In our last blog, I explored how having a single 5G network could dramatically improve a utility company’s internal systems and processes, while also making the most of revenue opportunities in the world outside. But for those utility companies willing to invest in a 5G network, what revenue opportunities are we talking about, exactly?
More’s the point, who will be in the market to capitalise on their extra capacity and enhanced capabilities? There are the obvious candidates and contenders, like wholesalers, service providers and network operators, but there’s also another highly attractive, potential buyer – civic authorities.
Slicker cities for city slickers
In fact, according to Statista spending by smart cities worldwide jumped from $14.85bn US dollars in 2015 to an estimated $33.45bn in 2020. Already, the everyday lives of millions of city dwellers are being made easier, more fulfilling, and more secure by only recently possible digital-enabled services. What’s also clear though, is that the transformation of our cities has hardly begun. Looking to the future, the pace of progress and innovation is only going to accelerate as citizens’ expectations grow urban populations expand further, energy efficiency and sustainability become increasingly important and government systems are upgraded.
Needless to say, these urban, metropolitan and municipal entities don’t just want to become smarter cities out of a sense of civic duty or pride. The reality is they’re competing on a world stage for vast sums of inward investment. Being seen as ‘smart’ will not only raise a city’s profile nationally and internationally, it’ll help sharpen its competitive edge and make it a more attractive proposition in the eyes of businesses, commerce, and of course, citizens.
Imagine hyper-connected urban areas where everything’s interconnected – traffic management systems, transport services, driverless cars, utilities, homes, healthcare and municipal services. And all them working together to help reduce costs and consumption, using the latest IoT (Internet of Things) technology to improve public services and wellbeing, and creating a better quality of life for citizens. Together, this will attract diverse talent to a city, which, in turn, will attract businesses and brands looking to employ form a large and mixed talent pool.
To be more specific, by wholesaling their 5G network infrastructure and technologies to civic authorities, utilities will be supporting a whole range of smart-city applications. These include:
As well as:
A critical decision to make
Municipalities and city authorities have 2 choices in front of them: 1) to build their own ICT infrastructure or 2) to look to others to provide the infrastructure for their needs. So operators of critical infrastructures with 5G-ready networks will have a very attractive revenue opportunity in front of them. But these operators are also well positioned and have all the components in place to become players in the telecoms market themselves::
More on these in my next blog.
Can’t wait? Read our whitepaper
5G is set turbo boost smart city evolution. Our whitepaper ‘Reacting to change: How 5G is set to revolutionize utilities, and what utility companies can do about it’ explores some of the incredible opportunities 5G can bring to utilities. Click here to download.
Marco is Head of Utilities and Critical Infrastructures Vertical Solutions at ECI. As such Marco is in charge of developing opportunities, solutions, sales tools and collateral for the variety of customers in his vertical.