LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 NORTH AMERICA: Ulf Ewaldsson, CTO of Ericsson, perhaps unsurprisingly put the network at the heart of the development of smart cities, arguing that “the networks are the factor that can make these new services come alive”.
“I would argue that the performance of these networks is what really enables new services. Think about video: Netflix would not exist without networks than can transport the service. The same thing goes with self-driving vehicles, or if its remote eye surgery, eventually,” he said.
The development of smart cities requires technology to be used across a range of sectors, including the environment, healthcare, education and security, Ewaldsson commented.
“It includes changes of how cities work, and it includes the connectivity being one of the most important ingredients in that change. And it includes also understanding of the new demands from what we call verticals – other people using networks for new things, using networks to solve problems,” Ewaldsson said.
Noting that the growth in the population living in cities is driven by emerging markets, he noted that smart city efforts are “part of a global phenomenon.”
This development also means that many existing industries will find themselves disrupted as they increasingly move to a digital platform.
“The transformation of the media industry, for example, is something we haven’t seen the end of yet. And then we have the car industry, which is just starting on that transformation – the media industry has been at it much, much longer. The car industry will not come out on the other side looking the same, it will be a very, very big transformation,” Ewaldsson said.