Google might be making a play to build a smart neighbourhood in Canada, but Nokia is aiming to go further and develop a smart region in China. The company has inked a deal to help develop the TianFu New Area into a science and technology hub. That will mean items such as a new digital city with a trial network for the Internet of Things, the incubation of IoT applications and devices, Big Data, and the deployment of optics network.
"The TianFu New Area development project presents an exciting opportunity to build a smart region from the ground up,” says Mike Wang, president of Greater China for Nokia, said. “The communications network will serve as the brain and nervous system of the smart city.”
Nokia also last week signed up to the Smart Tampere initiative in Finland with a view to helping create a ‘living lab’ to explore, test and deploy technology solutions in areas including the likes of smart mobility, e-health, lighting and energy.
Smart Tampere is Nokia’s second such project in Europe following the Bristol Is Open announcement in the UK last year. There the company will trial, test and demonstrate new and emerging capabilities on Bristol’s digital research and development network.
The moves follow last year’s launch of the Nokia/Machina Research Smart City Playbook, a strategic report documenting best practices for smart cities. It identified three paths cities take to get smarter:
The anchor route involves deploying a single application to address a pressing problem such as traffic congestion, and then adding other applications over time
The platform route involves building the underlying infrastructure needed to support a wide variety of smart apps and services.
Beta Cities try out multiple applications as pilots to see how they perform before making long-term deployment decisions.
“Standards are emerging but are by no means finalised – so there is no royal road to smartness,” says Jeremy Green, principal analyst at Machina Research. “But there is a right way to travel - with your eyes open, with realistic expectations, and with a willingness to learn from others.”