Global Smart Cities - Telecoms Infrastructure Plays a Key Role

Publication Overview

This report provides valuable insights into the Smart and Connected cities which are slowly emerging around the world. Smart cities require many components working in unison and the ICT sector is at the forefront of the innovative developments emerging to support our future cities and Smart communities. This BuddeComm report examines the core components of Smart cities, supported by statistics and examples. Subjects include:

  • Analysis of the Smart City transformation;
  • Key components of smart cities including Smart Transport;
  • Insights into Smart Homes;
  • Global fixed broadband infrastructure;
  • Case studies on leading cities: Singapore and Hong Kong;
  • Global mobile broadband infrastructure.

Researchers:- Kylie Wansink.
Current publication date:- November 2019 (8th Edition)

Executive Summary

Successful smart cities require significant ICT infrastructure

Telecommunications infrastructure plays an important role in providing the backbone for building the Smart Cities and Smart Homes which are emerging around the world. It is encouraging to see that so many governments and telecoms operators are working hard and investing heavily to deploy this underlying infrastructure which we will need for the future.

Fixed-broadband based on fibre is essential and mobile networks based on 4G, and increasingly 5G, will be necessary for change. There are already many cities and countries taking a lead role in Smart City developments - and these all have significant high-speed networks in place. Some countries will transform at a slower pace, particularly any emerging markets which are still developing their ICT infrastructure.

With the majority of citizens globally living in urban areas – governments are keen to try new approaches to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve the way we are consuming our natural resources.

Our global population is expected to grow even higher in the coming years, placing increased pressure on healthcare services, education, agriculture, traffic management, resources and the environment. There is a growing awareness that we need to run our cities better and be more efficient and more sustainable.

High speed networks based on fibre-optics and 4G/5G will allow Smart Cities to develop ecosystems based on IoT and Machine-to-Machine capabilities. This is turn will create the right environment for future initiatives based on Artificial Intelligence, Big Data analytics, Virtual Reality and so forth.

The BuddeComm annual publication provides analyses on overall smart city developments and identifies the leading countries from around the world. It includes valuable statistics and information on the key telecoms infrastructure required for our smart cities (fixed broadband and mobile technologies based on 4G and 5G). The report also provides case studies on two countries which are considered leaders in this area (Singapore and Hong Kong).

Key developments

  • The development of smart cities is well on the agenda of most governments around the world.
  • Over 800 million smart home devices are expected to be shipped globally in 2019.
  • Sejong, in South Korea, was the first city in the world to be certified with the ISO 37106 Sustainable Cities and Communities Standardisation.
  • Development of Smart Transport technologies and strategies are well underway in many parts of the world.

Kylie Wansink
November 2019

Table of Contents

  • Smart cities – heading towards 2020

    • Leading smart cities by region
    • Increasing global pressures: population growth
      • Key components of smart cities
      • The drivers behind smart cities
      • Smart grids should be developed in conjunction
  • Smart Transport

    • Intelligent transport systems
    • Smart vehicles
    • Autonomous car market
  • Smart Homes

  • Standardising global smart city deployment

  • Smart city case study 1: Singapore

    • Internet-of-Things (IoT)
    • Smart Nation Platform
      • Overview
      • Singapore’s Safe City Test Bed initiative
      • Virtual Singapore
      • Infocomm Media 2025
    • Cyber Security Centre
    • Smart Meters
  • Smart city case study 2: Hong Kong

    • Smart infrastructure
      • Introduction
      • IoT
      • Smart Grids
      • Smart Cities
  • Smart cities require telecoms infrastructure

    • Fibre-optic broadband
      • Fibre broadband will be needed for 5G
      • 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)
      • Global submarine cable overview
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 4G LTE
      • The 5G vision

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Smart cities – global market value – 2017 - 2024
  • Table 2 – Global LTE subscriptions – 2012 – 2022
  • Table 3 – Global LTE network growth – 2014; 2019
  • Table 4 – 4G LTE penetration by region – 2019
  • Table 5 – Global – market share of mobile technologies – 2018
  • Table 6 – Global – 5G subscription forecast – 2020 – 2022
  • Table 7 – Potential frequency bands for 5G deployment

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Smart city market value set to grow – 2017 – 2024

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Leading smart cities by region – towards 2020
  • Exhibit 2 – Urban growth
  • Exhibit 3 – PPPP stands for Public Private People Partnership
  • Exhibit 4 – ITU approves smart grid standards
  • Exhibit 5 – International Smart Grid Action Network
  • Exhibit 6 – Examples of smart home automation players
  • Exhibit 7 – Fixed broadband networks are important for society
  • Exhibit 8 – Examples of 5G device manufacturers
  • Exhibit 9 - Key considerations for government and regulators in relation to 5G

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Licence Information

Annual Publication Profile


Broadband Fixed
Regulations & Government Policies
Smart Infrastructure

Number of pages 70

Status Current

Last updated 5 Nov 2019
Update History

Lead Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Contributing Analyst:

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