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Report Recommends Cities Take Multidimensional Approach To 5G

A new report from Guidehouse Insights examines the evolution of 5G technology and its relevance to cities and communities.

The link between 5G networks and smart cities is often described in almost utopian terms. Beyond the hype, however, the emergence of a new generation of communication technologies is accelerating and amplifying smart city innovation in all its complexity. According to the report 5G networks have the potential to address important barriers to smart city development, but they will also increase concerns over security, privacy, and digital equity.

“Smart cities will be one of the most important testing grounds for 5G technology and business models, while 5G will accelerate many of the developments associated with smart cities,” says Eric Woods, research director with Guidehouse Insights. “Cites—and their partners—looking at their connectivity needs over the next decade need to understand the short-term opportunities and longer-term implications of the 5G era and develop strategies appropriate to local priorities and constraints.”


The report recommends city leaders consider the impact of 5G and their role in its development across five dimensions, including the use of city assets, the transformation of services, and economic development. Carriers and 5G suppliers need to engage with city priorities beyond new technology applications, including addressing social equity and digital inclusion issues. Carriers should see smart cities as a proving ground for their broader ambitions in the 5G era, while technology providers can help build relationships between cities and 5G service providers.

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