LIVE FROM MWL UNWRAPPED: Boingo Wireless Chief Commercial Officer Michael Zeto (pictured) called for bigger investment in smart city innovations to democratise the benefits for more people.
In a keynote, Zeto noted the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic had highlighted a need for broader connectivity, while also showing this currently isn’t dispersed equally.
Zeto stated smart city technology has moved on from macro environments focused on using utility poles, and use cases spanning security cameras and lighting to include “inside-out touchless experiences in buildings”.
Providing indoor, private connectivity moves at a faster pace than waiting on regulatory approvals or budget approvals in the public sector, Zeto explained.
“You’re starting to see a shift to entities focusing on outcomes versus use cases and the technology.”
“That was one of the problems before, people were focused on the technology, not on the outcome.”
He cited Grand Central Madison, a train transportation hub set to open in a New York City borough this month, as a prime example of a smart city project.
“It’s the largest project that’s been done in the last at least 11 years and we think, probably longer,” he stated. “It has ability to serve 160,000 passengers a day. Now we’re seeing projects like that.”
The hub has several key elements of a smart city project: faster mobile and Wi-Fi services, a secure network to sell tickets wirelessly, the ability to transmit data about maintenance and the safety of the trains, and a converged network.
“We need to invest so that we can drive these outcomes and create safer, more resilient environments”, Zeto noted.
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