Ruckus eyes smart cities opportunity with new IoT access network

Ruckus Wireless has flagged some key opportunities within the diverse range of approaches to developing smart cities worldwide, and is set to capitalize on these with a new IoT access network launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The firm said its Ruckus IoT Suite allowed organizations to readily build a secure IoT access network that consolidates multiple physical-layer IoT networks into a single system. "[It] further speeds time-to-return-on-investment and reduces deployment cost by allowing for the use of common infrastructure between the wireless local area network and the IoT access network," the firm added.
Speaking to Telecom Times on the sidelines of the MWC event, Ruckus Wireless senior director of product marketing Mark Davis said one of the most prominent use cases of the new IoT access network was its application on both University campuses and smart cities.
In terms of how the move towards smart cities in some key markets was likely to play out, Davis said "the smart city market if you will, is really diverse. There are different drivers in different regions for why one might want to build a smart city."
"In cases, more in North America, you would see a demand driven by closing a digital divide [imperative]," said Davis. "That occurs in Asia as well, depending on the city. Even in the large Tier 1 cities in Asia, that can still be a motivating factor."
However, he also noted strong demand for smart city development as a means of providing more safety for citizens. "Now, some cities like Singapore, London, are well blanketed with surveillance cameras as it is," said Davis. "But others would look to do more in the most modern, cost-effective fashion they can. But ultimately, you’re getting at one of the common challenges which is: How does it get paid for?"
"But one that’s kind of most interesting is where you see a public-private partnership that gives, for example, I’ll say real-estate, to a private organisation for kiosks that they can then use as the basis for advertising and, in so doing, pay for the deployment of Wi-Fi, which then becomes the enabler for, obviously, connected citizens," he added.
"Interestingly, in Asia we’ve already seen certainly cases where service provider customers of ours that have deployed Wi-Fi for another use case, say mobile data offload, now have a Wi-Fi network in place that puts them in a great position," said Davis.
‘"[They] might be looking for some collection of smart city-like use cases, but they already have an infrastructure in place that was built for another purpose."
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