Ubiquitous broadband telecommunication is a prerequisite for a smart city. This chapter explains how to achieve a telecommunications architecture that can serve as the foundation of a smart city and the foundation for major improvements in livability, workability and sustainability. We begin by defining telecommunications, both as it exists today and as it will evolve tomorrow. After we discuss the “what,” we’ll talk about the “why” – why telecommunications is so vital to smart city success. We’ll finish by discussing the targets for telecommunications – the end states at which you should aim your efforts. Along the way, we will pay brief visits to telecommunications success stories from around the world.

ilicon Valley Power provides a free public WiFi network

In 2013, Silicon Valley Power (SVP) opened up its existing Tropos wireless communications network provided by Smart Cities Council member ABB to providefree public outdoor WiFi access throughout the city of Santa Clara. Residents and visitors use client laptops, tablets and smartphones with standard WiFi connections to access the Internet throughout the outdoor areas of Santa Clara.

Robust Telecommunications help Amsterdam compete

Amsterdam, the financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands, strives to be one of Europe’s greenest, most sustainable cities while continuing to maintain economic growth. Over the past decade, the city developed a plan for collaborating, envisioning, developing and testing connected solutions that could pave the way to a smarter, greener urban environment.

Wireless network helps Charlotte, NC deliver a more sustainable future

Charlotte, NC-based Duke Energy – along with the local organization Charlotte Center City Partners – launched a new partnership called Envision Charlotte in 2010. It’s a rare public-private partnership between heads of business, building owners and managers, utilities chiefs, city planning professionals, and more. Their common goal? To achieve up to 20% energy reduction by 2016.

Belfast Health Trust Unifies Communications, Speeds Up Clinical Decision Making

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust operates in Northern Ireland through a network of six organizations and more than 100 physical locations with an annual budget of about £1 billion (US$1.5 billion) and a staff of around 20,000. It wanted to replace its previous system with a unified communications system that would make it easier for doctors, nurses, and administrators to access information and communicate effectively regardless of location.

NYC Reimagines Communications Infrastructure with Fast, Free Muni Wi-Fi Network

Despite being one of the most advanced cities in the world, New York City has an antiquated and broken communications infrastructure with approximately 7,500 payphones located throughout its five boroughs. The city recognized an opportunity to utilize this real estate to transform NYC into a smart city platform to provide services and bridge the digital divide by making Wi-Fi more accessible to its citizens.