Cisco teams with GOWEX to boost smart wireless cities

Fri, 2014-06-20 06:00 -- Kevin Ebi

Cisco – a Council Global Partner – is teaming up with the Spanish telecommunications company GOWEX in an effort to rapidly expand the number of cities served by smart Wi-Fi.

Through the partnership, the companies expect to bring free, smart Wi-Fi connections to 600 cities by 2018, nearly doubling GOWEX’s plans from just last year. GOWEX provides the business model and applications; Cisco provides the underlying technology platform.

GOWEX already has 90 cities in some stage of smart wireless development. Its Wireless Smart Cities provide free basic Wi-Fi to citizens and wirelessly connect a wide range of city services, such as online meter reading, traffic light control, transit fleet management and video surveillance.

There is no cost to cities that participate. The system is supported financially by advertising and by providing roaming, data, higher-speed access and other premium services to citizens and businesses.

The highest profile project involves turning a free economic zone in Dubai into a Wireless Smart City. A network of more than 500 hotspots in the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority will not only provide wireless Internet access in buildings, but will also allow citizens to stay connected even while riding mass transit.

The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority ranks as one of the world’s top business districts. More than 1,600 companies do business there and it accounts for 8% of all the business done in Dubai. It’s also a hot area for development, growing 43% last year.

Wi-Fi will be available throughout the zone by this time next year. The advanced wireless services will be deployed in stages by 2020.