Smart cities have been discussed in academic and corporate settings since the late 1960s: at that point just a dream, a hope of a future in which technology supplements all areas of infrastructure and delivering insight to enhance its population’s lives. Smart cities are a popular topic of conversation: there are magazines and papers dedicated to them, business plans modelled on them, and government recommendations about them.

And yet few are discussing a larger scale vision: that of a smart country. A geo-political unit that is fully integrated, so that no matter where you travel to, what your job entails, or how your daily routine runs, each and every party of your day is touched by the benefits of digital technology embedded across transport, communications, resources, buildings, and networks.

Here in the UK, two locations are particularly driving forward the UK’s ambitions to enrich both people’s lives  and organisations operations: Bristol and London. The City of London is trialling 5G at the Guildhall thanks to the Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure (CTIL), and the researchers at Kings College, London, are key partners for national 5G projects – including one with us at Zeetta Networks.

In Bristol, a number of organisations are spearheading theoretical research and practical applications to drive forward the reality of a smart city. Zeetta Networks is a core component of that movement in Bristol and beyond, far outreaching the city’s or county’s borders.

5G Testbeds

Smart cities in isolation result in islands of network and connectivity: delivering benefits to the few, while restricting those benefits beyond a certain distance. This plan is projected to add up to £173 billion to the UK economy by 2030, and relies on the deployment of our NetOS® technology to virtualise, slice, and splice the networks for 5G experimentation.

Understanding the implications of 5G networking benefits more than just Bristol and UK businesses: the world’s ever-increasing data demands are driving up latency and bandwidth requirements, and so a comprehensive and fully optimised 5G network is essential to ensure that business growth is sustained.

5G RuralFirst

Another project that Zeetta Networks is instrumental in delivering is 5G RuralFirst. This takes 5G connectivity to remote communities in the north of Scotland. For a country to truly be considered smart, all citizens need to have realistic accessibility to connectivity, and our partnership with Cisco in trialling this technology in the Orkney islands in Scotland is working to reduce the percentage of people in the UK without mobile data coverage, currently at 36%.

Telecoms Infra Project

Zeetta Networks’ projects have a much larger scope than the UK. As part of our Telecoms Infra Project (TIP) partnership, we are exploring the commercial deployment opportunities of NetOS® with international partners such as BT and Facebook. We are one of the first entrants to the TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Centre (TEAC), partnering with other international organisations such as Intel, Nokia, and EE.

The UK’s smart credentials are growing. In March 2018, it was Bristol itself that won the inaugural Smart City Award at Mobile World Congress, beating off the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, New York, Singapore, and Yinchuan. Further funding and developing for growing smart cities has been allocated by the UK government, and through our work here at Zeetta Networks, we are driving that development on a national and international scale.

Want to learn more about how your company could benefit from the advancement of the UK as a smart country? Get in touch here.