AT&T Enters the ‘Smart Cities’ Space

AT&T is positioning itself to become an early player in the fledgling smart city programs popping up across the US. AT&T announced its “Smart Cities Initiative” at the wireless association CTIA’s Super Mobility conference this week.

Smart city infrastructure is the latest space for AT&T to plug its networks and solutions. The company is looking to leverage its wireless business in the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT). It has already launched similar programs in the connected car space.

Under the initiative, AT&T will select 10 “testbed” cities in the States to deploy smart infrastructure solutions and technology.

“Cities everywhere are starting to address issues like high energy costs, aging infrastructures and driving innovation that engages citizens,” said Mike Zeto, who serves as GM of the Smart Cities Initiative. “We’re developing technology that can save water, reduce energy consumption, and more. These tools can help cities preserve resources and better serve their community in a more sustainable way.”

The first such city of the project is Dallas, Texas, where AT&T is headquartered.

AT&T has developed four solutions for the program to be deployed in participating cities:

  • An LED street lighting system that uses an app to manage streetlights and enables maintenance crews to easily locate and replace streetlights that are out throughout the city.
  • A parking garage solution in which lights are turned on only when a car approaches.
  • A smart transportation system in which traffic signals work to organize traffic flow based on the amount of cars and pedestrians in a given area, and digital signage that delivers to commuters accurate information about when a bus or train will arrive.
  • A system for buildings that utilizes motion sensors to dim or turn off lights when a room is empty, water meters that notify maintenance of any leaks, and electric meters that monitor energy consumption.

It has also developed a cloud-based service that offers real-time energy consumption and management of utility customers and enables customers to pre-pay their electric bill.

AT&T believes such smart solutions will help cities “save money, preserve natural resources, and build better relationships with their citizens,” it said.

The company will hold a Smart Cities hackathon with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and participating cities at its annual developer conference in January.

 

Feature image:
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License    by  NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center 

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