As per a report by Ericsson Mobility, “IoT is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices by 2018.” India is going to see the roll out of the world’s largest IoT network, parallel to its smart city mission, with both feeding off each other.

According to National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), m2m stands for Machine-to-Machine Communication and describes the automatic exchange of information between machines and devices. Internet of Things goes beyond communication between devices – it allows devices to share and receive information with software and applications using a variety of telecommunication technologies and protocols.

Let’s look at a few ways IoT is set to shape smart city building according to NIUA:

Geographic Information System (GIS) based urban planning: GIS systems allow spatial data management for cities with mapping of utilities, services and resources below the ground as well as infrastructure and land-use above the ground. Linking GIS data with other land-use information allows online delivery of targeted public services. GIS also makes the process of building and managing cities more inclusive as it facilitates better communication of plans and activities for citizens.

Smart Water management: The United Nations has predicted that water demand will exceed supply by 40 per cent by 2030. India is exposed to water stress and smart water management is the need of the hour as 22 cities with high population densities face demand and supply shortages ranging between 30 per cent and 70 per cent. The combination of sensor networks, internet communications and GIS tools can efficiently manage the water distribution network and water quality while reducing water consumption and wastage in sectors such as agriculture and landscaping.

Smart Transportation: A few applications of telemetry and satellite data include real-time tracking for traffic management, services like radio-cabs, online maps to find the most efficient routes, smart parking – displaying available spaces, time signalling on traffic lights and scheduling information of trains. Telematics is the branch of information technology which deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information. By enabling citizens and organizations to access goods, services, and information in a sustainable manner, ecomobility supports citizens’ quality of life, increases travel choices, and promotes social cohesion. In an act that combines telematics with ecomobility, India is home to smartphone controlled electric car.


Smart Buildings: It is estimated that the buildings sector in India is responsible for 40 per cent of energy use, 30 per cent of the raw material use, 20 per cent of water use, and 20 per cent of land use in cities. The Information and Communications technology (ICT) can deliver sustainable buildings through solutions for simulation, modelling, analysis, monitoring and visualisation. Since buildings are the lowest unit in a smart city landscape, smart buildings are a step in the direction of efficiency and optimization.