Big idea for smart city IoT: Get small

Small edge and fog networks can help increasingly dense and connected smart cities power the internet of things.

According to a report from the United Nations' Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. In addition, the UN expects that the gradual shift from rural to urban areas, combined with overall population growth, could add another 2.5 billion people living in urban areas by 2050. This could lead to 43 megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants by 2030.

Understanding these key trends in urbanization will be crucial for supporting and maintaining the health and safety of the urban resident. Even now, numerous city-managed systems are deemed “too critical to fail.” Priority is given to traffic control signals, for example, due to the potential for lethal impact should traffic lights go out. Freshwater pumping stations issue a rapid-impact alert when they go down. Repeater stations used by first responders to provide dispatch and emergency digital communications maintain ambulance, fire and law enforcement services. To ensure these services scale to match population growth, cities must get smart about where they process their data workloads.

A smart city will generate massive amounts of new data, and traditional urban networks cannot support the volume coming their way. Simply put, processing more data will require more funding. According to a recent study by IDC, internet-of-things spending in the United States is expected to reach $194 billion this year.  Among the industries spending the most on IoT are transportation at $71 billion -- for freight monitoring and fleet management -- and utilities at $61 billion, primarily for smart grids for electricity, gas and water.

Intel’s general manager for new markets and business development in IoT predicts that by 2020, smart cities will  require hundreds or thousands of IoT sensors collecting data from gas, oil, parking and water meters as well as traffic lights, trains, cars, drones, facial recognition systems and other devices to drive data-enhanced services, generating about 16.5 zettabytes of data every year.

As these urban areas push towards smart services, an additional data challenge will arise: where to put the networks that will be doing all the IoT information collection and processing?  With millions of citizens tightly packed into finite city blocks, there will be no vacant space for data center construction Smart services will require networks that can scale to handle the information, but in very confined areas. What’s the solution? Think small edge and fog networks.

Upscale cities must downscale networks

Edge and fog networks can analyze data close to where it’s collected, lifting the burden of data processing from congested cities. Unlike traditional enterprise networks, fog networks decentralize the cloud’s processing capabilities, and edge computing embeds data processing capabilities directly into devices at the network's perimeter. By leveraging these smaller networks, urban developments can integrate data from multiple sensors to reduce traffic accidents, better manage fleets of garbage trucks and snow plows and optimize first responders’ services.

The IoT-enabled future will also need enough power for crosswalk presence detectors, sensors in the street lights, home utility meters, thermometers and ozone radiation and smoke detectors. The growing smart ecosystem means managers must oversee the installation, maintenance and operation of more products in more locations than ever before.

Remotely monitored and managed power distribution units can help bring the stoplight systems up in the proper order, monitor the temperature and environmental conditions within the data center equipment cabinet and tell whether the doors to the cabinet have been opened by detecting the status of dry contact closures. Having a network infrastructure that is powered by intelligent rack-mount PDUs also provides a path to reduced energy expenditures because it can turn off when they are not in use. For example, city buildings such as libraries, schools and museums can all be powered down when not in use, saving money and reducing their environmental impact.

Smart cities harness data to make day-to-day living comfortable, convenient and safer. Putting information and services in the hands of residents fosters a deeper engagement with the community. With the breadth of sensors, systems and networks that go into putting the “smarts” and safety into a city, it is imperative that architects and designers have the means to accomplish their tasks.  IDC expects smart cities to spend $250 billion on hardware led by more than $200 billion in module/sensor purchases in 2019. Another $154 billion will go to IoT software. Funding, therefore, will be paramount to realizing the promises smart cities hold -- as will cost savings achieved from maximizing sensor battery life, signal distance and partnerships with companies that already have IoT LoRaWAN-type networks in place to help reduce costs.

It’s also worth noting that regulations may require some city-specific IoT-based data to be summarized and reported up to the federal level. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency may require cities to report water usage, water quality and power consumption data, the Census Bureau may want to see population data for trending predictions and temperature data would be valuable to the National Weather Service.

Laying the right IoT groundwork that cost-effectively scales to support today’s citizens and tomorrow’s highly concentrated populations will fulfill the smart city promises and fuel the IoT economy to deliver better citizen services.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.