Frost & Sullivan considers smart technology in the context of smart cities as espousing most elements of broader ICT definitions—hardware, software, and services. Put another way, smart technology serves as the connective tissue that binds the individual components, including home, office, mobile phone, and car, on a single, access-agnostic technology platform. Smart city services such as real-time traffic and security and safety monitoring, as well as healthcare assistance and smart energy distribution depend on a foundation of mobile and wireless communication technologies. A significant function of smart technology is thus related to connectivity and communications services that serve as the foundation for a plethora of citizen-facing smart city applications. Smart technology creates a metaphoric fabric of networked devices that remotely communicate and interact with each other and their surroundings through sensors and actuators.
A strong smart technology framework goes beyond point-solutions and brings seamless connectivity through the adoption of high-speed broadband connections, the Internet of Things (IoT), the provision of free Wi-Fi, 4G, and, in the future, 5G technology. Ultimately, smart technology lays the foundation needed for vertical-specific applications and technologies to function.
To reflect the indispensable role of smart technology, Frost & Sullivan smart city diamond model has been of much value to the smart city community by offering a simply, visual prism used to organize smart city activities into eight areas. Transforming the octagon framework into a heptagon offers an evolved alternative view that pays tribute to smart technology’s ever-clearer role as a foundation for the adoption of application-specific smart city technologies A horizontal infrastructure in nature, much of the return on smart technology investment is higher order and becomes visible in vertical-specific applications build on top of smart technology platforms. Smart technology is clearly not a sufficient condition, but a necessary condition for a city to become smart.
Key questions this research will address:
· What elements make up a smart city ecosystem?
· How does smart city technology as a platform work?
· What are the main communication technologies used in a smart city?
· How are the technologies evolving?
· What are the main challenges for smart city development?
The research concludes with a section on smart city success cases and a look ahead.