The wireless key that unlocks a smarter state

The wireless key that unlocks a smarter state

A smarter state isn’t just about spending money more efficiently, although it can be pretty good at that. It can also lead to a better quality of life. A study from McKinsey Global Institute found that smart city applications contribute positively to public safety, time and convenience, health, environmental quality, social connectedness and civic participation, jobs and the cost of living. Cities which embrace smart technologies could improve key quality-of-life indicators by up to 30 per cent.

Raise money and save money

For local authorities, digital tools can dramatically transform the way they deliver public services as well as improve quality of life for households and businesses. This can help create places where people want to live, work, and raise families, attracting investment and generating new revenue streams from business rates and council tax. With soaring energy costs piling pressure on the public purse, local authority finance chiefs are seeking to raise money and save it wherever they can.

Pass savings to residents

Potential applications are everywhere. Bins fitted with sensors can record household recycling rates, help councils to better plan rubbish collection routes and pass savings to residents who send the least waste to landfill, according to the Social Market Foundation. Local authorities can use smart CCTV systems to reduce crime, manage traffic and parking and keep a watchful eye on large-scale public events. And buses equipped with monitors can detect potholes in the road and alert highways departments so they can act.

Next wave of transformation

Of course, the ability to run such data-hungry services depends entirely on connectivity in any given place. To unlock the next wave of transformation in delivering resilient public services, towns and cities will need to harness the power of gigabit-capable broadband. While seven in 10 UK properties can access the fastest and most reliable connections, the government has scaled back its original ambition to 85 per cent coverage by 2025. In the meantime, what of those places deemed too difficult or expensive to connect?

A greener solution

This is where a new kind of broadband can come in. Millimetre-wave wireless technology can rapidly extend the reach of fibre networks into broadband black spots. This can quickly overcome the delays and disruption affecting fibre deployment. It offers a greener solution, using above ground, accessible kit; it transmits a tiny fraction of the power compared to mainstream 5G equipment and can deliver speeds of up to 10 gigabits. For any local authority ambitious to adopt smart city technologies and unlock all the benefits they can bring but struggling with current connectivity levels, a gigabit-capable wireless network can make all the difference.