Smart Cities as Ecosystems - What Will be the Impact of 5G?
Abstract: Smart cities are often defined in the literature as business ecosystems, in the same way trials have been conducted over the years to apply 5G technology to the various smart solutions that make up this business ecosystem. Despite these obvious correlations, there is a lack of qualitative studies regarding the application of business ecosystem theory to smart cities and the effects of 5G technology on smart solutions. Therefore, the researcher decided to fill this gap by carrying out a study in this regard. In particular, the researcher focused on the research of possible bottlenecks (a founding element of business ecosystem theory) in the current use of ICTs for delivering smart solutions and whether or not 5G is able to solve them.The qualitative study therefore concerns a case study limited to the geographical area of the city of Gothenburg, in which the researcher studied whether several companies and organizations developing smart solutions within the smart city ecosystem find bottlenecks in the current use of ICTs and whether 5G can solve these bottlenecks.The findings show how the companies and organizations interviewed are satisfied with the current performance of the ICT tools used to implement smart solutions. Nevertheless, in the future, when the scale up of smart projects and the implementation of smart solutions will take place, the current performance of the ICTs used will not be sufficient. Therefore, companies and organizations will witness future bottlenecks. These bottlenecks will concern both the mobile connectivity and the smart solutions domain.Thanks to its features, 5G technology will be able to solve such bottlenecks. But this will happen only if three limitations are overcome: the lack of a sufficient infrastructure to support the development of 5G technology, a reduction in the costs of such technology and a historical era willing to accept the use of such technology.
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