5G will impact smart cities

Zhu Jinyun, Senior Vice President, ZTE, had some intriguing insights into smart cities in the era of 5G in his keynote at TM Forum Smart City InFocus. His company has been working closely with the Chinese city of Yinchuan for three years, and two years ago developed a wider smart city strategy. It is now deploying city as a platform, and looking to what’s coming next.

The first and important stage of transforming to a smart city is data collection. Now 5G is needed for augmented and virtual reality applications, autonomous driving and for many vertical industries – for example, low latency for telemedicine. He said, “The combination of 5G and platform will be smarter and embrace many more scenarios…we will transfer the concept to our reality – we have already deployed much of this in Yinchuan…It can better support a lot of different scenarios, especially in real-time, which at moment is not that easy with LTE” where – latency and availability are not guaranteed. 5G has a lot of new features too.

He said the big challenges now are diversified targets, evolving scenarios and new applications – and the only way these things could be accommodated is by upgrading the enabling communications with 4G and more especially, 5G. This is driving innovations in architecture and operations – see diagram below.

Source: ZTE

ZTE is developing rapid and massive connectivity through pre-5G deployment, enabling end-to-end IoT with more than 68,000 nodes in action now (Smart Parking at WIC is a good example of an application in commercial use) and cloud computing.

ZTE will leverage 5G for intelligent data analytics through a data resource center, data management service, applications and algorithms, computing capability and AI-based smart service (see image below). He pointed out that, “You need [a]lot of data to get [the]full picture” and looked forward to artificial intelligence-based applications, such as voice recognition for answers to simple questions posed by tourists and citizens – see image below.

Source: ZTE

A closed loop cybersecurity system (shown in the image below), which ZTE worked with Yinchuan to develop, is shown below. Security, he says, is in everyone’s interest as data is so important and blockchain is necessary for data management. ZTE has employed it in other cities, but not yet in Yinchuan.

Zhu Jinyun says it can be managed by government as a decentralized data platform as a service. The image below shows a closed loop urban security system. Blockchain allows the sharing of government data in a way that is secure, reliable, traceable and cannot be tampered with. This will ensure that data from different departments can be trusted and fully shared, facilitate data collection and searching, and verify certificates online.

Source: ZTE

He says that regarding ecosystems, many CEOs greatly fear sharing data from applications, but that by using blockchain and the other two elements shown on the right above, “we can make everything secure and we want to work with everyone via open APIs.”


    About The Author

    Snr Director, Research & Media

    Annie Turner has been researching and writing about the communications industry since the 1980s, editing magazines dedicated to the subject including titles published by Thomson International and The Economist Group. She has contributed articles to many publications, including national and international newspapers such as the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune, and a multitude of business-to-business titles. She joined the TM Forum in 2010 and is responsible for overseeing the content of the Research and Publications portfolio.

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