Current by GE partners with Nokia to bring new smart city technologies to Canada

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Nokia is partnering with Current by GE (General Electric) to bring cutting-edge smart city technologies such as parking and traffic management, weather and air quality monitoring and public safety enhancements to cities across Canada.

The two companies have announced a commercial partnership that will help Canadian cities improve operational infrastructure and expand new services to citizens through the use of cloud-based Internet-of-Things (IoT) systems. Under the terms of the agreement, Nokia will gain access to Current by GE’s CityIQ platform technology across Canada. The system will repurpose outdoor street lighting into digital infrastructure that collects data and distributes valuable insights to cities via Nokia’s safe and secure communications networks. It builds on Nokia’s steady expansion of its smart city capabilities, which includes a full portfolio of network solutions designed to provide IoT connectivity to municipal and utility infrastructure.

Current by GE works with municipalities and utilities to install transformative digital technology that helps accelerate urban growth and development. Because CityIQ is an open and extensible data platform, it allows a wide variety of ecosystem developers to build new apps that positively affect citizens’ lives, both now and in the future.

Current’s smart city technology is already being deployed in several cities in the USA, including San Diego (California), Atlanta (Georgia), and Portland (Oregon). Deployed with Nokia’s IoT connectivity, the combined digital solution is expected to help cities gain new operational insights and will enable app development, using a ‘horizontal’ platform that can support a wide variety of apps simultaneously, which can address common challenges such as real-time parking and traffic management, public safety enhancements, and weather and air quality monitoring.

The collaboration complements Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge, which was announced earlier this year to spur development in new smart city initiatives. It encourages community leaders to team up with businesses, academia and civic organizations to design innovative digital solutions that improve residents’ quality of life.

It also builds on Nokia’s recent agreement with Smart City Capital to foster smart city projects throughout Canada, by using a C$2bn (US$1.5bn) dedicated project fund and a pre-vetted ecosystem of partners.

“There is tremendous interest in smart city technology throughout Canada, and this partnership will offer Canadian municipalities a scalable method to quickly respond to demographic and economic shifts,” said Shawn Sparling, head of Canadian enterprise sales for Nokia.

“Responsive, flexible technology is key to creating smarter cities while enabling a safer and more sustainable environment. The agreement with Current by GE is a key milestone in our efforts to build a rich and diverse ecosystem of leading suppliers to ensure the delivery of best-in-class solutions for our customers.”

Austin Ashe, Current’s general manager of intelligent cities, commented, “We are excited to bring our smart city technology to cities across Canada. Nokia’s extensive portfolio of IoT connectivity solutions and successful history working with Canadian cities make this collaboration a great match for us and our development partners.

“We believe in the power of combined innovation. Our partnership with Nokia will help unlock new forms of smart city transformation and civic engagement that we can’t even imagine yet.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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