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Is Nokia's New Framework Announcement Bringing Us Closer to Truly Smart Cities?

Nate Vickery

Nokia has developed a framework that will enable governments to implement smart cities. The framework is designed to aid regions to design and obtain services for smart city concepts. However, Nokia states that more emphasis needs to be put on developing an overarching strategy rather than small projects.

The Australian government announced that they are interested in building smart cities, but there are still major gaps in figuring out how to do so. Nokia Oceania CTO Warren Lemmens said, in an interview for ZDNet, that cities are currently not equipped for the digital future and are being left to solve the problem by themselves.

To address the issue, Nokia is suggesting an approach on a government level, where states and territories will work in conjunction with an overarching federal government program, allowing cities to focus on their specific needs.

The Concept of a Smart City

What Nokia has in mind is quite amazing — their six-point framework is using a horizontal approach. This means that Nokia is developing a horizontal Internet of Things platform (IoT). In short terms, IoT will be used to connect every device together. The platform called IMPACT (Intelligent Management Platform for all Connected Things) will manage every feature of machine-to-machine connections (M2M) for any protocol, any device and across any platform.

Nokia's framework will institute one single City Digital Platform for all cities. This platform will help devise a new federal program for innovation that focuses on data. It's a beginning of a more collaborative approach between government, businesses, academia and startups that will cornerstone smart cities. This will assist the public-private partnerships for the improvement of smart cities, eliminating the current tendency to separate device, data and application environments — and ensuring the personalization of each city under the program.

What Nokia is trying to do is gather everyone of importance to work together and contribute to turning the smart city concept into a reality, sooner rather than later.

Smart Cities in the Future

Many of you are probably wondering what will smart city look like in the future. Well if you're thinking about flying cars and teleportation fields, you're going to be disappointed. Smart city will be a hub of information, IoT devices and all kinds of algorithms and scans that will make the city livelier. This won't involve tearing down the old buildings and building them again from scratch. Instead, it will focus on improved urban planning like vertical gardens, new buildings with implemented smart technology and various other gadgets. The point is that a smart city will utilize the digital economy and IoT will be the main distributor of data and information.

According to Nokia: What the discussion about smart cities should focus on, should be data. Silos need to be broken down in order to leverage data, so it could be collected and shared between governments and business. This will improve personalization because we'll find out how businesses and citizens use the city.

Nokia also said that every city needs a "control center" to collect and utilize this data to drive this personalization.

Lemmens said that an operations environment — which consists of three separate layers: application, service, and infrastructure operations, with security "straddling all the operation layers" — should be used in conjunction with this control center.

What is Next?

Basically, the smart city will focus on personalization through the IoT devices. This is quite exciting, because of the possibilities that come with this concept. It is quite possible that cities will prosper based on personalization, digital economy and startup business will flourish with this new trend. It is safe to assume that startup business will have to build new business plans to fully make use of this new market. Another interesting feature that we can look forward is the personalization itself. How will it affect and aid the common person and what benefits we might expect from it?

Sadly though, we can only guess at this point, because the smart city is still a project in its infant stages. We shall have to wait patiently and see how the situation will develop further. Nokia's intentions have stirred everyone's imaginations, we can hope that Australia will further endorse this venture, and maybe even speed up the process a bit. After all, if this concept succeeds, we can expect smart cities all over the world to embrace this concept.

By Nate Vickery, Consultant
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Related topics: Internet of Things, Networks

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