At CTIA Super Mobility 2016, the entire expo floor was transformed into a fully connected smart city with the entire wireless ecosystem assembled under one roof. On the Thursday keynote stage, Verizon Communications’ John Stratton and New Cities Foundation Founder and Chairman John Rossant explained what needs to happen to make smart cities a reality.
Rossant said $50 trillion to $60 trillion will need to be invested globally over the next 15 years on upgraded infrastructure for smart cities, and the industry has to come up with new, innovative models for financing these big infrastructure projects for them to move forward quickly and efficiently.
We devoted an entire track to Smart Cities and Outdoor Mobile Network Densification at the Tower and Small Cell Summit, colocated with CTIA Super Mobility 2016. Cities play a critical role for small cell deployment in mobile network densification. Access to public rights of way and securing sites for small cell deployment is a major “pain point” for mobile operators. Many city governments are moving slowly on issuing permits because they are inundated with applications and requests. Fostering better cooperation with local authorities could help mobile network operators to navigate bureaucratic processes and deploy small cells faster and cheaper. Wireless-friendly smart city officials must consider how to incent mobile operators to deploy small cells using city assets, rooftops and other public sites in addition to commercial property.