Enterprises to drive smart cities market before home takeover, claims report

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Commercial buildings will lead smart cities deployment in the near future, with 1.6 billion connections predicted to be in place next year, new research has claimed.

The report from Gartner said commercial real estate is the main engine of growth for smart cities and accounted for 377.3 million connections this year. These are largely information management systems handling the likes of energy efficiency and security.

Bettina Tratz-Ryan, Research Vice-President at Gartner, said: "Especially in large sites, such as industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls, airports or seaports, IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30 percent."

By 2018, there will be just over one billion connected things within commercial buildings. However, that area will be challenged by smart homes, as the home automation tool market gets more sophisticated.

Tratz-Ryan said: "The growing maturity of smart home platforms through an ecosystem of home appliances, infotainment and home sensors will mean that smart home investments overtake those of commercial buildings in 2018."

Next year, smart homes will account for 21 percent of total IoT use within smart cities. Tratz-Ryan added: "Device and wireless standards will be embedded in more devices. Homes will move from being interconnected to information- and smart-enabled — an integrated services environment that will provide value to the home and the individual ambience."

Orange is one of numerous operators readying its own smart cities proposition. The French operator is set to go live with LoRa-based networks next year as it looks to connect urban areas across the country.