21st-century Smart Cities with 5G and Edge Computing
Posted by Ido Gur on Jul 6, 2020
Tags: • 5G • IoT • edgecomputing • smartcity•
According to the United Nations, the urban population worldwide will reach 68% by 2050. With population density increasing, cities are presented with difficult infrastructural challenges such as security threats, crowd and traffic management, and operational efficacy.
These problems could be resolved using smart city solutions and increased automatization and connection. Although some cities are becoming increasingly smart (think Singapore), the true smart city depends on two key technologies: 5G and edge computing architecture.
How Can 5G Foster Better Implementation of Smart City Solutions
5G brings higher bandwidth, better scalability, and low-latency. Naturally, the faster real-time data transfers mean that 5G will find a wide range of applications within the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
In essence, smart cities rely on IoT devices to provide connectivity and situational data analytics. Devices such as security cameras, door locks, and various sensors can all operate within a city-wide network to provide a seamless living experience. With 5G, these devices will have higher security and better connectivity.
Another important feature 5G will provide is more active connections per square km. while 4G radio system supports only up to 2,000 active devices in a square kilometer. With IoT devices competing with personal smart devices, future smart cities will require this number to be much higher. At the moment, 5G is designed to support up to 100,000 active devices within the same space
Edge Computing as an Alternative Architecture in Smart Cities
Cloud technologies provide a central point of data storage, with devices sending data back and forth to this center. Because of this, data management in clouds results in delays, which is why edge computing is seen as more efficient in smart city systems.
Edge computing means performing data analytics in real-time in a location near the end-user. It also provides more storage resources closer to the action, so to speak. Smart city applications and IoT devices require instant analytics services, and these functionalities require edge computing (source).
With the computing power moved closer to the source, edge computing and 5G will enable IoT sensors to analyze data faster and make automated and instant responses without having to rely on a web-based cloud center.
5G and Edge Computing as Vehicles for Transformation of Mobility in Smart Cities
Video surveillance largely depends on bandwidth. High definition videos require great resources and storage space, making HD surveillance impractical in current circumstances. However, 5G and edge computing will drastically change this picture.
According to many industry analysts , 5G will be crucial in connecting public and city-wide networks of cameras and sensors. Because of the higher bandwidth, HD videos will be instantly available, and the use of edge computing will enable situational awareness and analysis and decision-making on the spot.
5G and edge computing will enable parking spaces automation across the city (something Barcelona already tried to implement). Road sensors and HD cameras can be used to monitor traffic congestion in real-time, notifying drivers and organizing traffic in seconds. These and many other traffic applications will give road users a much better experience, additionally saving time and decreasing pollution in cities.
What’s more, IoT sensors, drones, and robots can be effectively used as track garbage collectors and monitors, delivery systems, and check-up points.
With local data management and high bandwidth, these smart devices can perform complex AI algorithms in real-time. With the advance of 5G and edge computing, we are moving closer to the ultimate dream of a highly-functioning smart city.