5/5/2019

Industry trends are showing public and free wifi are essential for cities, not only for the people, but also for the connected objects

Go on Google and type “places with” and the results will need no explanation. “Places with wifi near me” come before anything else, including food and entertainment.

 Google Search Bar

Current figures speak volumes: 58% of EU citizens who need public services choose to go online says the EU Digital Economy Report*; there are currently 3.6 billion mobile internet users worldwide and 5 bn are expected by 2025 which would account for 61% of the population; 60% of connections are via smartphone, projected to grow to 79% by 2025; there are 9.1 bn IoT connections currently and they are projected to grow to 25 bn by 2025**.

But it’s not just about citizens. Public employees in government offices are more mobile and connected, while workers in the field, such as maintenance crews, are better protected with extended wifi connectivity.

Other important public connectivity users are public services and smart city innitiatives: smart city applications, e-city guides, smart energy metering, smart parking, digital display, smart health, smart video protection services all rely on a secure municipal wifi solution. There are over 250 smart city projects in approximately 200 cities around the world, the majority focusing on government initiatives, says a report from Navigant Research.*** These cities are going beyond open data policies to “the exploitation of a wide range of data sources and the establishment of city platforms for information sharing and use of analytics.” The use of this multitude of data requires enhanced, secured connectivity.

All this connectivity is stressing traditional network infrastructures, and visibly, the demand is only going to grow. With every connection, and every Internet of Things (IoT) system, the network becomes a gateway for a potential cyberattack. Therefore, a reliable, secure and high-performance wifi is moving to the top of the agenda for public sector organizations.

What is the basis of a reliable, secure, free public wifi access?

• An Enterprise-grade, ubiquitous connectivity, simply and manageably

• Minimal failure and optimal performance

• Data security for both individual users and connected objects

To help government organizations select the right solution for their public wifi and smart city networks, together with our experts, we have created a dedicated Public WiFi How to’s series.

Read the next blog in the series: How to build a solid public wifi network.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has developed an adapted WLAN product line that keeps in mind tourists and local citizens satisfaction, the IoT explosion and the latest standards. It was designed to be fit for the government industry.

*EU - Digital Economy and Society Index Report 2018 -  Digital Public Services
**GSMA – Mobile economy 
***More than 250 smart city projects exist in 178 cities worldwide 

Tags - Government, WLAN, Mobility, Internet of Things

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About the author
Cristina Grigoras

Cristina Grigoras

Strategic industries marketing at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Cristina is Strategic Industries Marketing at ALE. She is a passionate marketing and communication specialist with over 10 years experience in telecommunications, the media and advertising. Before this role, she was Services and Professional Services Marketing-Communications with ALE. But also Brand and Strategy Manager in business media, advertising and the publishing industry. 

Her blog posts focus on industry trends, customer experiences and our own champions' stories. 

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