The smart city solutions market is on the cusp of a significant boom as investments in upgrading telecommunication networks to 5G standards will drive growth in digitizing city infrastructure and services, a new research report from Frost & Sullivan states. 

Smart city solutions empower city governments to acquire distributed city data and unify it while offering a platform to provide innovative solutions for effective city management. Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Smart City Solutions Growth Opportunities, finds that the sector is evolving from aiming to create traffic management solutions to converging with industry participants creating solutions for data simulation, the sharing economy, social media, and mass transit. 

“In every smart city project, one of the most important layers is connectivity, which is the city-wide network infrastructure that facilitates the data flow between devices and the central monitoring platform,” said Avishar Dutta, mobility senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Additionally, to reduce the cost of setting up such a network, low-power wide-area network technology is seeing adoption to make smart city projects feasible for small urban areas.” 

The main market growth drivers are regulations that mandate the biggest cities to reduce their carbon emissions in a timely manner, Dutta added. “Further, these regulations demand public spending in smart city investments, and governments are sanctioning smart city projects at an increasing pace, driving competitive intensity.” 

The demand for smart city solutions with increasing applications across areas presents lucrative growth opportunities for market participants. The report cites three opportunities in particular: 

  • Autonomous mobility: Smart city solution providers should offer solutions that include vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication devices. 
  • Future city planning: Municipal authorities should consider the capabilities of smart city solutions to increase a city’s quality of living and harvest data to visualize how to plan out the city for the future. 
  • Smart infrastructure: The mapping of cities to prepare them for autonomous vehicle services is also a market opportunity for smart city solution providers and can be included in smart city solutions. 

Among growth restraints, the report cites costs involved in installing a comprehensive smart city solution are prohibitive for smaller urban areas and cities in developing markets. Data privacy concerns also exist regarding the collection and storage of unsecured data, inappropriate data, and excess data breaking data privacy laws.