South Africa continues to see an increased migration from rural areas into the cities as citizens seek work, education, and other lifestyle improvements.
While this is a good sign of progress, it also places an increased strain on urban infrastructure.
This is where smart cities come to the fore, allowing both public and private entities to invest intelligently into infrastructure and technologies that will improve the capabilities of cities to house increased urban populations.
What is a smart city?
Smart cities are intelligent and connected systems that use a variety of technologies – including sensors, devices, and software – to analyse data and improve the lives of city dwellers.
These improvements can come in various forms – including optimised safety services (such as the police and fire response units), timely road maintenance, and traffic management.
Some novel new ideas are also coming to the fore – such as deep farming, which allows for increased food yields for farms that exist underground.
Smart city technologies are a massive industry – Grand View Research has conducted a study which shows that the smart city market is expected to have a value of $237.6 billion by 2025.
The need for reliable fibre
While innovations in the smart city space are exciting, they are worth very little if not backed up by reliable, low-latency networks.
This is because these technologies are required to consistently transfer and communicate their information to the relevant systems to ensure everything runs suitably.
Without this, the most high-tech of smart city technologies are essentially useless.
High-speed, low-latency technologies such as fibre, 5G, and edge computing are therefore the backbone of smart cities, and the implementation of these networks needs to be impeccable to ensure that smart cities can perform optimally.
DFA – A leading fibre provider
Vino Govender, executive for strategy, mergers, and acquisition and strategy at Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), said that fibre needs to become even more prevalent if the full value of the smart city market is going to be realised.
This is because fibre is the best option for smart cities.
“Fibre needs to become even more pervasive than it is today to realise its potential within the growing smart-city market but it remains the most capable of providing the speed, latency, and reliability that’s needed to build truly intelligent ecosystems,” said Govender.
“Fat, fast fibre is the key that unlocks the door to the smart African city and reshapes how citizens and government engage with a more sustainable and economically capable future.”
DFA boast a large, cost-effective open-access fibre network that positions it as a potential driving force behind smart city technologies in South Africa.
It boasts an impressive network operations centre in Johannesburg that already uses smart technologies to ensure that everything is running smoothly, 24/7.
This article was published in partnership with DFA.