The many faces of the Smart City

Where does the IoT love to play? In the city! At the very heart of major “Smart City” projects, connected objects contribute to the smarter and more sustainable management of energy consumption, natural resources, and access to essential services. Here at Orange, we support stakeholders involved in the upgrading of infrastructures and urban heritage around the world, to help the greatest possible number of people.

Making urban and human development interact

In 2050, some 70% of the world's population will live in cities, compared to 50% today. To cope with this urban demographic pressure, we must conserve and optimize city resources (water, electricity, air quality, etc.) and how they are managed. Urban development partners must thus develop smart solutions in terms of innovative housing, connected mobility or even optimized distribution networks.

Connected objects have a hand in building these solutions. In the field of connected mobility, the design of new services represents a sea change in how users move around. A Kantar TNS study conducted in 2017 showed that 75% of respondents in urban areas now use smartphone apps to plan their movements, such as ordering a taxi or planning a carpool. Again in the transport field, new solutions are also being developed by urban partners. Lyon has introduced an autonomous electric minibus service to its public transport network. These vehicles travel on public roads and must cope with other road users and street furniture.

Making the city a great place to live

According to a 2016 study by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 80% of people living in urban areas where air pollution is monitored are exposed to air quality levels that exceed the limits set by the WHO. Today, however, citizens are more demanding, better informed and more concerned about their quality of life and the environment.

With this in mind, city partners are thinking up new services to meet their objective of living in greener cities that are more environmentally friendly. In Taipei, for example, an air quality detection system integrating LoRa® technology has been installed. It monitors changes in pollution in real time through its temperature and humidity sensors. Another example is being tested in Amsterdam, where autonomous floating boats are used to clean the bottom of the canals, for instance. These robots are fitted with a camera that spots waste, picks it up and brings it on board.

Smart City, a grassroots movement

The Smart City is an international phenomenon that will affect every country in the world. This is highlighted by the participation of representatives from some 700 cities from all four corners of the globe at the Smart City Expo World Congress, the largest international smart city event, which took place on November 14-16, 2017 in Barcelona. On the agenda were testimonials from experts and presentations of projects currently in development. Among them was an autonomous electric flying taxi service (Dubai) and an airborne robot to help inspect sewers (Spain).

Smart Cities : when technology enables progress - the debate of 2017 Women's Forum

Orange, an international Smart City partner

To meet the growing needs of smart cities and communities, Orange contributes throughout the world to Smart City projects, whether operational or still at the deployment phase.

Alba Iulia, the leading Romanian Smart City

Orange Romania is a partner of the Alba Iulia Smart City 2018 pilot project. It aims to improve urban life in all its forms through the IoT. In real terms, our subsidiary put forward connectivity solutions helping to create a digital infrastructure in the city. Among others, it provided LoRa WAN access which helped to link up 150 water and lighting sensors. More than 228 Wi-Fi access points have been installed across the city. What are the advantages? Alba Iulia reduced the amount of electricity consumed by its street lighting by 50–70% while maintaining the same standard of lighting for its inhabitants. As regards the uptake of Wi-Fi on city buses with new access points, this represented one terabit of data.

Msheireb Downtown Doha: the Gulf’s largest Smart City project

800,000 sq.m: the area of the historic district of Msheireb Downtown Doha (Qatar) where our subsidiary, Orange Business Services, is assisting the Qatari operator MEEZA in the development of a smart city project. To this end, it is supervising the design of the control center set to oversee the operation of buildings and services (video monitoring, access to buildings, fire alarms, public lighting, waste collection, public displays, etc.). It has also designed applications for information, online payment, and energy management dedicated to users.