Patricio Zorrilla
Vice President
View from the Top

Integrating All Elements for Smarter Cities

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 13:37

Q: What is UltraTelecom’s most important contribution to Smart Cities in Mexico?

A: UltraTelecom has three main divisions that are working toward Smart Cities. The first is UltraTelecom, which is a pioneer in internet services through the LTE 4.5G Pro network it develops hand in hand with Nokia. We are about to offer the seamless connectivity Smart Cities are based on. Having this network working in 1Q18 is our top priority in the short term because it could affect up to 15 million people.

Also, our public bicycles division, Urbanismo Positivo, continues to offer public bicycle systems and urban furniture that promotes mobility. Sharing systems for bicycles benefit communities in matters of health and promotion of social interaction. The urban furniture required includes tools and air pumps where the bicycle stations are established. City governments that worry about providing citizens with better mobility solutions should pay attention to public bicycle systems.

Finally, the Telemetrika division develops apps where citizens can report problems and situations they face in the streets to the authorities. The company can connect urbanism needs like signaling or parking with the responsible authorities through software and IoT. Potholes are an example. Combining these apps with UltraTelecom’s radio services helps people raise their voices on public issues and have authorities address them. UltraTelecom acts as a facilitator between citizens and authorities through information communication technology like mobile apps and connections.

Q: How does the Urbanismo Positivo bicycle system contribute to Smart Cities?

A: The Urbanismo Positivo division promotes healthy, eco- friendly mobility and employs several initiatives related to quality of life. Also, this division is linked to the connectivity division. All bicycle sites and urban furniture are connected; they offer positive marketing opportunities and gather information on the city for more informed decision-making. Urbanismo Positivo is starting to work with universities to provide shared-bicycle services on campus. We work to raise awareness on eco-friendly, inexpensive and practical mobility. Most Mexican cities are easy places to implement these systems because they have appropriate weather and are usually flat and small. There are, however, other cities such as Cuernavaca or Xalapa that are challenging due to their rugged topography.

Q: What are the benefits of the LTE 4.5G Pro network?

A: It is the most advanced network in the world, with an incomparable network capacity and connectivity. Smart Cities require connectivity anytime, anywhere and we are working closely with Nokia to supply this. The applications this network will have are multiple - everything from using a smartphone’s data service plan to connect to social media, to powering water and electricity meters and public traffic lights through IoT. UltraTelecom is working with various suppliers to promote the creation of solutions in these areas where new applications could be developed to improve quality of life. For example, devices that track a person’s vital signs could use this connectivity to alert a person’s physician and family in case of an emergency.

Q: How does the network promote connectivity?

A: It eases the process of connecting and increases coverage, capacity and readiness. Every ICT solution has distinct requirements. Some solutions need little bandwidth but constant connection, while some solutions need plenty of bandwidth to transmit critical information but do not require permanent connection. We have only experienced the tip of the iceberg in Smart Cities. Many areas like health, security and transportation will deeply benefit from connectivity and UltraTelecom wants to offer complementary services in all these areas. This project requires the installation of transmission centers. We will use our own locations, those of other internet providers through roaming agreements and access sites in public offices to maximize coverage and efficiency.