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With 56% of populations now living in urban areas around the world, cities are vital to economic growth and form the heartbeat of the 4th Industrial Revolution. 

Within Saudi Arabia, the nation has witnessed a rise in its urban population, with over 83 percent of the inhabitants now living in urban areas. This number is projected to increase to 97.6 percent by 2030. 

Citizen expectations are already evolving, as digital literacy grows and more data-driven, on-demand services take off. The pandemic accelerated these changes and now it’s time to take stock. How smart are our cities already and how smart do we want them to be?

It’s an exciting question, and there’s an entire ecosystem of telecoms and infrastructure providers poised to reveal the answers. Our possible futures are even more expansive and will only be realised with investments in 5G technologies. But it is up to the ingenuity of businesses to connect the dots. They must focus on citizens’ day-to-day friction points and invest in the 5G technologies that will enable the solutions. It drives new revenue streams while enabling citizens to live more sustainable, digitally equitable and streamlined lives in intelligent cities.

The changing nature of cities

The trifactor of public sector, business and technologists, coming together to ensure cities flourish with growing intelligence, is part of the many successes seen so far. Edge and IoT technologies are already paving the way with digital city innovations, reducing road fatalities with enhanced traffic management and autonomous mobility. Meanwhile, AI technologies drive public safety and accelerate emergency response with edge computing and analytics enabling real-time actionable insights. Modern technologies are bringing safer, healthier cities to life, improving urban and citizen outcomes. With the addition of 5G connectivity, we will be able to go so much further. This is where telecom providers come in.

As complex, interconnected ecosystems form the data fabric of increasingly dynamic cities, their digital foundations are being set. New products and services that will transform the way we inhabit these cities are on the cusp of discovery. So, what’s the hold up?

The next step: Modernizing telecom networks

When telecom networks are modernised to support 5G enterprise use cases and the influx of data at the edge, the digital cities of tomorrow will be a hive of innovation, driven by the enterprising use of consumer data. But the real challenge lays with bringing together an ecosystem of new and existing telecom providers and inspiring businesses to make the necessary 5G investments. Technology providers are the glue to this ecosystem with a wealth of enterprise experience to help build and inform business awareness. Together the next generation of smart city innovation can be unlocked.

Saudi Arabia has been investing in 5G connectivity as part of its economic diversification strategies and to enhance digital infrastructure. The demands for more connectivity require more data transfer power. To address this demand, 5G will deliver ultra-fast connection speeds and gigantic bandwidth to drive companies’ efficiency and innovation potential.

Mixed reality technologies will be a key feature in the 5G-powered digital city. Supported by high-latency and super speed connectivity, businesses use cases become more viable. Businesses with simplified data strategies will be best placed to leverage AI and analytics to determine new revenue streams.

Collaboration is the key to uncovering this second iteration of the digital city, this time powered by 5G. With the support of nurturing networks across the private and public sectors – and strategic partnerships between telecom providers and technology companies – 5G will make digital cities a reality.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Mohamed Talaat

Quelle/Source: Riyadh Daily, 11.01,.2023

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