Advanced Networks Create Unlimited Possibilities for Connected Cities

In an article for Public Utilities Fortnightly, Navigant says 4G/5G networks, low power wide area solutions, and widespread fiber can benefit all

Built correctly, a connected citywide network can provide residents with an enhanced quality of life and set a strong foundation for economic growth. As the energy transition accelerates, more smart city projects are leveraging the ubiquitous, high-performance connectivity promised by 4G/5G networks, low power wide area solutions, and widespread fiber to bring these benefits home.

In an article for a special series in Public Utilities Fortnightly on smart communities, Richelle Elberg and Eric Woods, associate directors at Navigant, share how these technologies support new revenue streams for municipalities, as well as public safety, traffic management, more resilient and reliable power, environmental monitoring, and more. 

"A multitude of networking technologies can support the connected city," according to the pair. "Longer term, however, Navigant believes that high capacity, low latency networks — such as those offered by 4G today (and 5G in coming years) — and fiber networks represent the most forward-thinking options. Combined with Wi-Fi, the possibilities for new business models and revenue sources are virtually unlimited."

Elberg and Woods highlighted a variety of connected city applications that these types of advanced networks can make possible, including:

  • Advanced street lighting
  • Smart waste management
  • Public messaging/digital signage
  • High-definition video surveillance
  • Environmental/air quality monitoring
  • Smart parking
  • Gunshot detection and location
  • Traffic light controls

"Looking ahead, the synergies and mutual benefits to be gained between connected cities and utilities are undeniable, and the platform enabled by the latest connectivity technologies will support innumerable applications — including those we have not even dreamed of yet."

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