Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Telefonica claims European smart cities lead

Iain Morris
November 27, 2014
Spain’s Telefonica claims it is now working on more smart city projects than any other European operator as it looks to position itself at the forefront of the Internet of Things (IoT) opportunity.

The operator is involved in smart city projects in Santander, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Malaga, Logrono, Seville and Valencia – making Spain “the European capital of smart cities”, said the operator in a statement.

Companies targeting the M2M opportunity have been teaming up with city authorities to develop services that could improve the quality of life for residents and lead to energy savings and other benefits.

In Seville, for example, Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) has been helping to “digitalize” the cargo port to improve logistical efficiency for organizations using the facility.

Working with the University of Seville as well as electronics group Thales (Paris, France), Telefonica is developing a communications networks – using various fixed and mobile technologies – that will transmit sensor data gathered from containers, vessels, trains and automated traffic management systems.

In Longrono, meanwhile, the operator has been developing a system to centralize traffic, street lighting and the 010 citizen information helpline public services.

The technology developed by Telefonica will feed information about these public services into a smart city platform from where it can be mined for insights.

Another project in Zaragoza has seen Telefonica team up with a local transport consortium to extract and analyze data about the movement of people around the city.

The aim is to improve transport planning to provide travellers with better and more efficient services.

Telefonica says it has taken a similar approach in Barcelona, where it is using anonymous and aggregated information about tourists who visit the city to learn about wider tourism trends and the types of people the city attracts.

The operator says it can use insights gained from this data to offer better services to tourists and improve the “overall city experience”.

Much of Telefonica’s work in this area centers on Santander, which received funding from the European Commission to develop a variety of smart city services in areas such as parking, environmental monitoring, augmented reality, smart metering and traffic intensity monitoring.

“In Telefónica, we believe that people, businesses, cities and society can be more and do more thanks to technology,” said According to Luis Miguel Gilperez, the chief executive of Telefonica Espana. “We all know how technology has changed, and will continue to change, our way of living and working.”

“The digital revolution has not only transfomed the way in which we communicate, but is also changing and will further transform the relationship of cities with their inhabitants,” added Gilperez.
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