safe environment in which all its citizens will feel at home.

What are the various elements comprising a smart city?

Any smart city will of course be made up of a number of core elements defined by a complex mesh of systems across industry sectors such as transportation, energy, water and healthcare. Huawei has embraced this understanding through the development of solutions across four key sectors: urban development and sustainability; social development for communities, including health, education and enterprises; public safety, security and disaster management; and government efficiency and openness.

By centrally managing these sectors, a smart city allows the sharing of data and capabilities across multiple systems, agencies, and enterprises. Such sharing enables an ecosystem where the most widely adopted and innovative applications will establish trends and provide guiding examples of intelligent infrastructure development, public service convenience, social management refinements and optimized industry structures.

What are the key underlying technologies to enable smart cities?

Underlying each of the domains mentioned above are some key technology foundational elements. The technology innovations of cloud computing, Big Data, mobile internet, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are addressing these elements through the creation of intelligent, convenient, and energy efficient information systems. Such systems help city leaders to more effectively deliver services, ensure public security and increase food safety, sanitation, energy availability as well as reducing negatives such as traffic congestion.

To that end, we are developing agile supporting infrastructure to deliver innovative high-speed networks, citywide public information platforms, ubiquitous mobile broadband access and comprehensive information security. We are also creating IoT advancements such as cellular IoT - or “one hop technology” - which enables the rollout of sensors with battery life of more than 10 years and reduces the need for tower infrastructure. Huawei is taking a major role in this promising development through research and development, strategic acquisitions and working group contributions.

We are also developing solutions for smart homes that can save energy, enhance remote health and improve security, as well as improve the environment by simple air quality monitoring in the home. These homes will be able to pass both identifiable and anonymous data that will enable agencies, and enterprises to make smart analytical decisions.


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