2014 Australia - Smart Infrastructure - Smart Cities

Publication Overview

This report first goes into detail about the two key infrastructure elements needed for smart communities, high-speed telecommunications infrastructure and smart grids. Special attention is give to developments in M2M (Internet of Things) and the potential role of artificial intelligence. It describes the developments that are taking place internationally and in Australia. It also highlights the role of both federal and local government and key elements of smart communities, such as e-health, e-education, e-government, smart transport and smart cars. In addition it addresses policy issues needed to move these developments further and explains how this will have an effect on the social and economic developments of local communities, and indeed on the country as a whole.

Researchers:- Paul Budde, Kylie Wansink
Current publication date:- February 2014 (3rd Edition)

Executive Summary

Social and economic pressure on cities to become smarter

Smart Cities

Smart cities are going to be amazing community hubs which will be more sustainable, efficient and supportive of citizens. The concept of smart communities is based on intelligent infrastructure such as broadband (FttH) and smart grids, so that connected and sustainable communities can be developed. State-of-the-art telecommunications are also vital to a city's economic health and well-being.

Around the world there are already examples of some smart cities emerging and many countries have developed plans for smart infrastructure. However, before these smart communities can be built properly, trans-sector policies and strategies need to be carefully considered and developed.

Smart cities can’t be built from the current silo structure that dominates our thinking; but require a holistic approach which includes environmental issues such as self sufficient energy buildings, energy exchanges for renewable energy and e-cars, delivery of e-health, e-education, e-government services as well as digital media and internet services.

Half of the world’s population are already city-dwellers, and the trend towards increased urbanization is accelerating rapidly. The future of the majority of the world’s citizens is undeniably urban – 70% will live in cities by 2050 - but how exactly that city of tomorrow will look, and how smart living is implemented and experienced remains largely uncertain.

Smart Energy

For numerous reasons the electricity industry is one of the last industries to undergo a major transformation in order to enter the digital economy. An emphasis on keeping electricity prices as low as possible led to severe under-investment in the grid to cope with issues such as energy efficiency, the integration of renewable energy sources and consumer tools aimed at managing home energy use more efficiently.

This began to change with a change in government in 2007. New policies forced the industry to become more focused on the issues and also led to the formation of the industry alliance, Smart Grid Australia. They were instrumental in putting smart grids on the government’s agenda. This led to the Smart Grid/Smart City project. Catch-up investment has lead to price hikes in electricity, which in turn have created political upheaval. Despite all of this there is still no cohesive holistic government policy that takes all the many different elements into account in its industry policies. The government Power of Choice report is a good start with the possibility for new rules for energy networks and the use of smart technologies.

Over the last few years it has become clear that there are many elements to this transformation and the term ‘smarter energy’ is more appropriate to describe this. From here the concept will further merge into smart buildings, smart cities, and indeed smart countries.

National Broadband Network

Several things became clear during the privatisation process of Telstra in the 00s. Broadband quality was below the international benchmark; end-user and wholesale prices were above that mark; and there was no economically viable business case for high-speed broadband infrastructure for regional and rural Australia.

At that time both sides of government were in favour of government intervention in order to rectify this situation. Telstra, however, was determined to maintain its monopoly and in the end the government had to step in. This led to the structural separation of the company. At the same time - in 2009 - because of the GFC, the government decided to change its broadband infrastructure plan from a regional to a national one. They also linked that to the development of the digital economy and launched supporting policies in e-commerce, e-health, e-education and smart grid, all aimed at utilising the NBN for those purposes.

Between 2009 and 2012, NBN Co designed the architecture and completed the various plans. Legislation and contracts were completed in 2012 and shortly after the rollout started based on a 3 year rollout plan that will see annual extensions.

Since the arrival of the new government more money has been set aside for the NBN, but also some changes to the current plan are foreshadowed.

Smart Transport, Smart Cars

Smart transport systems or intelligent transport systems encompass a range of wireless and wired communications-based information technologies that can be integrated into transportation infrastructure and vehicles.

Current intelligent transport systems technologies use dedicated short-range communications to transfer data over short distances between in-vehicle mobile radio units and roadside units, ie fixed point-to-point services. Arrangements to facilitate the use of intelligent transport systems have been developed internationally in the 5850-5925MHz band (the 5.9GHz band). However, ACMA still classified this as a medium priority for finalisation. Still waiting on international standards has made progress rather slow.

Smart infrastructure is also looked at in the context of the National Broadband Network, the aim of which is to provide the basic telecommunication infrastructure for a range of sectors, including transport. Special access is provided in the NBN Bill for utilities. With carbon emission policies in place, smart transport systems may be able to reduce the carbon footprint and energy use across many of the transport industries, while also lowering GHG emissions. The government at that time also announced its Managed Motorways project.

International evidence indicates that a new generation of electric vehicles, known as smart cars will start entering the market in coming years. They could be marketed like smartphones, aimed to become the have-to-have cars. Currently the infrastructure to facilitate this development is not in place. There are no charging stations, but also the electricity grid is incapable of handling any volume of smart cars. More coordinated smart infrastructure policies are required in order to make this happening.

M2M and The Internet of Things

With the NBN and LTE based mobile networks now well and truly underway it is important to look at what will be the real value of this new infrastructure.

The infrastructure that is now being built offers a range of features such as ubiquitousness, affordability, low latency, high speed and high capacity. It will link millions of devices, such as sensors, that will enable us to manage our environment, traffic, infrastructures, and our society as a whole much more efficiently and effectively.

This ‘Internet of Things’ – other names used include: M2M, Pervasive Internet and Industrial Internet - is going to be a real game-changer. It will transform every single sector of society and the economy and it will be out of this environment that new businesses – and indeed new industries – will be born. This is one of the reasons so many overseas ICT companies are increasing their presence in Australia. The LTE will take a leadership role in the development of M2M but the NBN is also an ideal test-bed for such developments. A great deal of attention is being paid to cloud computing and the NBN can be viewed as one gigantic cloud.

The number of connected M2M devices will grow to somewhere between 25 million and 50 million by 2020. 2014 is earmarked as the year of the Internet of Things.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year

Table of Contents

  • 1. Smart Societies based on Artificial Intelligence
    • 1.1 The proposition
    • 1.2 Philosophy and science
    • 1.3 Social and economic developments
    • 1.4 Are we reaching another breaking point?
    • 1.5 Solutions by using information technology to increase our intelligence
      • 1.5.1 Silos need to be replaced by trans-sector thinking
      • 1.5.2 Disintermediation brings people closer together
      • 1.5.3 AI - assisting in creating a global brain
      • 1.5.4 Cognitive Systems
    • 1.6 Examples of recent developments
      • 1.6.1 Watson – cognitive computing
      • 1.6.2 Deep learning
      • 1.6.3 Angelina
      • 1.6.4 Cognitive Engine
    • 1.7 Conclusion
  • 2. Smart Cities
    • 2.1 Global Overview
      • 2.1.1 Smart cities: sustainable engines for growth
      • 2.1.2 Digital cities: digital dreams?
      • 2.1.3 The use of telecommunications in smart cities
      • 2.1.4 Building smart cities to ease the stress
      • 2.1.5 Key components of smart cities
      • 2.1.6 Smart buildings/homes
      • 2.1.7 Smart transport and smart cars
      • 2.1.8 Selected examples of smart cites and communities
    • 2.2 Australian Developments
      • 2.2.1 Trends, Developments, Analyses
      • 2.2.2 Smart cities and smart countries - Analysis
      • 2.2.3 Smart Homes
      • 2.2.4 Telstra’s connected home strategies
      • 2.2.5 Intelligent infrastructure Projects
      • 2.2.6 Rolling out infrastructure the smart way
  • 3. Smart Energy
    • 3.1 Introduction into Smart Grids
      • 3.1.1 Current grid outmoded and outdated
      • 3.1.2 Old technologies, and fewer young engineers
      • 3.1.3 Drop in overall demand, but not in peak demand
      • 3.1.4 The industry is ready for action
      • 3.1.5 Smart grid: $5 billion in annual benefits
      • 3.1.6 Smart Energy cost savings
      • 3.1.7 New jobs for an aging industry
      • 3.1.8 Clean energy Opportunities for regional Australia
    • 3.2 New industry visions
      • 3.2.1 From UtiliTel to Smart Grid Australia
      • 3.2.2 Holistic approach towards smart grids
      • 3.2.3 What is Smart Grid Australia?
      • 3.2.4 Vision Statement
      • 3.2.5 Global Smart Grid Federation
    • 3.3 Smart grid – consumer issues
      • 3.3.1 Missing the consumer education target
    • 3.4 Government initiatives
      • 3.4.1 Energy White Paper only First step.
      • 3.4.2 New economic regulations for energy networks
      • 3.4.3 Review of smart meter consumer protections and pricing in Australia
      • 3.4.4 Smart grid to deliver renewable energy
      • 3.4.5 Smart Energy – Clean Energy Program
    • 3.5 Regulatory framework
      • 3.5.1 Confusion regarding regulations
      • 3.5.2 Action needed
  • 4. National Broadband Network
    • 4.1 Introduction and Overview
      • 4.1.1 General overview of the plan
      • 4.1.2 How Australia got its NBN
      • 4.1.3 National interest utility
      • 4.1.4 NBN national infrastructure, not just telecomms
      • 4.1.5 Economic reforms
      • 4.1.6 Where is the user in all of this?
      • 4.1.7 Why wireless broadband is no alternative to FttH
    • 4.2 Infrastructure Analysis
      • 4.2.1 VDSL infrastructure analysis
      • 4.2.2 How safe is FttH?
      • 4.2.3 NBN construction problems
      • 4.2.4 NBN could slash telecoms maintenance costs
      • 4.2.5 Strategic Analysis
      • 4.2.6 Can we afford not to have a fibre optic infrastructure?
      • 4.2.7 Mapping the broadband problems in Australia
      • 4.2.8 Australia’s high international broadband costs
      • 4.2.9 Infrastructure backgrounder
    • 4.3 Municipal and Community Networks
      • 4.3.1 Local councils need to take action
      • 4.3.2 Trans-sector thinking and municipal broadband
      • 4.3.3 The role of local councils
      • 4.3.4 Cities are taking charge
      • 4.3.5 How to get started
      • 4.3.6 Broadband development phases
      • 4.3.7 City marketing
      • 4.3.8 Examples of tele-cities
      • 4.3.9 Broadband speeding up local governments
      • 4.3.10 National Broadband Network - Digital Economy
  • 5. Smart Transport System
    • 5.1 Australian Developments
      • 5.1.1 What are intelligent transport systems (ITS)?
      • 5.1.2 ITS Australia
      • 5.1.3 Market and Industry developments
      • 5.1.4 Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC)
      • 5.1.5 Smart transport and the National Broadband Network (NBN)
      • 5.1.6 Smart cars
      • 5.1.7 The Electric Vehicle (EV) market in Australia
      • 5.1.8 The focus shifting to Asia
      • 5.1.9 Electric vehicles within Smart Grid/Smart City project
  • 6. M2M and The Internet of Things
    • 6.1 Statistical information
      • 6.1.1 Staggering IoT predictions
      • 6.1.2 Market forecast 2015
      • 6.1.3 The first IoT statistics from Telstra
      • 6.1.4 Forecast from Telsyte
      • 6.1.5 Moving mainstream
    • 6.2 Market and Industry Analyses
      • 6.2.1 2014: the year of M2M, but …
      • 6.2.2 Telstra leading the market
      • 6.2.3 The compelling business of M2M
      • 6.2.4 Who will dominate the IoT market?
      • 6.2.5 Telcos and the science of big data
      • 6.2.6 The Internet of Everything
    • 6.3 Key trends and Developments
      • 6.3.1 Deep packet inspection
      • 6.3.2 Ubiquitous Complex Event Processing
      • 6.3.3 Behavioural Attitudinal Geolocation
      • 6.3.4 Lifetime customer relationships
      • 6.3.5 Data analytics solutions
    • 6.4 Change in services driven by Sensing and monitoring information
    • 6.5 Smart Projects
      • 6.5.1 Vehicle tracking
      • 6.5.2 UniSA satellite system
      • 6.5.3 SenSA
      • 6.5.4 Smart Water
      • 6.5.5 M2M to monitor natural resources
      • 6.5.6 Traffic lights and alarm system go M2M over the NBN
      • 6.5.7 Electricity companies and the Internet of Things
      • 6.5.8 Tsunamis warning system
      • 6.5.9 M2M to save miners lives
      • 6.5.10 Optus
      • 6.5.11 Sense-T
      • Table 1 - Selection of predictions in BT’s timeline
      • Table 2 – Singapore - fixed-line versus mobile growth – subscribers and penetration – 1998 - 2013
      • Table 3– Percentage of respondents that rank specific risks related to smart meters and energy data collection in their top three concerns
      • Table 2 – Percent of respondents who do not know the answer to the specified question or statement
      • Table 4 – Comparison between the use of an iMiEV and a VW Polo Diesel over a 10 year lifecycle.
      • Chart 1 – Singapore - fixed and mobile subscribers – 2001 - 2012
      • Exhibit 1 – Artificial Intelligence (AI)
      • Exhibit 2 – Watson in healthcare
      • Exhibit 3 – Smart City Operating System (OS)
      • Exhibit 4 – The Intelligent Communities Forum
      • Exhibit 5 – Smart Homes
      • Exhibit 6 – Examples of HAN technology options
      • Exhibit 7 – Google's acquisition of Nest and smart homes
      • Exhibit 8 - Learning from e-cars
      • Exhibit 9 – Intelligent transport systems today
      • Exhibit 10 – USA – The I-80 Integrated Corridor Mobility Project
      • Exhibit 11 – Smart shopping
      • Exhibit 12 – Singapore - a snapshot of the Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) project
      • Exhibit 13 – Smart energy project in Amsterdam 2011
      • Exhibit 14 – Home automation systems
      • Exhibit 1- Trans-sector vs. Cross-sector
      • Exhibit 15 – Economic benefits of broadband – overview of surveys
      • Exhibit 16 – Trans-sector benefits
      • Exhibit 17 – The social and economic benefits of broadband – case study
      • Exhibit 18 – Key broadbanding steps
      • Exhibit 19 – Some application bit rates
      • Exhibit 20 - Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems
      • Exhibit 2 - Noise monitoring in Melbourne
      • Exhibit 21 – eTags and tolls overview
      • Exhibit 22 - Learning from e-cars

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Number of pages 157

Status Archived

Last updated 5 Feb 2014
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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As usual, you’ve done a splendid job of bringing an industry well and truly into the spotlight.

I think that without your input and passion, Australia would have barely scratched the surface of the benefits that can and will be achieved with the wholesale adoption of Smart Grid and Smart City concepts.


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