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Wireless Infrastructure as the Foundation of Smart Cities and Communities

By: WIA Innovation & Technology Council


More than 80 percent of North Americans live in urban areas and are increasingly concentrating in mid-sized and large cities. This trend is expected to continue as economic forces, industry drivers and other factors drive people toward urban areas.

Faced with increased populations, cities are challenged to create more efficient ways to deal with the impact of this growth while being sensitive to environmental, economic and quality-of-life issues. Connectivity and bandwidth are fueling a new Gigabyte economy that will rely on smart services. Wireless and fiber-optics are key enablers of that connectivity and will play essential roles in creating smart communities.

Today’s wireless infrastructure — while robust — will require massive upgrades. Technical advances in speeds, location awareness, coverage, capacity, range, and a multitude of other areas will be needed to support the estimated 25 billion connected devices that could be in use by 2020, according to Gartner. Aligning policy and capability is essential to enabling the successful implementation of these technologies. This requires governments to break down departmental silos, build partnerships and look to best-practices models that are proven to be successful. This report will explore the infrastructure needs of building smart communities.