We pave the way for smart cities

R&S Stories

We pave the way for smart cities

Smart cities think ahead, improving our quality of life and making us safer. Rohde & Schwarz provides technologies that will soon allow this vision to become reality.

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Updated on 13-May-2024 🛈
Originally published on 18-Feb-2019

According to forecasts, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities ten years from now. That’s a good billion more than now. Despite this increase, many aspects of everyday life will be more convenient because connectivity and security provide the foundation for transforming urban spaces into smart cities. Solutions from Rohde & Schwarz help make this possible.

A future scenario in a smart city

An evening in 2030 with many pedestrians walking along the sidewalk. Some of them are carrying shopping bags, while others are accompanied by baggage drones.

Among the crowd is a young tourist who is constantly looking at her communicator. She is listening to an interactive city guide providing a multimedia description of the history of the district.

Electric vehicles glide by with barely a whisper. Our tourist stops at a traffic light. When it turns green, she crosses the street without looking up – a widget mirrored the traffic signal on her display. What is the fastest way for her to get to where she wants to go from here?

The mobility app recommends a taxi drone, but the destination is off limits for airborne drones, so she will have to walk a short distance. Since the app registered the destination with the city control system, it can guide her over the final stretch. The streetlights automatically switch on to light the way in front of her. Too far-fetched? Not from a technology perspective.

Future scenario

What makes cities smart

Drones, electromobility, smart street lighting and customized infrastructure services: tomorrow’s applications are based on full connectivity and smart use of the data flowing through the network.

However, many smart city visions are still waiting for fifth generation mobile communications because they are not feasible without this new technology. As the first mobile communications system tailored for the internet of things, 5G will radically transform life in the city by extensively networking people and infrastructures. Whereas we previously had to adapt to our environment, smart cities will adapt to their inhabitants in many ways – not just in the form of taxi drones.

To make 5G ready for deployment, major efforts have been underway worldwide for many years. That includes Rohde & Schwarz, one of the test and measurement equipment pioneers in the sector since the early days of digital mobile communications. Like all mobile communications systems, 5G is very complex, and like all new systems, it pushes the boundaries of what is possible.

Spectrum Analyzer FPH

Test and measurement equipment for smart cities

Test and measurement equipment tells us what is possible. 5G opens new technology paths that impact all system components, including the necessary chipsets, RF components in smartphones, and base stations and their antennas. That’s why the majority of the test and measurement equipment has to be newly developed.

All signals emitted, received or transmitted by a component must be tested against the strict requirements of the mobile communications standard. The objective is to ensure that the entire mobile device operates the way it should before it is manufactured in the millions. This assurance is provided by network simulators that behave like real networks and reveal the communications behavior of devices under test. It is also necessary to test core components such as standard-specific chipsets, base stations that communicate with mobile devices, and of course antennas – the characteristic “signal towers” of mobile communications networks.

Both manufacturers and network operators need test and measurement equipment. But entirely different T&M instruments are needed to install, maintain and monitor the quality of a network than to develop products. The Rohde & Schwarz T&M portfolio offers solutions for all of these tasks.


Security matters

Tomorrow’s highly connected cities are potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Safety-critical infrastructures such as power grids and traffic management systems that are accessible online need reliable protection. As one of the largest manufacturers of IT security and network technology in Europe, Rohde & Schwarz provides the necessary products and expertise.

The company's portfolio ranges from firewalls and high-performance encryptors to software for secure data sharing in the cloud. Rohde & Schwarz is also a competent partner when city authorities want to build the city network on trustworthy technology. Its subsidiary LANCOM offers all the network components necessary to build secure WAN, LAN and WLAN networks.

Smart Glasses

Safe and connected cities with the help of Rohde & Schwarz

The success of smart cities is crucially dependent on the smooth interaction of all their technologies and the security of their networks and data.

Drawing on many decades of experience in the fields of information, communications and security, Rohde & Schwarz offers the needed technologies. State-of-the-art test and measurement equipment and cybersecurity solutions ensure interoperability, reliability and data security – the foundation of smart cities. Rohde & Schwarz makes a safe, secure and connected world possible.

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