A Smart Approach to Planning Smart Cities

Global population growth and the continued migration from rural to urban areas are placing unprecedented demand on our cities’ infrastructure, energy consumption and services. In its 2011 State of World Population report, the United Nations Population Fund predicted that the world’s population will increase from 7 billion in 2011 to 9.3 billion by 2050, and as high as 15 billion by 2100. Coupled with this dynamic, while 50% of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, within 35 years this will grow to 67%. To remain sustainable, cities need to become smarter. In a wireless age, this means leveraging their connected technology assets to promote citizen-centric solutions.  To meet this need, ATIS recently released a new resource to help in the planning of Smart Cities.

Smart Cities: How does a city become “smart”? 

Smart Cities take planning. The chosen path will vary depending on each city’s stage of development, location, culture, demographics and motivation. In parallel, cities must make decisions regarding which verticals and their associated applications to support. These encompass a wide range of functions and are illustrated in the graphic below.




The challenge facing most cities is that each department may have its own network to support its services and its own priorities with respect to its technology evolution. In a Smart City environment, the foundation is based on an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure that converges these individual disparate networks to offer seamless intelligent connectivity within and across the different verticals in order for a city to fully leverage its assets and capabilities.

To achieve this goal, a unified approach to technology deployment is necessary. While a number of organizations are working to develop frameworks in support of the multitude of both current and future verticals and applications, ATIS has created a detailed Smart Cities Technology Roadmap that provides an overview of the network-enabled technologies and emerging vertical applications to have the greatest impact on the evolving Smart City.

To develop the Roadmap, ATIS worked with its member companies active in this sector who have already partnered with and invested in Smart Cities projects. City planners, CTOs and CIO were also involved. By leveraging their expert knowledge, the Technology Roadmap is a valuable asset to Smart Cities planners. It provides a practical planning guide of network-enabled technologies that will help shape their budgeting, purchasing and staging decisions.

Leveraging some of the early Smart Cities focus areas such as Transportation, Energy, Smart Buildings and Smart Lighting the Roadmap builds on the foundational elements of those infrastructures, while identifying and prioritizing the technology-enablers that need to be further developed to help all verticals become an integral part of how Smart Cities function.

Some of the enabling technologies include the following:


By embracing virtualization within its networks, cities will be able to build a more flexible architecture that is programmable and automated, elastic and dynamic, as well as open and interoperable.

Multi-Access Edge Computing

Allows Smart Cities to push logic and control to the edge of the network and down to where their assets reside. This provides a higher-bandwidth, lower-latency environment, providing better performance for mission-critical and time-critical applications.

Big Data Analytics

As Smart Cities implement sensors and monitoring equipment, the amount of data being collected will be massive. As such, Smart Cities will likely implement data analytics to process this information and determine if it is actionable and adds value to both the end user and the city itself.

Hybrid Cloud Architectures

Allows Smart Cities to use cloud infrastructure for new applications, while maintaining existing in-house infrastructure in support of the legacy on premise systems across multiple verticals.  Using robust APIs, cities will ensure that services implemented in the cloud can work together in the future.

Why does this matter?

The planning and development cycle for Smart Cities is long and will most likely require a migration of its current legacy network solutions towards Smart City solutions. As such, it is critical that cities make the right investment in the right technology at the right time.

ATIS’ Smart Cities Technology Roadmap, based on input from key technology companies that have extensive experience in both network evolution and smart city implementation, offers a comprehensive view around technology development. It provides city planners with greater confidence in the sustainability of their initial investment, as well as guidance (and associated timing) around technology evolution. This component is key as city managers in early Smart Cities deployments have often discovered that new technologies, while promising, were not always ready for prime time.

The Roadmap provides city planners with an accurate view of network-enabled developments that will advance future services and applications, facilitate integrated services and opportunities, as well as help to create new revenue opportunities and a tangible ROI for our growing cities.

Mike Nawrocki
Vice President of Technology and Solutions, ATIS


About ATIS

As a leading technology and solutions development organization, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) brings together the top global ICT companies to advance the industry’s most critical business priorities. ATIS’ 150 member companies are currently working to address 5G, the all-IP transition, network functions virtualization, big data analytics, cloud services, the ICT implications of Smart Cities, emergency services, IoT, cyber security, network evolution, quality of service, billing support, operations, and much more. These priorities follow a fast-track development lifecycle – from design and innovation through standards, specifications, requirements, business use cases, software toolkits, open source solutions, and interoperability testing.

ATIS is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ATIS is the North American Organizational Partner for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a founding Partner of the oneM2M global initiative, a member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as well as a member of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). For more information, visit www.atis.org.

About SIP Forum

The SIP Forum is an IP communications industry association that engages in numerous activities that promote and advance SIP-based technology, such as the development of industry recommendations, the SIPit, SIPconnect-IT and RTCWeb-it interoperability testing events, special workshops, educational seminars, and general promotion of SIP in the industry. The SIP Forum is also the producer of the annual SIPNOC conferences (for SIP Network Operators Conference), focused on the technical requirements of the service provider community. One of its notable technical activities is the development of the SIPconnect Technical Recommendation – a standards-based SIP trunking recommendation that provides detailed guidelines for direct IP peering and interoperability between IP PBXs and SIP-based service provider networks. Other important Forum initiatives include work in Fax-over-IP interoperability, User Agent Configuration, Video Relay Service interoperability, security, NNI, and SIP and IPv6. For more information, please visit: http://www.sipforum.org.

About Neustar

Every day, the world generates roughly 2.5 quadrillion bits of data. Neustar (NYSE: NSR) isolates certain elements and analyzes, simplifies and edits them to make precise and valuable decisions that drive results. As one of the few companies capable of knowing with certainty who is on the other end of every interaction, we're trusted by the world's great brands to make critical decisions some 20 billion times a day. We help marketers send timely and relevant messages to the right people. Because we can authoritatively tell a client exactly who is calling or connecting with them, we make critical real-time responses possible. And the same comprehensive information that enables our clients to direct and manage orders also stops attackers. We know when someone isn't who they claim to be, which helps stop fraud and denial of service before they're a problem. Because we're also an experienced manager of some of the world's most complex databases, we help clients control their online identity, registering and protecting their domain name, and routing traffic to the correct network address. By linking the most essential information with the people who depend on it, we provide more than 12,000 clients worldwide with decisions—not just data. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.