Cities are huge consumers of telecom connectivity and services but the path to becoming "smart" cities looks a lot different now than it did even a year ago.
US Ignite's Mari Silbey joins the podcast to help dig into two areas -- data analytics and infrastructure sharing -- that are central to the cities of the future becoming more connected and being better places to live, work and play.
Silbey starts out with some positive examples of cities using data to fix things and keep citizens safer -- from predicting health code violations in Chicago to stemming the tide of blight in Baton Rouge. As the discussion goes on, Silbey said there are still a lot of challenges around helping cities normalize and analyze data so they can do something with it. Universities are helping, in some cases, to supply the manpower and resources, as part of some creative new partnerships.
As we discuss telcos sharing infrastructure, we briefly touch on the buildouts for 5G that haven't really addressed the connectivity problem in small cities and rural communities. "In theory, one of the things 5G is good for is being able to connect lots and lots of different devices. But I'm not sure we've maxed out what 4G can do on that front, in terms of Iot use cases in rural areas," Silbey said. "And if there's not a business case, it's hard to imagine that telcos are going to want to invest just to increase capacity when there may not be an immediate return on investment."
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