Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Slow path to smart cities: Huawei Connect
Posted on 4-Sep-2016 16:55 by Bill Bennett. | Tags Filed under: News.

“There is no such thing as a smart city solution”, says Huawei’s Joe So.

He says: “If anyone tells you they are doing it, they are lying1”.

So should know. While his official job title is chief technology officer of industry solutions, enterprise business group, So also serves as the telecom equipment maker’s smart city specialist. He was speaking at this week’s Huawei Connect event in Shanghai.

Smart city still more a concept

He says there are lots of smart city components, but no single platform. He says it remains a concept more than a product.

Smart city technology is, to put it mildly, a slow burn. So says Huawei is involved in more than 100 smart city projects, yet he says it will take time before any of them deliver on the promise of being a true smart city.

He says government information is often not that smart. “All the systems government use are silos. They are not connected together.

“For a smart city to work you need an integrated, independent system. It has to be an open IT infrastructure and there must be great connections — you can’t have a smart city without connections”, says So.


So says that until recently the necessary connections were not in place. This has changed in the last three years. He says the smart city still won’t happen overnight because there is still a lot of work to be done. But the underpinning infrastructure is now in place.

In his presentation So showed slides outlining a handful of notable Huawei smart city projects. To no-one’s surprise Singapore made the cut. So did Nanjing.

The Cameroon might not top your list of likely suspects, but it was up there. As was New Zealand.

At first sight this is surprising. Despite a lot of talk and a huge missed opportunity in Christchurch, New Zealand doesn’t have much in the way of formal smart city projects. And yet Huawei’s Joe So thought it merited a mention.

UFB to underpin NZ smart city initiatives

That’s because New Zealand is building the Ultrafast Broadband network. This is the communications infrastructure needed to make smart city projects viable.

It makes perfect sense from Huawei’s point of view to highlight UFB. Huawei may be moving fast into information technology but its core business is making telecommunications equipment. It supplies switches and other technology used to build the UFB network.

It also supplies technology for mobile phone carriers. Wireless is another way to build the connections needed for a smart city.

Device, pipe, cloud

One of the themes hammered home again and again at Huawei Connect is that the company focuses on device, pipe and cloud. All three play an important role in any smart city project.

New Zealand’s UFB fibre network is being rolled out to the 75 percent of the population who live in towns. That’s almost the definition of a nationwide smart city-ready network.

Supplying the networks needed to build smart cities is a lucrative business. Building and marshalling pipes is what made Huawei big in the first place. It delivers the margins needed to invest in other markets such as smart city applications.

What remains to be seen is how far Huawei can move up the smart city food chain. The company talks of using open technologies and of forming partnerships with other specialists. These would be essential. Yet, as So says, it seems the true smart city is still a concept.

  1. Here Joe So is referring to an all-embracing smart city solution, there are products aimed at solving part of the smart city puzzle. Huawei launched its Safe City Integrated Communication Platform during Huawei Connect.
Slow path to smart cities: Huawei Connect was first posted at

Bill Bennett travelled to Shanghai as Huawei’s guest.

Filed under: Cloud, Enterprise Tagged: fibre, Huawei

comments powered by Disqus

Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

The President Of The USA - Who do you think?
Created by TimA, last reply by tdgeek on 3-Dec-2016 22:07 (870 replies)
Pages... 56 57 58

NetFlix: Download and go
Created by jamesrt, last reply by PhantomNVD on 1-Dec-2016 22:16 (28 replies)
Pages... 2

Woooaaahh earthquake 2016-11-14
Created by Fred99, last reply by Pumpedd on 1-Dec-2016 11:50 (470 replies)
Pages... 30 31 32

1GB Plan Capping Out at 100Mb Download
Created by Kopkiwi, last reply by sbiddle on 3-Dec-2016 17:10 (23 replies)
Pages... 2

'Quality' NZ news on the way?
Created by Rikkitic, last reply by Fred99 on 3-Dec-2016 23:05 (90 replies)
Pages... 4 5 6

Christmas. Bah, humbug.
Created by Rikkitic, last reply by alasta on 3-Dec-2016 13:43 (40 replies)
Pages... 2 3

Spark Ultra Fast Fibre MAX performance and discussion (Some might say Gigabit)
Created by Talkiet, last reply by sbiddle on 3-Dec-2016 21:15 (55 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4

FS: NES Classic Mini - New and unopened
Created by thewanderingv, last reply by thewanderingv on 2-Dec-2016 22:47 (17 replies)
Pages... 2