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March 18, 2015

Smart cities to take lion’s share of IoT market by 2020

9.7 billion connected things are expected to be in smart cities by 2020.

By James Nunns

Gartner has predicted that by 2020 the number of connected things being used by smart cities will reach 9.7 billion.

Gartner expects the growth to be pushed by the investment and service opportunities that are available in smart homes and smart commercial buildings. Gartner estimates that these two areas will represent 45% of the total of connected things in use in 2015.

According to Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner: "Smart cities represent a great revenue opportunity for technology and services providers (TSPs), but providers need to start to plan, engage and position their offerings now."

It is expected that the majority of IoT spending will come from the private sector, Tratz-Ryan, said: "this is good news for TSPs, as the private sector has shorter and more succinct procurement cycles than public sectors and cities."

Gartner predicts that residential citizens will increasingly invest in smart home solutions and it is expected that in smart homes alone, there will be 1 billion IoT units in 2017.

Tratz-Ryan, said: "Homes will move from being interconnected to become information and smart-enabled, with integrated services environment that does not only provide value to the home, but also create individual and context driven ambiance."

"The home will become the personal space that provides assistance or personal concierge experiences to the individual."

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The growth in IoT devices is also expected to increase in public areas, where deployments in street parking guidance, traffic flow metering and other areas would be quick wins.

Tratz-Ryan believes that having a data governance plan is crucial for furthering smart cities and it needs to be meaningful, Tratz-Ryan, said: "Big Data will suffocate any urban planning – what we need is meaningful data."

Despite the predicted growth in IoT devices, Tratz-Ryan had some words of caution: "Cities feel obligated to implement everything, what we need is a more holistic and smart approach to implementing useful developments to cities."

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