Tech giant AT&T offers technology support in smart cities

at & tWith an aim to provide smart city solutions to help municipal authorities remotely monitor condition of roads and bridges in real time and give citizens an update on traffic and safety problems in real time via mobile apps, technology giant AT&T Inc is geared to take the plunge through a variety of innovations.

The company’s smart cities efforts are aimed at tapping into a market that some expect to grow beyond $1 trillion by 2020, said AT&T in a company statement.

AT&T has not yet broken out revenue or profit for such “Internet of Things” services. These include things like connected cars and wired homes with automated thermostats and security systems, it said.

AT&T’s existing smart-city services comprise of web-connected utility meters, street lights and water systems.

The US wireless company said it is also building a digital dashboard to help city authorities monitor city conditions and developments from power outages to traffic jams.

In recent years, cities like Barcelona, Spain to San Jose, California, have slowly been working on “smart cities” with telecom and technology companies. The technology being developed aims to improve the quality and cost-efficiency of services such as energy and transportation, and to help manage resources better.

“Some cities including Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta have agreed to partner and work with us to deploy some of these solutions together.” Chris Penrose, senior vice president of AT&T’s Internet of Things division, said.

“We can actually monitor and measure the real feedback from both citizens and … savings and improved operational costs for the cities that we can then take that and use with other cities going forward.”

The company has forged partnerships with companies including Cisco Systems Inc, General Electric Co, Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc to develop services for smart cities.

According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the global market for smart cities is expected to grow to about $1.6 trillion in 2020.