China, Japan, and South Korea are leading Asia in smart city deployments: ABI

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Governments in China, Japan, and South Korea are leading the Asia-Pacific region in the deployment of citizen-centric, smart city initiatives, according to the latest smart city market report from ABI Research.

The smart city programs covered in the research improve overall quality of life, boost enterprise operational efficiencies, and enhance the effectiveness of public safety and security, transportation, citizen engagement, catastrophe management, and sustainability services, ABI says.

“Asia’s demand for smart city solutions will heighten over the next five years with China, Japan, and South Korea now accelerating adoptions of smart light, meter, building, and transportation, as well as renewable energy programs,” says Raquel Artes, industry analyst at ABI Research. “All three countries possess strong wireless communication networks, which likely account for the regions’ ability to rapidly deploy many smart city initiatives in a timely and cost-efficient manner.”

Specific cities in China that continue to show accelerated adoption of smart energy solutions include Dalian, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Tianjin.

ABI estimates that China smart meter installations will grow at a 21% CAGR to reach 349 million in 2020 through vendors like Itron, Echelon, Huawei, Holley Metering, Itron, Landis+Gyr, and Sensus.

China, Japan, and South Korea also lead multi-application smart card deployments that enable cashless payment for transportation, parking fees, and toll road fees. Ride sharing programs are also gaining traction, as evident through car manufacturers like Hyundai deploying car sharing services in South Korea that utilize EVs.

And while smart parking initiatives in Asia are still at a minimum, China acts as the region’s catalyst. China Unicom, Huawei, and the Shanghai government recently signed a strategic partnership to implement a smart parking solution in Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone using a NB-IoT based network. Smart parking enables parking operators and drivers to remotely check and locate available parking spaces in real time. Therefore, it reduces labor requirements of parking operators, optimizes usage of parking spaces, and reduce public parking costs.

Japan also recently launched a smart catastrophe management program, which included an Emergency Warning System developed by NEC, to detect and issue a warning that will alert both the government and citizens of upcoming natural catastrophes and identify high-risk areas to promote quicker response times and resource dispatches.

Elsewhere in Asia, ABI singles out India and Indonesia as relative laggards in the smart city space. While both countries are deploying smart city projects designed to enhance public safety and reduce energy consumption, they struggle to lead in these market segments.

“India and Indonesia are lagging behind primarily due to a lack of infrastructure readiness,” says Artes. “While there are vast opportunities for smart city vendors in India due to the governmental spearhead of wireless network and communications infrastructure development, the region is not fully capitalizing on those opportunities. This may soon change, as the government recently announced that it will develop 100 smart cities in the region as part of its smart city program.”

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