@Green January/February 2022 - Page 20


@ green | January-February , 2022

Shared vision of smart cities

5G existence will facilitate the development of smart cities

SMART CITIES play essential roles in moving Malaysia ’ s sustainability agenda . The advent of 5G connectivity will help stakeholders develop and optimise smart cities ’ potential to better people ’ s lives . However , some challenges need to be addressed for smart cities to be implemented successfully .

On Dec 1 , 5G Tech 2021 held a discussion titled “ Working towards a shared vision of smart cities ” to discuss the roles of 5G and other related technologies in driving the smart city agenda .
The session , moderated by Dr Gopinath Rao Sinnia , CTO and Co-Founder of Favoriot Sdn Bhd , featured Mohamad Rejab Sulaiman , Maimunah Jaffar , Darryll Sinnappa and Srinivas Chitiveli .
Optimising the use of drones
Srinivas , Product Executive of Mavenir , said with the advent of 5G , many evolutions were happening beyond traffic management , which was the first thing associated with the smart city .
“ Now , with 5G , we can integrate drones and help law enforcement officers . If there is an event or incident , the drones would be the first responders . They would fly around and reach the incident before the patrol goes in and provide situational awareness for the police to react to the situation ,” said Srinivas .
“ Drones are also being engaged to help forest officials to detect fires before they can happen . Drones could fly around ; they would have different sensors for humidity , heat and an onboard camera that can detect fire and fumes and help a lot of devastation even before it can get started .
“ Smart water management is something that is coming to almost every city . With 5G , the municipalities can identify leakages and ensure citizens get the water supply when they want it .”
Mohamad Rejab , Head of Product and Innovation at TM ONE , emphasised the importance of stakeholders working together and utilising the data for smart city development . At the same time , Darryll , Chief Executive Officer of Naza Communications , highlighted that the notion of smart cities and smart city applications and use cases could differ from one perspective or user to another .
Challenges in smart city development
Maimunah , Director-Lead Technology & Innovation , Iskandar Regional Development Authority , said Iskandar Malaysia already developed its smart city framework in 2012 .
“ To us , smart city is a tool to assimilate Iskandar Malaysia ’ s vision and outcome for our greenhouse gas reduction based on our low carbon cities agenda . Smart cities optimise digital , technology , data and insight to improve the quality of economy , social and environment ,” she said , adding that Iskandar Malaysia had been involved in many private projects for smart cities , including Iskandar Rapid Transit Smart Integrated Transportation System .
She said some of the challenges in the development of smart cities were :
• Reliability of internet connectivity
• Finding the right solutions to resolve the city ’ s urban challenges
• Government ’ s readiness and understanding
• Limited funding According to Darryll , the biggest challenge for smart cities development was the various approvals and permits that companies had to go through before implementing some systems .
How to sustain smart cities
As smart cities are meant to improve the overall experience of their residents , it is crucial to sustain these cities in the long run . However , sustaining and maintaining smart cities can be challenging .
To sustain smart cities , Maimunah said : “ There will be two keywords for that . One is collaboration , and the other one is looking at how a sustainable business model can be derived between the partnership of cities and solution providers .”
As a technology player , Srinivas then shared that Mavenir had always ensured the flexibility of its solutions . By providing this flexibility , stakeholders would be better positioned to determine what works best for them .
“ Then comes converged solutions . What that means is a smart city initiative , for example , needs connectivity , software for acceleration and AI analytics , etc . All these different applications should converge on the same hardware , same operating system and the same container management technology ,” he stated .
“ This is going to help our customers and MNOs ( mobile network operators ) to make sure that they can get started on very l ow-cost hardware . The cost of ownership will be less . Fewer vendors to go to solve problems , fewer vendors to chase for support and enhancement . The converged solution is significant for sustainability .” — @ Green

Smart city plan in Thailand

THE 5G TECH 2021 conference witnessed various discussions on smart cities , with 5G being the key enabler . Sharinee Shannon Kalayanamitr , the Chief Executive Officer of 5G Catalyst Technologies ( 5GCT ), in one of the speaker sessions , shared about the implementation of smart cities in Thailand .
“ In Thailand , there ’ s a digital promotional agency called DEPA that has categorised it ( smart city ) into the following : smart governance , smart energy , smart living , smart people , smart environment , smart economy and smart mobility .”
She said in the last couple of years , there had been a rise in digital transformation straight from the top of the government of Thailand . On top of that , smart city initiatives in the country were accelerated by the Industrial 4.0 Master Plan and the 5G concessions in 2020 .
“ We ( 5GTC ) were able to strike a partnership with NT , the national telecom provider in Thailand , to help them monetise 5G and specifically the two spectrums they have , which are the 700MHz and 26GHz . As we know , the 26GHz one is primarily used for robotics , high need for low latency , and a large amount of IoT devices to be connected .
“ So for us , one of the big use cases that we discovered with NT was smart cities in Thailand . Then , in March this year ( 2021 ), we were able to launch the pilot project in Ban Chang , Rayong ( manufacturing hub in Thailand ),” she said .
Sharinee then shared with the participants some of the features introduced by the company in the Ban Chang pilot project , which emphasised safety and security .
Before sharing the video of the project , she stated some general challenges in Thailand ’ s smart city rollout , which were : 1 . Awareness issue - understanding smart cities and buy-in 2 . The gap in the market - only LEGO approach and not holistic , SILO without sustainability in mind
3 . Fragmented understanding of smart city benefits to citizens leading to weak support
4 . No alignment and unclear priorities in multiple city projects
5 . Difficulties in applying regulatory frameworks to oversee the use of new technologies and data