Standardisation means improving or developing something in such a way that makes it conform according to current standards. There are certain standards that have to be obeyed when planning a smart city, for instance, prosperity of citizens, provision of enough jobs, traffic control, protection of the environment etc. The city leaders face a lot of pressure especially when a lot of rural people migrate to cities. This causes problems like traffic congestion, increase in pollution, shortage of shelter, jobs and energy.
It is the job of a city planner to address these issues within a tight budget and without compromising on the standards of quality living. Smart and effective use of technology can help in solving these problems by utilising the current infrastructure in a more effective and efficient way. But, using these smart city devices can cause problems if used without a common set of IoT standards. According to a recent study by Machina Research, using smart city devices with a common set of IoT standards can prove to be very expensive and every city that invests in smart technology will waste $341 billion by 2025 if resources are used in a broken and unorganised manner.
Bringing standardisation to the infrastructure of smart cities means more than just a reduction in cost. It means that the stakeholders agree on the common IoT standards, all the devices will be designed in a manner in which they will work in conjunction with each other and a universal, vendor-neutral platform that supports M2M communication and coherent integration of new products into the network. All of this will attract greater opportunities that will substantially increase technology innovation for developers. The sky is the limit when it comes to the benefits that IoT standards provide in smart city planning, with the innovation of 4G LTE coverage for most metropolitan areas, it is obvious that we are on the path to success. 4G LTE is a great example of the use of IoT standards in smart city planning. It offers a wide coverage, which 3G or Wi-Fi failed to provide and since LTE cannot be owned, it makes it a vendor neutral platform for the deployment of common IoT standards.
The activities of smart city standardisation are categorised into three levels which are explained below:
Level 1: Strategic:
Level 1 smart city standards provide guidance to city leaders and other bodies regarding the process of developing a strategy that is clear and effective. Guidance is also provided to the city leaders in prioritising issues, developing a roadmap for implementation and monitoring the progress effectively along the roadmap.
Level 2: Process:
Level 2 smart city standards are focused on obtaining and managing smart city projects especially the ones that cross both organisations and sectors.
Level 3: Technical:
Level 3 smart city standards deal with a number of technical specifications that are required to implement smart city products and services so that they would conform to the objectives and standards of smart city planning. City leaders are under a lot of pressure to ensure that citizens are being provided with an ever improving quality of life, without compromising on the protection of the environment. These goals can only be achieved through a common set of standards that play an eminent role in facilitating the growth of new technology and smart cities globally.