It Is Estimated That In 2018, 55 % Of The World's Population Resided In Urban Areas. With this fraction expected to rise to 68 % by 2050, there is ever increasing pressure on infrastructure, systems and services, including housing, transport and healthcare, to name but a few [1]. "Smart cities" aim to improve the quality of urban life by using 5th Generation (5G) wireless technology in combination with Internet of Things based technologies, which may help to mitigate these pressures [2].

Smart city innovations cover a range of new technologies, from flexible street lighting, to digital tracking of shared bicycles, prevention of drink drowning using thermal imaging cameras and providing data on traffic to autonomous vehicles.

In a world where everything is connected, higher data transfer rates are needed. 5G wireless technology aims to meet this demand, and has seen a surge in patent applications over the last five years.

As explained in patent application US2018323754A, 5G technology will enable a leap in data transfer rates between wireless devices, which include everything from smart phones to connected cars. To achieve these higher data transfer rates, higher frequency bands are utilised, typically in the millimetre wavelength range. As explained in WO2016085266A1, a drawback of using higher frequency bands is an increase in propagation loss whereby the propagation arrival distance becomes relatively short and the coverage becomes reduced. To this end, developments in beamforming and massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology, amongst other areas of multiple antenna techniques, are being made.

As mobile data speeds become lightning fast, we can look forward to our cities becoming smarter, more efficient, and better connected.


[1] Caird, S. P. & Hallett, S. H. (2019) Towards evaluation design for smart city development, Journal of Urban Design, 24:2, 188-209, DOI: 10.1080/13574809.2018.1469402

[2] Cocchia A. (2014) Smart and Digital City: A Systematic Literature Review. In: Dameri R., Rosenthal-Sabroux C. (eds) Smart City, Progress in IS. Springer, Cham.

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