Standards for SMART CITIES

By George Babinov, SBS expert.

In Smart Cities, digital technologies translate into better public services for citizens, better use of resources and less impact on the environment. According to the European Commission “a smart city is a place where the traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital information and telecommunication technologies (ICT), for the benefit of its inhabitants and businesses.” With this vision in mind, the European Union is investing in ICT research and innovation and developing policies to improve the quality of life of citizens and make cities more sustainable in view of Europe’s 2020 targets. Today many town applications have their own network and their own solution of meshing, i.e. the technique used for interconnecting different computers and organise the flow of data among them. As a result different maintenances and deployments are necessary. A common architecture will reduce this multiplication of solutions while a unified meshing will increase the reliability.

With this scope in mind, the ETSI Technical Committee Access, Terminals, Transmission and Multiplexing (ATTM) is in process of evaluating a proposal for the creation of a new workgroup (WG) named «SDMC (Sustainable Digital Multiservice Cities)». The group will work on deployment of ICT systems, networks, and sites allowing interactions for data capture (both receiving and providing of data) and management of data within each service and between different functions and services in all living areas. This will produce:

  • Standardisation work on specific engineering of SDMC ICT;
  • Specifications of topology and functional requirements;
  • Specifications of functional and physical characteristics of interfaces;
  • Standardisation work on operational sustainability management. [2]

Meanwhile ATTM already has started to develop new work items like: General engineering of networks; Digital multiservice cities, and is elaborating the corresponding technical specifications.

In the document, which is in an early draft stage, is underlined that the increasing needs of citizens and towns in the ICT and IoT (Internet of Things) technology sectors implies that a common architecture of network has become mandatory to enable Cities to deploy more intelligent and more efficient services to citizens and to their main users.

The common architecture corresponds to the following supporting concepts:

  • Eco design, easy operation and economy of scale;
  • Reduction of energy consumption;
  • Supporting infrastructure for all citizens;
  • IPv6 and common denominator for multiple and cross domain applications.

When completed, the document will contain information that has been jointly evolved to present developments in installations and transmission implementation, and describing their progress towards energy efficiency in next generation networks (NGN). [3]

The guiding principle in the development of the technical specifications is that the Smart city has to be built around the citizen. It would be very important to put the citizen in the center and to build the Smart city with him in mind, taking in consideration his needs as well as his concerns.


[1]            European Commission, Digital Agenda for Europe, Smart cities, 18/06/2015;

[2]            Proposal TC ATTM Working Group « Sustainable Digital Multiservice Cities », 05/11/2015;

[3]            Draft ETSI TS