Frost & Sullivan Details Findings on Smart Cities Worldwide (1/29/15)
Thursday, January 29, 2015 | Comments

A new study from Frost & Sullivan on smart cities concludes that the United States will continue to set the pace, leading the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution and next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) development. However, cash-rich oil cities in the Middle East and Central Asia, and Russia because of the FIFA World Cup in 2018, will also upgrade security infrastructure as cities focus on becoming smarter and safer.

In 2014, Frost & Sullivan reviewed and benchmarked more than 600 of the world’s most populous cities in terms of the threat they face and their ability to invest in the latest technology. The new research assesses how cities fall into clusters, why attitudes to technology differ and what this means for systems integrators and technology vendors.

“The rate at which new technologies and approaches to safety are adopted by a city is determined by several key factors that drive technology implementation,” said Steven Webb, vice president for Aerospace, Defense & Security at Frost & Sullivan. “The type and severity of the threat is important as it will determine the technology deployed and the coverage needed to make the city safe. A city faced with a high crime rate faces a different set of challenges to those threatened by terrorism or environmental hazards, such as flooding or earthquakes. Also of importance are government and agency policy and investment in information and communications infrastructure, which provides the backbone for surveillance cameras and coordination of intelligence.”

The research showed that while some cities faced similar levels of threat, had access to similar levels of finance and were highly focused on implementing high-end technology programs, there is a notable difference between the technology programs in the United States and Europe vs. the rest of the world.

“This in part is driven by legacy infrastructure and experience,” Webb said. “In the U.S. and Europe, large video surveillance programs already exist, and therefore, the focus is on getting better intelligence out of the existing infrastructure. At the same time, improvements in wireless broadband coverage and speed and the ability to share large quantities of data means programs have shifted from monitoring cities to providing near real-time information to officers and decision-makers.”

With notable exceptions, such as a few Middle Eastern cities, Singapore and Australia, the rest of the world has been focused on large video surveillance and management programs, according to the survey. This is certainly the case in India where Mumbai announced that it selected a systems integrator for its 6,000 video camera program. More cities in India will follow the examples of Mumbai and Surat, but the focus in the near term will be on video surveillance rather than big data analytics.

Data analytics and secure cloud-based services allow agencies to make sense of greater quantities of data at an increasingly lower cost. Put simply, technology is improving situational awareness and collaboration, helping agencies to make better decisions, the survey said.

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