15 top-ranked IoT cities (and why yours should be on the list)

The adoption rate for the Internet of Things (IoT), the M2M technology made possible by the connectivity of secure networks and cloud infrastructure, is growing – and that growth will accelerate as more and more applications take advantage of its versatility and ability to turn data into useful information.

Council Lead Partner Verizon is so confident in IoT’s capabilities that it predicts best-in-class companies using it will be 10% more profitable within 10 years than companies that do not incorporate it into their operations strategies.

If you need convincing that it will be a big part of the future, IoT Analytics has ranked the top 15 emerging IoT cities, based on where IoT company headquarters are located:

  • San Francisco-Bay Area, U.S.
  • London, UK
  • New York City, NY
  • Boston, MA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Paris, France
  • San Diego, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Seattle, WA
  • Bangalore, India
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Hong King-Shenzhen, China (considered as one region)
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Denver, CO

The IoT Analytics research also indicated the leading cities for IoT aren't likely to change much over time. Once established, the IoT environment is self-perpetuating. Companies and vendors in those cities tend to be physically close to each other, which makes information and collaboration easier, and companies that are clustered together tend to share information and develop partnerships. Also, should a startup fail, there are other companies that can absorb its skilled employees.

Verizon makes its case for IoT in its white paper, State of the Market -- The Internet of Things 2015. The paper is based on Verizon’s own usage data and its customers’ experiences, commissioned research, the results of an online survey and other sources.

Show me the numbers
Among other observations, Verizon notes “A study that we commissioned from ABI Research shows that the IoT market is likely to experience strong growth, rising to 5.4 billion connections across the globe by 2020, counting cellular, fixed line, satellite, and short-range wireless connections, up from 1.2 billion now.”

The research also broke down the growth of M2M connections on Verizon’s network year over year from 2013 to 2014 by specific sectors:

  • Media and entertainment: 120%
  • Home monitoring: 89%
  • Transportation and distribution: 83%
  • Energy and utilities: 49%
  • Public sector/smart cities: 46%

Healthcare and other service industries showed similar growth. And another development that might be surprising is that all of the top 14 car manufacturers have a “connected-car strategy,” according to Verizon.

Connectivity: it’s not all about growing revenue
Of course the bottom line is critical in any business, but the white paper pointed to a variety of other benefits M2M connectivity can bring, among them improvements in operational efficiency as well as providing guidance for companies to find new avenues and uses for their products and services. And those benefits can apply to cities, too.

It also noted that the information available from the data collected by all those connected devices can help improve safety and reduce risk in critical infrastructure like bridges, highways, buildings and airports.

A prediction for smart cities
According to its research, Verizon predicts “By 2025, smart cities capabilities will become a critical consideration for companies deciding to invest and open facilities, due to their impact on operating costs and talent availability.” As cities work to meet growing urban populations and the traffic congestion that accompanies them, many turn to smart streetlights, car sharing, smart parking and other measures to alleviate the problem.

IoT’s ability to integrate several connected systems also can provide insights and a detailed overview of a city’s operations overall, from energy use and air pollution to crime and traffic patterns – all of which can contribute to better policy decisions.

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Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.

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