Telefónica’s vision of a smart city
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
There is no one universally accepted definition of a smart city, but all of them have something in common: they are cities that make the most out of technology. Telefónica’s concept is quite flexible and our aim is to provide solutions which suit the needs of every urban environment.
Telefónica is trying to boost a change in the way that citizens interact with their cities thanks to more efficient services. This is a factor which fits in with the current economic crisis and which coincides with the moment where technology for smart cities is reaching a certain level of maturity.
We offer a service model rather than a model based on investment. So much more can be done with the money that cities currently spend on services. Telefónica doesn’t just look to implement technology, but to improve services thanks to it.
Following our vision, we have seen that services in cities are isolated. Rather than working together, they are independent from each other. The way to manage these services used to be through dedicated resources: a number of people, of trucks, etc. Telefónica supports a more transversal approach. We offer a platform that enables the City Council to have a complete vision of all the services that it provides which is focused on results which is what matters, not on resources. If the city is clean, who really cares about the number of trucks that pick up litter? Our city platform makes the exchange of information possible for optimal decision-making.
There are many examples which illustrate integration. One of them is the integration between weather stations and irrigation systems. It allows parks and gardens to be irrigated only when it is necessary. This can save up to 20% in water.
Since we are one of the few players which are able to offer end-to-end solutions, we also provide the City Council with vertical systems, such as smart parkings, waste management, public lighting, building efficiency (that gets energy costs savings around 30% for our customers)... Everything depends on the particular needs of each city. A smart city doesn’t happen overnight. The City Council decides the starting point of what is in reality a never-ending process.
Image: Trey Ratcliff