1Q 2020

5G Will Create the Hyperconnected Smart City

Linking smart cities and 5G combines two of the most hyped topics in technology. This hype can lead to overinflated expectations and unrealistic scenarios, but beyond the hype, important changes are happening. Smart cities will be one of the most important testing grounds for 5G technology and business models. 5G in turn will accelerate many of the developments associated with smart cities, but it will also pose practical challenges in areas such as cybersecurity, data privacy, the impact of automation, and issues of digital exclusion.

Cites—and their partners—looking at their connectivity needs over the next decade need to understand the short-term opportunities and longer-term implications of the 5G era and develop strategies appropriate to local priorities and constraints. Smart city development has always prioritized the need for partnership between the complex web of stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. 5G brings new requirements and opportunities for the ecosystem of partners. Cities are already engaging closely with carriers and technology providers, but this engagement is only the start of creating new interfaces among city management, public and private sector service providers, local businesses, residents, and other stakeholders.

This Strategy Insight report from Guidehouse Insights explores the opportunities and challenges facing cities and their partners at the intersection of 5G and smart cities. It examines the evolution of 5G technology and its relevance to cities and communities. It looks at key use cases and examples of early adopters. The report also explores the strategies of global carriers and infrastructure vendors that are leading the development and deployment of 5G networks and solutions.

Pages 15
Tables | Charts | Figures 3
  • What are the most important elements of 5G?
  • Why smart cities are a proving ground for 5G
  • What are the key use cases for 5G in smart cities?
  • What options are available to cities for managing the opportunities presented by 5G?
  • How are carriers and infrastructure providers addressing the potential for 5G for smart cities?
  • What are the commercial, regulatory, and political challenges to successful smart city 5G deployments?
  • Smart city solution and service providers
  • IT, networking, and telecommunications vendors
  • Wireless telecommunications carriers
  • Smart transportation and mobility providers 
  • Energy management hardware and software vendors
  • Cities and local government
  • Central government
  • Regulators
  • Utilities
  • Investor community




5G Accelerates Smart City Development

The Combination of 5G Capabilities Is the Game Changer

Cities Are Active Agents in the Rollout of 5G

5G Will Change the Urban Technology Landscape

Cities Need a Multidimensional Approach to 5G

5G Will Transform City Services

5G Changes the Way Cities View Their Assets

5G Amplifies Innovation and Economic Development

5G Highlights the Need for Digital Inclusion

5G Will Increase the Focus on Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

Cities and Their Partners Need to Build New 5G Urban Ecosystems

Cities Need a Strategy for Hyperconnectivity

Carriers and Technology Providers Need to Engage with City Priorities

Smart Cities Are a Test Case for Carrier Ambitions

5G Infrastructure Providers Can Help Fill the Gap Between Cities and Service Providers

National Government Needs to Provide Support and Coordination

  • Three Elements of 5G Come Together in the Smart City
  • Small Cells Needed to Densify Existing Cellular Networks
  • Challenges for the Connected City in the Age of 5G
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